12 – Presentation Shuffle Algorithm

Presentation Shuffle Algorithm

In our imaginary class, students have done meaningful input and output activities about a sports theme. To continue, they can do the Presentation Shuffle where they give a 3-5 minute presentation about a sports topic they like.

Students have a number of options, such as describe a sport that they enjoy and explain why they enjoy it. They can also introduce an athlete they respect and talk about what this athlete has done. The teacher can remind students that they should link their presentations to reading and listening materials. On presentation day, students present in pairs, and they rotate partners like in the 4-3-2 activity, except that we do not decrease the time for each presentation.

With shuffling, all speakers get three chances to give their presentations afresh and communicatively to three different people. In this way, speakers gain confidence and fluency as they repeat their presentations. For evaluation, see the PDF for the Peer Evaluation Form, which students fold into four quarters, so that they can use only one piece of paper for all three presentations. Students use the fourth leaf of the paper to calculate the averages and do self-evaluation. The teacher can give grades based on these peer evaluations.

With this kind of evaluation and grading, we do run into a few problems. First, speakers see their evaluators, and evaluators tend to give overly positive reviews. To solve this, we can train learners to give positive and constructively critical reviews, so that peer review provides helpful feedback. Second, not all students will give the best feedback, so perhaps this form of feedback is not always ideal.

However, on the positive side, learners get three chances to give their presentations, which will help them build fluency. Because they work in pairs (and don’t present to the whole class), students do not feel as much pressure when giving presentations. With pairs, we also need less class time for all students to give presentations, so we use less class time while students get more practice.

As for feedback issues, students still receive feedback from their partners, and they can also self-evaluate. A space is given for self-evaluation on the form. Moreover, if the teacher wants to give feedback to each student, she can require that students turn in their notes or slides. And if the teacher uses a form for students to turn in their notes or slides, then she can check their work in a systematic way and give more feedback.


Dr. Joseph Poulshock

Dr. Joseph Poulshock works as Professor of English Linguistics in the Faculty of International Communication at Senshu University.