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Using PowerPoint in Classroom Discussion

Using PowerPoint in Classroom Discussion

30 May, 2016

PowerPoint presentations are one of the tools used during lectures. Before, acetates were used and these were undeniably boring and consume a lot of time. Instructors had to write the lesson in acetates. Some may print it on the acetates but this was actually a waste of time. Today, PowerPoint presentations are widely utilized.

Advantages of Using PowerPoint

PowerPoint presentations and has a lot of benefits. However, a teacher should be aware on how to utilize it. When used appropriately, PowerPoint can:

  • Frame a lecture.
  • Promote student involvement.
  • Highlight important material.
  • Integrate complex graphics and video.

Designing an effective presentation

It might be a modern tool but a teacher must be able to design it properly so that students will be interested. Here are some suggestions:

  • Consider what information and key concepts you want students to pay attention to.
  • Give visual organizers, such as agendas or chevrons that indicate where you are within a lecture.
  • Keep text to a minimum to prevent students from merely taking notes and listening passively, and be conscious of color choices for accessibility.
  • Use PowerPoint to deliver visual ideas, such as graphs, tables, and images that are not easily represented in other ways.
  • Integrate questions directly into the slides and give students time to discuss and answer them. Also consider also using i>Clickers.
  • Include a video and frame it with questions students can discuss.
  • Make sure that your PowerPoint presentation is supported with other forms of communication such as classroom discussion, handouts, and videos.

Integrating PowerPoint into a course

A teacher should be knowledgeable on how to incorporate PowerPoint presentations in a syllabus. Here are some reminders you should consider.

  • Think of your PowerPoint presentation as a tool to support instead of replacing your classroom instruction.
  • Note how students are responding to the information.
  • Give time for questions and clarifications at regular intervals.
  • Turn your screen black (press the “B” button on the keyboard) or white (press the “W” button) when your class lecture or discussion has nothing to do with a slide.
  • Aim to incorporate a couple of interactive activities during each lecture session.
  • Have students create their own PowerPoint presentations as part of an assignment.

Should you provide PowerPoint presentations electronically?

PowerPoint lets you to provide your students with class presentation documents electronically.

  • Providing students with presentations before or after a class can reinforce ideas and make learning material easily accessible, but may adversely affect class attendance.
  • Giving students with skeletal presentation slides can support note taking, but may interfere with students’ ability to organize their own thoughts to take notes.
  • Providing students with slides, questions, or videos before a session can introduce students to the class topics.
  • Giving electronic slides only to students who request them.