Removing Barriers Using Presentations in Any Asynchronous Online Course

Concurrent Session 5

Session Materials

Brief Abstract

Learn how to integrate asynchronous presentations in any course. Enhance classroom climate and overcome barriers to participating in online environments. Explore rubrics for evaluating online presentations and free presentational tools that meet accessibility standards.


Abby Erpelding is an Assistant Lecturer of Communication Studies. Along with teaching courses in Organizational Communication, Business and Professional Communication, and Leadership Communication, Abby has designed and developed numerous online courses for the Department of Communication Studies.
Kendra Mann is an Assistant Lecturer of Communication Studies. In addition to teaching Exploration of Communication Studies, Senior Seminar in Communication Studies, and Leadership Communication online, she assists students with academic planning and serves as a supportive mentor to her advisees. Her research interests are in the area of Instructional Communication, specifically focusing on immediacy building in an online learning environment. As the Communication Club advisor, she works with students to create opportunities for professional development and community engagement for COMM majors. In her role as Wellness Ambassador, she promotes BSU WorkingWell programs and assembles department walking teams for some friendly, healthy competition among her colleagues. In her leisure time she enjoys painting, applying character makeup, and binge-watching fantasy dramas.

Extended Abstract

As instructors of public speaking in asynchronous online classes, we are interested in improving the course experience for our students. We recognize the barriers to participating, such as various comfort levels with the use of technology and the impersonal nature of the online environment (Muilenburg & Berge, 2005).

In this session we will discuss and show a sample presentation assignment and rubric used in our course to enhance classroom climate and perceived immediacy. This presentation assignment can be integrated into any online course to help professors get to know their students through a short informative presentation about objects the students find meaningful. This assignment has also helped students in our courses feel more connected to their classmates; thus, creating a community and reducing speech anxiety or communication apprehension.

An overview of presentational tools we utilize, including: Screencast-O-Matic, PowToon, YouTube, WebEx, and QuickTime Player will be provided. It is important to find opportunities for our students that are free and meet accessibility standards; all of the tools we will discuss meet said standards.

After this session, participants will be able to:

  • Develop online asynchronous presentation assignments using their own course content and criteria,
  • Enhance classroom climate by minimizing relational distance and communication apprehension,
  • Create rubrics for evaluating online presentations, and
  • Explore presentational tools (e.i. Screencast-O-Matic, PowToon, YouTube, WebEx, QuickTime Player, etc.).

We would like to begin by polling the session attendees for a quick audience analysis and to induce active participation. After our presentation attendees will have five minutes of quiet reflection to brainstorm how they can incorporate asynchronous presentations into their existing courses. During the Q & A portion, participants will pair up and share ideas for how they will incorporate presentations to then share with the larger group.


Muilenburg, L. Y., & Berge, Z. L. (2005). Student barriers to online learning: A factor analytic study. Distance Education, 26(1), 29–48. doi:10.1080/01587910500081269