Class Presentations and Student Anxiety: The Ongoing Debate
Class Presentations and Student Anxiety: The Ongoing Debate
PUBLISHED: Wednesday, September 26, 2018 by Andilynn Feddeler

Recently, the debate over class presentations and student anxiety has flared up again, and advocates on both sides of the conversation present convincing arguments. For many students, being forced to talk in front of a class for a grade can be extremely nerve-wracking, and can even lead them to skip class. But public speaking is an important skill, and teachers want to make sure their students have good communication skills in order to be prepared for the “real” world.

The Atlantic brought forth a well-rounded analysis of this debate, weighing in on the benefits of giving presentations as well as the stress they cause. Ultimately, students want to be given an alternative for these assignments, so that those with anxiety do not suffer from the poor grades they may receive if forced to present. Making the classroom a welcoming environment goes a long way in enhancing a student’s education, and if kids are uncomfortable and stressed out about a particular assignment, it might be beneficial to everyone if they are allowed to use another method to learn the material.

Every teacher wants his or her students to be well-rounded learners, but forcing a presentation onto students who struggle with anxiety is often detrimental to their success. Understood.org offers a useful guide to possible accommodations for students with anxiety that can be just as good, or even better, than the dreaded in-class presentations. That being said, presentations are still a great way to improve speaking and organizational abilities in students. This type of assignment can be implemented effectively as long as students are not prevented from the learning process by their own anxieties about the final product. All in all, students just want to be heard and not overlooked. Those who want to learn will learn if given the proper avenues.