Lectures and Lecturing

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Using Powerpoint to support voting

Figure 2a shows a slide I have used in a first year lecture with 120 students to develop interactivity after 15-20 minutes or so have passed. Students are asked to match four statements in each of two columns. I give them a few minutes to do the task and spend the time walking around the lecture theatre offering assistance and teasing out answers. When the lecture is re-convened I ask students to raise their hand if they think statement 1 matches A, B, C or D. I then move on to look at the matches for statements 2, 3 and 4 respectively. In each case I indicate the approximate percentage of students agreeing with each match so they have some idea of how their answer correlates with their peers. I use the animations function in PowerPoint to progressively reveal arrows which connect correct statements with each other. In this way, no students are singled out for embarrassment, they all participate and they all get some feedback (by knowing whether they were in the 'correct' group or not). The whole process takes about 5 or 6 minutes and when the lecture is resumed, everyone, including the lecturer, has had a 'break'.

powerpoint slides with progressive reveal

 

Dawn Nicholson, Senior Learning and Teaching Fellow, Environmental and Geographical Sciences

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