Tonight I went retro. Tired of PowerPoint slides, I took to the board with my dry erase markers. I was a little anxious about this, because for the first time the students would not have lecture notes posted to Blackboard, and, (horrors!) they will HAVE TO TAKE NOTES. And, worse, this is right on the tail of receiving their mid-semester feedback, which included a few comments to the affect of wanting MORE text in the presentation, not LESS. But, I listened to my gut instead of my head, because I knew that the type of information I was presenting was better suited to a more interactive, explanatory style. I was going to explain basic statistical concepts to career counseling students. I just didn’t see how a zen PowerPoint was going to cut it.
So they wouldn’t think I had ignored their feedback, I made sure to explain before my lecture that this material would be better explained verbally.
Results: The statistical and math concepts went well. I was able to draw, stop, talk, ask, explain and draw again. Once I filled up the board, rather than erase and write again I decided to present the rest of the information verbally. Unfortunately students kept asking “is that under #1?” See, I was describing the steps for deciding on an instrument. Because I knew the material well, and a lot of it is common sense to me, I didn’t focus on the organizational level of the information, but rather presented it in order and connected the ideas. I think part of the problem here is that because of my experience, I don’t see this information as strictly linear, but since my students are new at this, they do. Lesson learned. Next time I will either use a transparency or outline it in the board. And I will not assume my students share my conceptual background.