Many teachers in Australian universities do everything to make learning more engaging and to break established routine in the educational system. Following such goal, they employ various means for stimulating creativity and originality in their students. One frequent approach of doing this is giving students full freedom of expression and stimulating them to use creative ways to present an assignment.
Reasons & Benefits for Students to Present Their Work
We live in a world where being talented or hard-working is often considered insufficient – nowadays one is expected to know how to properly exploit or harness these positive traits for achieving success. This implies knowing how to interact with people, organize your work, clearly explain content or communicate information, defend your position with powerful arguments, convince others and align with your point of view. Presenting individual work is one way of working towards these abilities.
Becoming good at presentations benefits students in other ways: they overcome anxiety related to public speaking and consequently, can participate in public events more frequently and more productively; they find original effective means to express themselves; both presenters and their colleagues better assimilate content.
25 Ideas of Creative Ways to Present an Assignment
Below is a list of 25 potential suggestions that can be applied:
- Create a PowerPoint for assignment – although it is a fairly standard way of presenting content in educational institutions throughout Australia, it does not mean that format or style used have to be standard.
- Utilise creative drawings, diagrams, animation or a short film to illustrate your ideas.
- Recruit other creative visual means for illustrating a point, explaining a mechanism, process. You could use anything from Lego bricks to your fellow colleagues - imagination is the limit.
- Display it as a fairy-tale – mould complex content so that you end up with an educational and entertaining story for your colleagues.
- Use poetry – if allowed by circumstances, think about presenting your assignment in verse. It definitely requires some skill and vocabulary, but if you enjoy the process and dedicate enough time, it shouldn’t be impossible.
- Try experimenting with different styles. For instance, you could adopt a “dry” style focussed on listing facts, actions, descriptions or alternatively, a more passionate style, sharing your internal states or impressions, with vivid descriptions of the outside world.
- Incorporate paradoxes - these help challenge your audience and seek for an explanation – fortunately, there are enough of these both in the sciences and arts.
- Create mystery – describe mysterious events, phenomena, personalities related to your topic. Mysteries build intrigue, fascinate, and stimulate thinking.
- Employ humour where appropriate. Humour is a special form of creativity. Using it will make your demonstration more entertaining.
- Use personification – objects or processes, phenomena can be represented as people or can be assigned human traits. It makes descriptions more captivating, personal, and emotional. It literally confers them a human face.
- Employ word games when highlighting important points as it is highly creative and shows the author’s wit. They make readers want to memorize these combinations and appreciate the author’s skill in playing with words.
- Utilise exaggeration – itis an important creativity tool that helps highlight certain things and raise them from monotonous background. Such exaggerations may sensitize an otherwise inert audience.
- Employ absurd. Absurdity is yet another instrument which aids in breaking through reader’s inertness, playing with their reason rather than with feelings.
- Recruit symbols, comparisons, antithesis, other figures of speech or literary devices.
- Provide vivid and highly original examples. Examples are essential in speeding up understanding and for validating the listener’s understanding or interpretation, which boosts the listener’s confidence that he/ she got things right. Shocking, vibrant examples find a solid place in an audience’s memory.
- Utilise analogies whenever explaining complex concepts or when willing to illustrate specific aspects of certain objects, processes, etc. Besides making explanations more friendly, analogies (especially unusual ones) help engrave the heard content in long-term memory.
- Even assignments on quantitative reasoning or exercises can sometimes be presented creatively, for instance by using ingenious visualization approaches, computer simulations, or even hands on activities.
- Create a poster with the information from your assignment. Be ready to answer questions and provide explanations to those that will view this poster.
- Write your assignment in a pamphlet format and show it to your colleagues.
- Design a physical model which would assist your presentation and would facilitate explanations.
- Create a photo album to enhance your demonstration. It could be made from photos belonging to you or from images assembled from various Australian photographers – what really counts is the message.
- Present your assignment as a question and answer session that would help dive step by step into the pursued topic.
- Engage with the audience in other manners – mix in some direct questions, role playing, briefly ask for ideas or interpretations before providing yours or even poll opinions on various issues prior to presenting your content. When the audience take sides, express opinions, they are way more engaged and reactive.
- Administer a short quiz for your colleagues and then present the results and comment on them with what you’ve learned when completing the assignment– this is especially useful when dealing with preconceived notions, stereotypes, etc.
- Create an exhibit – it could be especially helpful, for instance, when dealing with assignments related to exploration of Australian or foreign culture.
These tips on creative ways to present an assignment are just a starting point – the only limiting factor when deciding how it should be done is the student’s imagination. Hence, students should feel free to use these methods directly, combine them creatively, or even invent their own ways.