What if best practice is too expensive? Feedback on oral presentations and efficient use of resources

We evaluate feedback methods for oral presentations used in training non-quantitative research skills (literature review and various associated tasks). Training is provided through a credit-bearing module taught to MSc students of banking, economics and finance in the UK. Monitoring oral presentations and providing ‘best practice’ feedback is very resource-intensive. Do we withdraw oral presentations from the module, because best feedback practice is prohibitively expensive in a world of limited resources, or choose a second-best alternative? To what extent might the latter compromise intended learning outcomes? We used the same provision of video feedback for all students but used two verbal feedback regimes. For one regime, we decreased the amount of verbal feedback and increased the number of presentations. The impact was measured by academic outcome, rating scales and questionnaire. Overall satisfaction with the module was very high for both feedback regimes, and there were no statistically significant differences between regimes, suggesting that less resource-intensive methods need not compromise learning outcomes.