Should Lecturers Read Copiously From PowerPoint Slides To Students?
The act of teaching is aimed at reaching the hearts of the learners so that the content to be delivered would elicit the required learning outcomes. One viable instrument that lecturers who are technologically inclined and that has also been generally adopted as the modern trend of lecture delivery is the PowerPoint presentation slides using a projector and the computer system. As its name implies, PowerPoint slides showcase the powered or main points of a lesson. Explanations of these powered points shown on the screen are occasionally given by the lecturer as the lesson progresses. It is noted today that most lecturers copiously read from the PowerPoint slide projected to the students in verbatim. This is raising great concern amongst educational managers, and students alike.
Most of these people feel that when a lecturer copiously reads from PowerPoint slides, it is a sign of lack of preparation on his or her part for the lesson. Owing to this, such lecturers are not able to offer the learning content with much fluidity affecting the teaching and learning activities negatively. Students are unable to focus fully on the lesson since their minds are thwarted to the unpreparedness of the lecturer. Also, since the lecturer is profusely reading from the slides, it greatly affects the required constant eye contact with his/her students.
Good preparation, which is a benchmark of a good lecturer, is evident in how s/he delivers the lesson via the PowerPoint slides. Instead of copiously reading from the slides, s/he only refers to them at few glances while engaging in the delivery at length with emphasis on eye contact with the students. Doing this would signal to him the effect of the lesson to the students, whether it is sinking well with them or not, so as to make the necessary changes in the delivery style as and when it becomes necessary at any point of the lesson delivery. This does not imply in any way that a lecturer cannot read any of the powered points. S/he can only do this when an emphasis is being made or a quotation becomes relevant in driving home a point. Flexibility with the PowerPoint presentations and not using the glued words on the screen bolsters the confidence of the lecturer as well as the confidence students have in his/her ability to accurately deliver the content to be taught. Lecturers need to remember that the PowerPoint presentation is a facilitating device for the lecture delivery and not the lecturing medium or lecturer. It must be used effectively to aid in the smooth delivery of content.