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I think there is always a concern that we locate the cause of  
difficulties students experience IN the students themselves. There  
seems to be a tacit assumption built into this discussion that some   
"developmental students" are challenged by doing Powerpoint  
presentations BECAUSE they are so labeled. I think we need to  
interrupt this easy association and think more broadly if we are to  
truly understand the causes of our unmet expectations.

Consider, for instance, many faculty regularly present terrible  
powerpoint presentations. Is anyone suggesting this is BECAUSE they  
are faculty?  I'm pretty practiced at giving presentations and have  
found that Powerpoint can constrain my effectiveness. No less than  
Edward Tufte has written that "Powerpoint makes you dumb" http://www.edwardtufte.com/tufte/nytimes_1203

Instead of working from weakness, you might, in this era of access to  
myriad self-presentation, ask students to identify instances when  
they, and others, have effectively presented something and try to  
distill what makes these instances effective or not. Ask them to  
construct their target, their own criteria.

I suspect there are many reasons why presenters' Powerpoints can be  
ineffective, ranging from understanding of task and audience,  
preparation/practice, domain knowledge, unfamiliarity with the  
software, and inherent limitations of Powerpoint.

I think starting with an articulated task-analysis of what we are  
asking of them (not merely a  rubric, but that's a start) and helping  
students to identify when and when they have not made effective  
presentations and asking them to figure out how they would transfer  
their insights (put into the form of a "checklist" perhaps)  to the  
current task is a core of any approach I would take.

Getting back to the point I made at the outset. Because, ultimately,  
it is a student who "must" make the changes  in their actions,  
thinking, beliefs, etc. to solve a problem and be successful in an  
academic context it does not follow that the problem is inherent in  
them. Many student difficulties arise because of factors or features  
outside of them (such as poor instruction or inexplicit expectations),  
but because of power inequities the responsibility to ameliorate them  
fall to students.

Best,
Nic

On Feb 8, 2010, at 10:34 AM, Gary K. Probst wrote:

> From:  [log in to unmask]
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Sent: Monday, February 8, 2010 Subject:
> Re: developmental students and presentations
>
>
>
> College faculty members need to be enlisted to support developmental  
> students because only they can reward students for practicing what  
> is taught in your developmental studies program.   You could give a  
> seminar to faculty members and students showing how cognitive maps  
> or templates are used as a framework to organize information in a  
> presentation.   For example, the following organization could be  
> used for many topics:
>
> Problem: (define the problem) Developmental students cannot give  
> effective PowerPoint presentations
>    Give examples of problem:
>
> Effect of Problem:   Developmental students cannot participate fully  
> in credit courses
>   Give examples of effect:
>
> Cause of problem:   Inability to develop and use a framework to  
> organize ideas.
>    Give examples of cause:
>
> Solution to the problem:
>    1.   Obtain:   Instruct students to use cognitive maps to  
> organize information when reading and writing.
>    2.   Retain:   Developmental students in college courses
>    3.   Eliminate:   a . Developmental students having a fear and  
> inability of making a class presentation.
>                                  b. Developmental students receiving  
> a poor grade even if they have learned the
>                                       material in the course.
>    4.   Avoid:   a. Having developmental students do poorly because  
> of the inability to organize
>                               information in a required PowerPoint  
> presentation
>                       b. Having the learning center or developmental  
> program appear it is not preparing
>                            students for credit courses.
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "FLC" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Sent: Sunday, February 7, 2010 7:48:40 PM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern
> Subject: Re: developmental students and presentations
>
> It may seem simplistic for me to suggest the following:
> 1. Model the use of PowerPoint with your students.
> 2.Preferably this ought to be done as they are with you in a  
> computer lab
> and can imitate the functions as you demonstrate them
> 3. Encourage  questions after each PP function that is demonstrated.
>
> I hope that this is helpful.    Collegially......
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals
> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Deborah LeClaire
> Sent: Friday, February 05, 2010 2:23 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: developmental students and presentations
>
>
> There is a big movement here to have students give oral  
> presentations/ power
> points to demonstrate their learning.  Recently I have had some  
> faculty come
> to me and say that they are having a difficult time getting the more
> developmental students to be successful in their presentations.
>
> Does anyone know any techniques/research that I can mention to the  
> faculty
> about presentations and developmental students?
>
> Many thanks-
> Deborah
>
>
>
> Deborah LeClaire
> Learning Center Director
> Leech Lake Tribal College
> PO Box 180, 6945 Little Wolf Road NW
> Cass Lake MN 56633
>
> office: (218) 335-4242
> cell: (218) 252-6959
>
>
>
>
>
>
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____________________________________
Dominic (Nic) J. Voge
[log in to unmask]
(609)258-6921

Associate Director
McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning
328C Frist Campus Center
Princeton University
Princeton, NJ 08544


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