Death by Powerpoint

PowerPoint has the potential to be a great teaching tool, but it is so often misused!  This theme was a discussion topic for our Media-Enhanced Teaching course, and it sounds like many of us have experienced PowerPoint as a class killer.

I came into a bit of uncertainty with regards to PowerPoint when I was asked to fill-in for an instructor.  This instructor sent me her PowerPoint and said “all you have to do is go through this”.  When I previewed the slides, I only made it to the 3rd one before I knew that there was NO way I was going to subject the class to that.  The slides were plain – black and white, absolutely no images, and tons of text.  BORING!!

So I came up with a plan: I taught the class and used activities to cover the learning objectives.  At the end of the class I let the students know that the PowerPoint was available to them for review on their course webpage.  I felt like this was a good compromise, and also wouldn’t offend the other instructor.  One student even commented after the class that they really enjoyed the class, and that it was very “active” – much better than the death by PowerPoint alternative.

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