In this type of assessment students present a given topic such as a scientific paper, results from their own work, exercises from the course, or similar. Often the presentation is given in front of the entire class, which can be involved as opponents. The presentations can be done individually or in groups.
In their presentations, students are often expected to demonstrate scientific skills such as hypothesizing, discussing, concluding, etc. At the same time, this type of assessment enables scrutinising of students' deeper understanding of topics covered during normal teaching. Feedback is often an integral part of student presentations.
Student presentations can often be done in-class and hence limit the time spent on exam for the teacher. Student presentations can be combined with a final oral exam, testing similar competences.
A common pitfall in student presentations is that all other students take passive roles. This can be avoided by giving roles to (all) other students in terms of asking questions, challenging conclusions, elaborating, giving feedback on content and presentation skills, or even grading.
A concern is that the quality of the presentations can be variable and therefore not be viewed as “proper” teaching for the audience. Discussion, guidance or supervision before the presentation can improve the quality. This could be done by the lecturer, teaching assistant or by peers.