Presentations are usually considered passive; however, this doesn't need to be the case. There are ways in which a presenter can utilize an application like PowerPoint to help create engaging presentations that involve the audience and help them take ownership in their learning.
- [Instructor] Most presentations, or lectures, are passive by nature. Normally, there's a sage on the stage, or instructor, that displays slides to the students and talks about them as the students sit and get the information. In this video, we'll take a look at how you can create more engaging presentations that will not only engage your students, but it will help them to take more ownership in their learning. The first way is to access the students' prior knowledge early in the presentation by asking them a question. This question could be fact or opinion-based. Here, in PowerPoint, I created a question, just a slide, that says, what is photosynthesis, to show the students at the beginning of the presentation.
So, before you begin to talk about the topic, give the students some time to share their prior knowledge, their misconceptions, and their questions. Next, show your students a thought-provoking prompt. For example, showing them a picture, statistic, or quote, and then having them give their interpretation. Here, I created an example, where I put a tree, and in this case we're talking about plants, and here, I would show this prompt to the students, and then continue to ask them questions. So, here is where you would have to have questions that you can ask them.
I would simply start out by saying, what is this? You could ask, "What's happening? "How can you tell? "Is this tree healthy? "Why or why not? "What will eventually happen to this tree?" Now, asking questions that are open-ended, and allow for opinions, or student predictions, seemed to work the best. I highly recommend doing that. Now, here's another one in which I have a picture that I simply would start out and ask what's happening here? Where is this? What is this? What's the reason they're doing it? So, getting your students thinking about the presentation, during it, can be very powerful, and when they are able to share their opinion, their feedback, their guesses, they definitely become more involved.
I have one other example of a quote, one by Jonas Salk, and he said, "If all insects disappeared from Earth, "within fifty years all life on Earth would end. "If all human beings disappeared on Earth, "within fifty years all forms of life would flourish." This is a really thought-provoking quote, and one that, every time I've put it up in the classroom, it has generated a deep discussion. So, highly recommended that you add things like this into your presentation. Now, another great way to engage the students is to periodically post a question, either as a knowledge check, to see if the students are understanding the information, or as a way to generate group discussion.
Here I included one that is more of a knowledge check. So it asks the students, the organelle in plant cells that captures sunlight is A, B, C, and D. Now, this might simply be a knowledge check that I'm not grading, the students have their answer, and then I would proceed to tell them what it is. Now, whereas this question was a knowledge check, you can also create one that just generates discussion. Here I have one that says, what is the most important part of a tree? Now, there's not necessarily a right answer, so this is a great time for students to be able to say their opinion, and support it with facts.
This is another great way to ask questions during your presentation to get students involved. By adding these elements to your presentation, you'll have students more attentive, more engaged, and taking more ownership in the information. Let's recap the different ways that you can use this within a presentation. First, to access prior knowledge, to provoke thought, to give formal feedback to the students, and to generate discussions. Now, in the next video, we'll take a look at another great way to make a presentation more engaging.
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