What is your favorite lecture style, as a student?

Straight lecture
Lecture with chalkboard
Lecture with powerpoint
Multimedia extravaganza
U2/Pink Floyd style stage show
Other (elaborate please)

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Offline Sal Atticum

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Lecture styles
« on: September 02, 2006, 05:44:49 pm »
What are your favorite lecture styles?

I have a confession to make:  I hate Microsoft Powerpoint.  I dislike using it to present, and I especially don't like listening to lectures that are designed around the Powerpoint format of bullet-item, bullet-item, picture with no significance, bullet-item, summary.  Why is this?  Allow me to explain, before you track me down by my IP address and burn my shoes.

There are a number of different things to consider when deciding what is a 'good' lecture style.  First and foremost should be (in my opinion) teaching the material to the people attending the lecture.  Otherwise, what is the point?  A lecture is a transfer of information from the professor (who should know more) to the students (who, on average, know very little).  For everyone to be happy, the method of transfer needs to be one that works for the greatest number of students.  There is a subdivision here; for what reason is the material being taught?  Is it to align oneself with teaching standards and a do-the-minimum, cya approach?  Or does the professor actually want the students to understand and learn the information being presented.  I hope that it is the second case, since those professors who want you to learn (as opposed to those who just want you to pass the class) are more exciting to learn from.

There is, of course the difference between those students who want to learn to know the material and those who want to learn to pass the class.

Secondly, do the students understand it, or are they just able to parrot it back at the end of the semester?  The first is the best, since you get the ability to parrot, in addition to even more understanding of the material and the ability to debate it to some degree.  Debating (in science, at least) is becoming increasingly more common, except that we have to debate with people who actually know very little, and try to convince them that their worldview and what has been shown to be fact by science do NOT, in fact, have to be at odds with each other.  But I digress in a very garbled manner.

I've forgotten what number I was on and, in any case, it does not matter since I have been intermingling my points.  What I wanted to say was this:  I think that powerpoint presentations are only hurting us as a culture because they add to the I-have-a-short-attention-span-so-only-show-me-pictures-and-sound-bites-and-give-me-the-powerpoint-to-cram-from-right-before-the-test syndrome afflicting the entire country.  I've yet to see a powerpoint that, on its own, was not a superficial review of material at ahnd.  It may be my experience with learning from old-school professors, but I can't take a presentation seriously if it's shown on a computer screen.  There is no data, (or there maybe I don't learn from it, even when I take notes.  I end up copying down what is up there, since I was taught to write down everything the professor does, and especially when they enumerate.  Anyway, powerpoint presentations skip over that.  They're like an interlude between meaningful information, and I cannot pay attention.  How can I expect to learn when it is obvious that the professor is putting NO EFFORT into their teaching?  That's an overstatement, since I know that it takes a lot fo work to make a powerpoint that will work for what you want it to do, but then what?  They don't have to think up original thoughts on the fly, the class is scripted.  It is a dead thing.  I could learn just as well from any other person clicking through the slides.

Pictures are important in science, as I have said.  You cannot have a full undertsanding of anything until you try to recreate it.  You don't realize how hard it is to fly to the moon until you try, or how hard it is to sail a sailboat, or what it takes to write a good essay (which this is not), until you try.  You can especially not appreciate Picasso or Da Vinci until you try to draw or paint, and you can't fully understand morphoogy (of anything) until you either have to draw it or build it.  This resulted in a lot of drawing during my undergrad, and even though I am still horrible at it, I at least can remember what it was I was supposed to be learning--and how many people can really say that?

This has gone on far too long, and I welcome someone else's input.  So vote away, and reply, if only to tell me that I can't write.

Offline commando eli

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Re: Lecture styles
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2006, 02:41:06 pm »
I hate power point!
You would be surprised what matt will do for a cookie and a glass of orange juice. -rvb

Offline wxgirl

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Re: Lecture styles
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2006, 10:28:45 pm »
Powerpoint if used properly is not that bad.  However reading off the slides is not teaching with powerpoint.  Professors that just read off of powerpoint slides and add nothing to it whatsoever ... should just put thier powerpoints online and tell the class to not bother to show up. 
"Celebrate we will for life is short but sweet for certain"~DMB

Offline lynsey

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Re: Lecture styles
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2006, 11:11:50 pm »
Lecture is sort of "out" in the educational world. UND's secondary education program teaches their students not to do it because students don't learn that way. I think it's going to have a trickle down effect, starting with high schools and moving into colleges eventually.


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