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 of 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 students as they sit and get the information. In this video, we'll take a look at how we can create presentations which engage the learners, getting them more involved and allowing them to take ownership in their learning. This is important for a number of reasons. The first is to access the students' prior knowledge by asking them a question. This could be a fact or opinion-based question that allows them to share what they already know about the topic.
Next, it provokes thought. It gets the students thinking about the topic. Once they start sharing, it offers a great opportunity for you to give formal feedback to the students and what they already know about the topic. Finally, it's an excellent way to generate discussions. Make it so that the presentation is about everyone there, not just the sage on the stage. Let's take a look at a few slides that I created as examples of ways to engage your students. The first slide here is an extremely simple one, but a very effective way to generate discussion.
That is by posting a simple question. Here I posted, what is photosynthesis? Before I begin talking about it in class, I want the students to offer their insight into what they think that it is. Another great thing to do is to show students a thought-provoking prompt, for example, showing them a picture, a statistic, or a quote, and having them give their interpretation. On this slide, I show a picture of a leaf that clearly has something wrong with it, and asked the question, what is wrong with this leaf? Another example here is a question that doesn't necessarily have a correct answer, but can generate some real heated discussion.
It is, what is the most important part of the tree? Then, sitting back and letting the students share their insight, share their perspective. You can also engage students by providing knowledge checks. For example, here I have the question, what are the plant organelles called that help convert sunlight into energy? Now, when I played this, this would be an animation, so chloroplast would not show up. After they've given their answer, I would reveal that. It's a great way to provide knowledge checks to the students and keep them on task with the presentation.
Finally, I have an example of a thought-provoking quote that generates a ton of discussion every time that I've showed it in class. It's one by scientist Jonas Salk, who said, "If all insects disappeared from Earth, "within 50 years, all life on earth would end. "If all human beings disappeared from Earth, "within 50 years, all forms of life would flourish." Wow, there's something to think about. By adding these elements to your presentation, you'll have your students more attentive, more engaged, and taking ownership in the information that you're providing.
In the next video, we'll take a look at another great way to make presentations engaging.
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