When slides are used effectively in a classroom, they’re a valuable aid for learners and a great tool for facilitators. When used poorly…well, I don’t need to explain the result. Suffice it to say that many people call it Death by PowerPoint when slides are used ineffectively. In the most recent Debrief video blog post I share some of the ways you can ensure that your slides contribute to the learning process rather than detract from it.
One of the most important things to keep in mind when using slides in a classroom session is that slides are an aid to the learning process; they are not the learning process. A well-designed session will include a variety of training aids. This can include slides that visually present information and concepts, along with activities, discussions and exercises that do not rely on the use of slides.
Knowing how to maximize the use of slides in the classroom will ensure that they aid the learning process. Where you stand and where you look will show the group where your focus is. Your focus should almost always be on the group, not on the slides.
– Stand facing the group most of the time, with your laptop screen easily in view so that you don’t have to turn your back on the group to see the slides.
– Give yourself room to move so that you can join the group, return to the leading position or even sit down to change the dynamics of the discussion. That means giving up the podium and using a small table instead.
– As you move to new topics or breakout into an activity, ensure that the slides support the new change. If you aren’t using slides for the new topic or activity, use the “b” or “w” keys to blank out the screen.
– Use slides to engage learners. Post a question on a slide to generate discussion or use slides to give instructions for an activity or exercise.
– Keep the content on the screen to a minimum. Stick to key words and use lots of visuals to present concepts and ideas.