Investigating Self- and Peer-Assessments of Tertiary Students' Oral Presentations

National University of Singapore, Singapore


Oral presentation skills are key in academic events and business settings where companies compete to deliver their products and services. This study examines the psychometric quality and criterion validity of self- and peer-assessment of oral presentation skills of first-year science students at the National University of Singapore. The participants from three classes (n=40) received training for 12 weeks on delivering effective presentations and instruction on using a tertiary-level English oral presentation scale (TEOPS). TEOPS consists of three subscales: verbal communication, non-verbal communication, and connect and organization, which are measured by 18 items.

For their final projects, each student was given 10 to 12 minutes to present on one of the five compulsory science books for the module and was rated by the tutor, peers, and himself/herself. The data was analyzed by many-facet Rasch measurement, correlation, and ANOVA. The results show that the student raters, tutor, items, and rating scales achieved good psychometric quality, though a small number of assessments exhibited bias. While all biased self-assessments were underestimation of presentation skills, peer- and tutor-assessment bias had a mixed pattern. In addition, self-, peer-, and tutor-assessments had low to medium correlations on the three subscales and a statistically significant difference was found between the mean scores of the assessments. It is argued that the high internal consistency of peer- and teacher-assessments might be due to the training procedure implemented as a major component of the course, and the observed differences can be attributed to students' modesty. Further educational and assessment implications are discussed.

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