Using activity theory to redesign a video supported oral presentation competence development activity in higher education

Charles Barker*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This is a single site study in a post-1992 university law school in England using activity theory to explore how video recordings of undergraduate law students’ oral presentations can be used as a feedback tool to support the development of oral presentation competence. While there is extensive literature on both the role of feedback in higher education and oral presentation competence development, the link between the two areas has had only limited attention. For this study, 19 students enrolled on a level 4 oral presentation competence development unit were interviewed at three points during the academic year. Activity theory was used to reconceptualise the oral presentation competence development activity and to consider how video can best be used as a feedback tool to support the learning activity. The research analysis demonstrates that video can help students to evaluate their own performances and make adjustments to future performances. However, the research also indicates that there are potential barriers to video being used effectively. These barriers can best be overcome by emphasising the social aspects of the activity. In particular, a focus on video recordings of student performances should be delayed until students have gained experience of evaluation and developed subject specific notions of quality through giving and receiving peer feedback. By using activity theory to reconceptualise the activity to emphasise its social aspects and foreground the role of self-evaluation, this research offers an insight into how video can most effectively be used as a feedback tool to support oral presentation competence development.
Original languageEnglish
JournalStudies in Technology Enhanced Learning
Publication statusAccepted for publication - 2 Jan 2022

Keywords

  • activity theory
  • feedback
  • evaluative judgement
  • video
  • peer review
  • oral presentations competence development

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