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Lectures (aka death by PPT?)

By Murray Bourne, 13 Dec 2004

Definition of a College professor: someone who talks in other people's sleep...
(W. H. Auden)

So how long can students concentrate in a lecture? A brilliant speaker, giving a one-off lecture (and this is important), can hold the attention of a group of interested adults for an hour, easily. But the same person going to a weekly lecture with disinterested students may not have the same effect.

From my observations, key issues are...

  • Is the lecturer involving the students in the learning (or just raving on in his own world)?
  • Is the lecturer entertaining (not necessarily funny, but certainly interesting)?
  • Does the lecturer give activity and reflection breaks so that students can engage in what they are being told?
  • Is there variety (use of images, case studies, videos, music) or is it "death by PowerPoint"?
  • How many 'factoids' are there? In some cases, 70 PPT slides in one hour with 5 dot points on each - how can you learn?

See the 1 Comment below.

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