I’ve only been teaching at the college level for a few terms. One of the chief complaints I hear from students about PowerPoint lectures (from other instructors!) is the unbearable boredom when a professor uses the pre-packaged presentations included with the course textbook. These CDs contain mostly bullet-point outlines of the entire book.
Yes, you read that right. Bullet-point outlines of an entire textbook.
Professors read this mess for an hour or two. In front of their classes!
With all we know about learning and cognitive function, you’d think that professors — dedicated to a career of imparting knowledge — might spend a minute or two understanding that this approach doesn’t help students understand course material. You’d think that textbook publishers — also dedicated to the art of imparting knowledge — might actually read a book or ten about brain function.
PowerPoint expert Ellen Finkelstein poses an excellent question in her LinkedIn group, Great Communicators! Effective Presenting & PowerPoint. Ellen asks,
With so much information about good presentation techniques available, why are there so many Death by PowerPoint presentations given every single day?
Great question, Ellen. You can read some of the answers on her LinkedIn Group… and chime in with your own answers, too.
If you’ve ever experienced a bullet-point textbook presentation, you might enjoy this classic video on YouTube that parodies the horror. Wait for the Q&A session near the end — classic.