Why Presentation?

Why exactly you need presentations?

Every teacher knows that it is pretty difficult to retain the attention of class for more than 15 minutes.
It is really a great constraint to compress a whole topic within that 15 minute attention span. This is where
presentation play a role.

Most of the teachers simply convert their lecture notes into power point slides. But this has its own limitation.
It doesn't allow the student to interact and think critically. The role of a good teacher is to stimulate this critical
thought process in his student.

An ideal presentation should follow a set model with an intention to cater to the best needs of the student.

Here in I would like to recall Robert Gagne's Model of instruction.

Robert Gagne's model:

  1. Gaining attention
  2. Informing the learner of the objective
  3. Stimulating the recall of prior learning
  4. Presenting the stimulus
  5. Providing the necessary learning guidance
  6. Eliciting the performance
  7. Providing the feedback
  8. Accessing performance
  9. Enhancing retention and transfer

How to gain attention?

In the present day age of distractions it is rather important to go that extra mile to gain attention of the student. A student who is entering the class will be having a cluttered mind, heavily preoccupied with the events of the day, probable events of the next day etc. The best way to gain attention in this scenario is to raise the voice, providing an interesting visual (this is where a splash screen comes into play).
Over use of multimedia could also prove counterproductive as students are likely to get distracted from the class. They may even loose concentration thinking about the multimedia / anticipating the next multimedia event.
Attention seeker should be an ideal mix of multimedia / voice intonation / .

Preparing the student for the lecture:

Students of the class should be clearly informed about the objectives of the class. This would enable them to concentrate better and to stay focused. The whole blocks of the teaching module should be communicated to the student in very clear terms even before the lecture is begun. This is where Modular teaching really helps. Of course care should be taken in preparing the teaching modules. These modules should preferably be arranged in a sequential order to enable the student to recollect the lecture after the class.

Stimulating recall of prior learning:

Almost all topics need preexisting already learned knowledge skills. In most of the cases the already learned skills go a long way in enabling the student to understand the topic better. Every effort must be made to stimulate the student to recall the already learnt basic knowledge skills.

Presenting the stimulus:

A well primed student will make a good learner. To attract the attention and to enable to student to stay focused the lecture class should be stimulating. Stimulus could be in the form of audio / visuals / screen theatrics.

Providing learning guidance:

This is the most important task of the lecturer. Any student can learn from text books. The role of a teacher is to guide the student in learning and grasping the concept. As the adage goes "A good class is worth a hundred books". The teacher should provide various examples to make the student understand the concept discussed. Images and mnemonics will teach a student to remember the subject better. It has been proved the use of pictures and mnemonics will enable a student to recall the lesson better. Mnemonics should always be introduced towards the end of the class lest the focus of the lesson is lost.

Eliciting the performance:

Any teacher should access the impact he has made on the students. Every effort should be made by the teacher to ascertain whether the students who attended his class has learnt the concepts correctly. They should also be encouraged to provide examples to explain the concepts taught. This can be assessed by well prepared post test. For a post test to be informative a pretest should also be performed before the beginning of the class. The test questions should be carefully framed in such a way to elicit the correct information. The students should also be made to repeat the crucial points of the lesson to enable better retention.

Assessing performance:

A good teacher should not be satisfied with a single class. The student's performance should be evaluated on a continuing basis to ensure better and correct understanding of the subject. They should also be encouraged to practice the lesson adequately by providing them homework. The homework should be tied to the lesson's objectives and should not deviate from it in any way.

Enhancing retention & transfer:

This is the most important aspect of any learning process. This is possible only by continuous practice and skill evaluation during spaced intervals.

With all these aspects in mind a good lecture should be prepared and rehearsed well in advance by the teacher.

"Always start with the end in view".

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