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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.

One Comment on “Lectures (aka death by PPT?)”

  1. Tang Kim Seng says:

    Good stuff! I strongly agreed with the research findings. I also agreed that variety in terms of images, videos, etc. is important because they speak volumes. And there should not be too much facts thrown in at any one go. How true when I recalled how some of my University lecturers lost my interests during their lectures. I guess they did not read this.

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