Monday, August 15, 2011

Performance Based Learning and Death by Powerpoint

I haven't blogged in a few days, I would have to say that is because I have been busily writing, which is good. 

Actually I should say I have been re-writing.  Something was bothering me about my current project and I decided to revamp a lot.  It was a traditional style course and I have completely revamped it to be performance based learning.  Creating performance based learning is, in my opinion, a lot easier to create than traditional learning. 

When the student is encouraged, aka required, to perform in the classroom they will retain the learning better because they were part of it.  Also, in creating performance based learning, I find the key is in creating meaningful activities for the student to perform that will allow for constructive feedback and will enable them to better perform outside of the classroom. 

For example; anyone can give you a sample form.  However if you create a form, receive meaningful feedback on what you have created, and then use that form as a building block to create performance grading criteria, and then use the criteria and the form in evaluation of performance, you will better know if you created the right form, the right criteria to be successful.

Or, at least that is my current approach for this instructional design process.

In addition to writing, I have been researching death by power point. 

So often it seems that instructors who have very comprehensive power point presentations only talk about what is on each slide, and some simply read the slide to the students as a robot could.  Students will tune out the instructor and/or ignore the slides because they are becoming trained on this lazy method of instructing.  Creating a meaningful, relevant power point presentation requires a lot more than simply the ability to translate text to slide.  It requires a learning goal for the slide.  If there is no learning goal, then why bother to take up time with the slide. 

Presentations are not "time fillers" to cover the amount of instructional hours available.  They must be meaningful.  It is also helpful to remember the 6x6 rule No more than 6 characters per line no more than 6 lines per slide.  To violate this rule is to create a presentation that you will read.  Also, to violate this rule will create a presentation that cannot possibly be clearly seen in the back of the room due to decreased font size.  Furthermore, the learner is not there to read a slide, the slides should reinforce key points of your presentation.

Ok so this rant on PowerPoint was created by one I am working on.  Thankfully, my partner agreed to stop cutting limbs off the tree (aka the over sized PowerPoint) and together we are going to start a nice slim seedling that is more meaningful than monstrous.

I recently read an article on the business steps towards creating sizzling power point presentations    The article suggests starting by unleashing your creativity.  Then brainstorming ideas the old fashioned way.  Then decide what supporting elements will drive home the points you want to make,  Granted this article was focused on business, however is highly relevant to all areas of presentations. 

Stop with the boring and start invigorating your students with your presentations.

No comments:

Post a Comment