PowerPoint Lectures

The use of PowerPoint and other digital media CAN greatly enhance a traditional lecture.

Pre-preparing visual aids in PowerPoint allows the instructor to select the best possible aids to support his/her message.

And once prepared presentations may be re-used or re-purposed. Use of colour, animation, sound, video clips etc can provide a highly stimulating experience for the audience.

Additionally the use of a computer in the lecture room allows the instructor to illustrate theory with online simulations and to demonstrate quality external Web resources that learners may explore more fully at their leisure.

Notice that I say PowerPoint etc CAN greatly enhance the traditional lecture. PowerPoint or other technologies are not a substitute for effective instructional technique. Nor should they REPLACE traditional teaching methods. Rather they should sit alongside tried and trusted techniques in the instructors toolkit.

In particular PowerPoint should not allow lectures to become pre-scripted events at the expense of interactivity. Instructors should continue to be aware of how their lecture is being received – or should be even more aware as they don’t need to spend half the time with their back to the audience. Similarly instructors should avoid racing through material just because they don’t need to scribble it on the board.

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