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  • 2021BarkerPhD

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Video as a tool in the development of oral presentation competence among undergraduate law students: An activity theory based analysis

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

  • Charles Barker
Publication date2021
Number of pages234
Awarding Institution
Award date25/09/2021
  • Lancaster University
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This is a single site study in a post-1992 university law school in England using activity theory and phenomenographic methods to explore how video recordings of students’ oral presentations can be used as a feedback tool to support the development of oral presentation competence. Although oral presentation competence development often forms part of the undergraduate law curriculum, it is not always taught well. While there is extensive literature on both the role of feedback in higher education and oral presentation competence development, the link between the two areas has had only limited attention. More particularly, there is very little literature exploring how themes in the feedback literature, such as self-evaluation, may offer a useful insight into the role of video recording in the development of oral presentation competence. Phenomenographic methods are used to analyse students’ perception of the video material (19 participants were interviewed at three points during the academic year). Activity theory is used to reconceptualise the oral presentation competence development activity and to consider how video can best be used as a feedback tool to support the learning activity. The research analysis demonstrates that video can help students to evaluate their own performances and make adjustments to future performances. However, the research also indicates that there are potential barriers to video being used effectively. These barriers can best be overcome by emphasising the social aspects of the activity. In particular, video recordings of student performances should not be focused upon until students have gained experience of evaluation and developed subject specific notions of quality through giving and receiving peer feedback. By reconceptualising the activity to emphasise its social aspects and foregrounding the role of self-evaluation, this research offers an insight into how video can most effectively be used as a feedback tool to support oral presentation competence development.