Sunday, January 14, 2007

Lectures and Powerpoint

For those readers who have taken classes from me you will know that what I am about to describe is very unusual. I am preparing lectures. Yes, real lectures - me standing up at the front of the class and giving an illustrated lecture. And I am using PowerPoint to boot!!

I've actually been asked to do this by my current students. One of their texts, in their opinion (and now in my opinion too), contains too much detail and tried to focus on too many contexts. It makes reading the text quite confusing - especially if you don't have a background in Instructional Design.

My students asked if I couldn't identify the core aspects of the chapters and give explanations that were more directly related to the high school, Business Education context.

I delivered one lecture on the first day of class and there will be more as the semester moves ahead.

I'm enjoying it to my surprise. My usual class of discussion, conversation, etc. is very much different from the structure a 'lecture' brings. The class - it is really two courses back to back - meets for 3 or 4 hours on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. This leaves me enough time to have both kinds of classes - a lecture in between times for talk and sharing.

But I'm feeling kind of guilty using the PowerPoint. A colleague and I have discussed the use and misuse of PowerPoint many times. Her position is that if PowerPoint is going to be used then the power of the media should be used - video, audio, access to the Internet, etc. Right now I am using the PowerPoint as a fancy overhead projector. Perhaps as I keep developing the lectures I will try for some of these other things

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Blogger Alec Couros said...

I think your colleague is correct in some respects. I think you should certainly leverage the capabilities of PowerPoint's multimedia features. However, I also think that if you do use PowerPoint for lectures, you should consider putting the presentations online, perhaps even using screencasts.

Here's an example of a screencast I put together some time back:

10:10 PM  
Anonymous Lona said...

I think that one must first become comfortable with any technology before you can jump in and use it to its fullest capapcity. Baby step it from glorified overhead to "gateway to the world"...

I am impressed to know that you are taking the first step.

9:33 AM  

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