Sunday, October 02, 2011

Why I hate Profs with slides

You've all read my lists so you know I try to avoid negative posts, but this is something which really irks me. Professors who you massively long, un-posted slides. If you know what I'm talking about and agree then comment below, if you disagree even better, we'll start a discussion!

My sociology of deviance and crime professor loves slides. His slides portray a few of the the worst mistakes profs can make when they choose to use a slide over talking or using a chalk board. My prof's crimes are using cartoons, video clips, excessively wordy points, and random unrelated 'cute' or 'funny' pictures. Of course we've all had profs who are guilty of the crime of slides, but this one manages to do everything wrong he possible can.

Slides can be a great aid in the class room, used correctly. They should be used to illustrate points and show diagrams. Video clips are definitely helpful when they reinforce the point or issue a professor wants to make. On the other hand slides the misuse and abuse of slides limits there power. The slides turn into a distraction for the student instead of an aid in helping them learn. They tend to have too many pictures and not enough info. We do not want to see pictures of a cute cat or comics every other slide, fine, maybe it helps us remember them better because it is enjoyable, but I'd rather not be distracted from the important point the professor is making about labelling theory, thank you very much. Some professors have to much info and not enough points, also putting giant quotes in your slides is not helpful for the student. We will try to write EVERYTHING down (and I mean EVERYTHING!) so if you put everything up there then we are not going to listen to a word you say. Videos are also another issue, they are great in slides, but when you decide to throw in a random video that has little or no meaning to the rest of the course it becomes a distraction. Random movie clips are fine, but not useful. I am paying a lot of money to come and learn from you, I do not want to see videos of ninjas or dead people.

When used correctly slides are super useful. They should short, with just a few points about the topic on each one. They should contain difficult to spell words and terms important to the course. They should contain diagrams and short video clips critical to the understand of the current topic. Often profs choose not to post slides online, because they believe that it will cut down on class attendance. If the slides are down properly they will still have people attending classes. The students who don't want to show up will probably not show up regardless of the slides or not and if the slides are done correctly they will still need to show up for classes. The worst thing about slides is how distracting they are! I cannot keep up with what the professor is saying AND write down his/her massive slide at the same time. Profs also forget to put important bits on slides, and they will instead talk about them, but you still have this long slide to write down so you miss their important point and blah it all goes to hell!

Please professors, use slides CAREFULLY and makes sure they are not a distraction to your class. If you are having students ask you to go back so they can finish copying down the definition to a complex term THEN YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG! The student should be asking you to explain the term again, not mindlessly scribbling without their brain interpreting what you say. Anyway my point is: please use slides carefully! Do not make them the focus of your class they aren't, you are.


Who? said...

Every time I read one of your posts, I dislike you even more.

Terri said...

...then don't read them.