The SLS is also made up of two parts, one being a reflective statement covering four specific questions and the other a requirement to give a fifteen minute presentation to the student‟s mentor and provide evidence of this presentation.
There are two areas where students appear to be unclear regarding the presentation.
- It is not a presentation of at least fifteen minutes. Students are required to complete the presentation WITHIN fifteen minutes;
- It is not a presentation about how the student went about the process of writing the report, it is a presentation on the TOPIC of the report, for example
The mentor will be asked to confirm that the presentation has taken place effectively and Oxford Brookes University will also require evidence to be submitted with the RAP. This evidence will consist of copies of slides used in the presentation. Usually, these slides use PowerPoint but they can also be copies of slides prepared using some other medium.
Contents of the slides
The slides should be designed to support the verbal presentation given by the student. They should also be designed to appeal to an audience which means that they must be clear and easy to read. Graphs, pictures and charts are always good ways of conveying information provided that it is clear what they are trying to portray. Slides that contain lots of words, perhaps taken straight from the Research Report are not very appealing and usually difficult to read.
The markers and moderators at Oxford Brookes see a whole range of slides from ones that appear to be trying to set a new world record for how many words can be fitted in one slide to very animated ones that are almost an entertainment package on their own!
So here are a few guidelines:
- Always start with a clear opening slide with the title of the presentation and the student‟s name and ACCA number to identify the presenter.
- It can often be helpful if the next slide lists the areas to be covered by the presentation.
- Remember that the presentation is NOT about how the topic was decided upon or how the research was carried out – that is part of the RAP. This is a presentation on the topic.
- Include relevant findings from the analysis carried out. This could be graphical (with explanations) or in chart or tabular form where key numbers are concerned.
- The analysis and findings will have led to conclusions being drawn by the student and recommendations being made. These conclusions and recommendations are a key part of the presentation so should be shown on the slides.
How many words, how many slides?
Whenever I or any of my colleagues deliver workshops on the degree, we are always asked the same two questions among others: Those questions are:
- The word limit for the RR is 7,500 but what is the maximum tolerance allowed?
- How many slides should be included?
The answer to question 1 is always to remind students that the word limit is 7,500 words and that if we were prepared to accept 8,000 we would say so but then a student would ask if 8,500 would be OK and so on. It would not be long before we were asked to accept 10,000 words and yes we do receive reports that long and YES, THEY WILL FAIL.
The answer to question 2 is always that we cannot answer as it depends on the way the presentation is delivered. The least slides I have personally seen is one which was just a title slide and the most is almost 90 which would be impossible to present in 15 minutes, requiring an average of 6 slides every minute or one every 10 seconds! That would not leave enough time for the slide to be read or for the presenter to talk and present. The markers and moderators are very experienced at being the recipients of presentations and so can easily make a judgement as to the likelihood of the slides being presented during a 15 minute presentation. It is not just the number of slides, it is also the content.
SO REMEMBER –
- The presentation should be no more than 15 minutes
- It should be about your topic not the process of writing the report
- The slides should SUPPORT your presentation
- The slides should be interesting and clearly understandable
- The presentation and slides should contain the results of your analysis, your conclusions and recommendations