Online and digital presentations and performances

Online and digital presentations

Online and digital presentations can work well as a mode of assessment as they:

  • develop a student’s digital communication skills
  • provide opportunities for peer-feedback
  • enable groups of students to collaborate and share.

Presentations enable educators to gain a rapid snapshot of student progress, which they can use to provide feedback and tailor their teaching approach. Online and digital presentations require a higher level of capability and confidence from students and staff, as well as reliable access to technology. Students can find assessed presentations stressful so additional steps should be taken to manage additional anxiety caused.

Planning presentations

  • Ensure that students are clear about the assessment criteria. Are you assessing their knowledge and understanding of the subject, their ability to deliver a presentation, or both?
  • Provide guidance on how to use the tools required to prepare and deliver the presentation
  • Provide opportunities for students to practise their presentation. For an online presentation, if using Collaborate Ultra, you should set up a room where students have the ‘presenter’ role and can practise uploading and presenting their slides.

You will need to consider whether your students’ presentation needs to be live (synchronous) or whether they can do this asynchronously by creating and sharing a recording.

Guidance for students

Many students can use PowerPoint to create a presentation which can be stored and shared using OneDrive. A group of students can then work collaboratively on the same presentation. Group discussions around the content of the presentation can take place via Microsoft Teams Chat.

You may also want to direct students to the library guidance on preparing presentations.

Create Digital Presentations: Overview of Systems

The information provided in this guidance on creating digital presentations will help you discover which option is best suited to you and explores: Mediasite, Office 365 (PowerPoint, Stream, Teams), Collaborate Ultra, and personal screencasting software.

Recorded (asynchronous) presentation and performance

Allowing students to record and share their own presentation can reduce some of the logistical challenges and provide opportunity to practice and prepare. You will need to consider:

  • how students will be advised to create the recording
  • how this recording will be shared with the relevant staff who will be marking it.

The following represents a range of options for recording and sharing presentations:

Sharing Recorded Digital Presentations

One option is for students to narrate over a PowerPoint presentation using the built-in recording features of the software. Narration can be added one slide at a time, so it is easier to re-record a section if it goes wrong. This also makes it easier for group presentations as members of the group can narrate their own section.

Alternatively, students can use any software or hardware they are familiar with and are not limited to University technologies. Faculties may wish to offer preferred options or allow students to make their own decisions. Students can take advantage of open-source software for screencasting and video editing or simply film themselves with their mobile phone. If students use tools and software not supported by the University, then the IT Service Desk will not be able to assist with any issues that they encounter.

Recorded presentations can be shared using or uploaded to MediaSite. With UK-based students, presentations may be uploaded to YouTube, but remember that this option will not be available in certain countries.

MediaSite Mosaic (previously Desktop Recorder)

Students can download MediaSite Mosaic on their computers to capture live recordings for subsequent replay. It can record screencasts, audio, video or voiceovers on PowerPoint presentations. Any recording is automatically uploaded to MediaSite and remains secure and private until a student chooses to share it with a tutor or anyone else. The guidance on the IT website explains how students can record, edit and share content via MediaSite.

Case studies:

The Institute of Transport Studies has been assessing student digital presentations for several years. They offer a rubric for assessment purposes. Watch the case study: Student Podcasts for Creative Assessment (login required).

The Study Abroad Team use MediaSite for student submissions instead of traditional CVs. Watch the case study: Mediasite: judging student digital applications to study abroad.

Microsoft Teams and Stream

In Microsoft Teams, you can set up online meetings and invite students to present. These can be recorded and shared. Alternatively, students can use the recording facility by inviting themselves to an online meeting and recording their presentation. The recording will be automatically available via Stream and can be shared. Clear guidance needs to be provided to students if choosing this.

Stream recordings cannot be shared with non-University members.

Refer to the following guides if you or your students need to add subtitles to their Stream video:

Live (synchronous) presentation and performance

Microsoft Teams, Collaborate Ultra and Zoom all allow students to virtually present live to examiners, other tutors and their peers.

Microsoft Teams

You can set up online meetings in Microsoft Teams and invite students to present. These can be recorded and shared more widely using Stream. Students can join the meeting and use the screenshare options to navigate through their presentation (audio and video-enabled). Students will need clear instructions on how to do this and be encouraged to practise beforehand by inviting themselves to an online meeting.

Collaborate Ultra

You can invite students to an online session in Collaborate Ultra and record each presentation. This recording can be shared more widely. In a live session (facilitated by a lecturer), students need their role to be elevated to ‘Presenter’ so they can upload their file (PowerPoint, PDF or image file) and deliver their presentation.

Students can be given access to a “sandpit” area in which they can practise delivering and recording their presentations. It is essential that students practise their presentation in advance and check their settings before delivering and/or recording their presentation. Collaborate Ultra does not allow recordings to be paused so students would need to record their presentation in one take.

Recordings of student presentations may not remain private, so consider other options for summative assessments if confidentiality is a key concern.


Students can deliver an online presentation in Zoom. They can practice by setting up their own Zoom meetings using their account in the University’s Zoom licence. They can sign in from the University of Leeds Zoom login page  using their university credentials and there is guidance available on how to ensure a Zoom meeting is secure.

If you are hosting the meeting, you can make others co-hosts by giving them permission to manage the administrative side of the meeting, such as managing participants or starting/stopping the recording. It may not be necessary to increase permissions for students to give an online presentation as any participant in a Zoom meeting can share their screen, audio and video unless you have changed these Zoom settings.