Turn off that projector!

March 31, 2009

projector1

The best type of learning is active. People learn best by doing, rather than simply listening. Unfortunately too many training course involve sitting and listening to the trainer while watching an endless stream of  poorly designed PowerPoint slides. After a while the audience inevitably starts to lose concentration.

Slides have a role to play in training, but they should be used carefully. They are usually used in a passive way where the trainer talks over the slides. This can be OK for a short while, to introduce concepts or sum up a discussion, but it can get tedious after a while, even if they are well designed.

There are ways of using slides actively. For example by showing pictures on screen which can then be discussed by the class or by using them as the basis of a quiz. But there are plently of other ways of including active elements in a class. For example, brainstorming, exercises, practical demonstrations and role plays.

Introducing variation in courses keeps the audience more involved and interested and breaks up the monotony which can be associated with using one teaching method.

Sometimes it’s a good idea to turn off the projector!

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