The evil reign of PowerPoint Lectures

  1. Maybe I'm the only one, but this is bothering me enough to ask:

    Does anyone else feel like their nursing education has been hijacked by Microsoft PowerPoint?

    I feel like I sit in all of my senior lectures and am fed notes-page after notes-page of fill-in-the-blank format PowerPoint-ed information. My brain isn't required to think about anything besides listening at the moment when my professor says the next "blank," so that I can quickly fill it in and get back to la-la land. If the notes are handed to me/e-mailed to me before class and all that I am doing is filling in the blanks and listening to the professor READ, yes READ exactly what is on the page before me for two straight hours...what is the point?! I usually end up teaching myself all of the info for tests/practice, and although I'm doing well on exams...I feel like I'm paying A LOT of money to teach myself nursing.

    I used to think that I was studying at a very reputable nursing school, and everywhere I have worked -- in clinical, externships and all healthcare fields in the area -- I've heard nothing but positive feedback about the nurses that come out of my program. But most days, I feel like I'm back in junior-high before I learned how to take notes (even in high school it wasn't this bad)....or even worse, bored in church, filling in preacher-made outlines just to pass the time.

    This is just silliness and I'm not sure what to do about it. Anyone experience similar brain-numbing, bored-out-of-your-mind fill in the blank lectures??
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  2. 50 Comments

  3. by   mysterious_one
    I am with you a 100 %. For our final class this first semester, we as a class have to present the lecture instead of the teacher/prof.. She had the nerve to tell us, make sure it is interesting and if no one is learning anything then you didn't do your job. We just had to laugh behind her back. Because we all feel like we teaching ourselfes all this stuff anyways, by reading and researching our books.:chuckle
  4. by   moongirl
    ditto- EVERYTHING is in powerpoint for us. My mentor told me that she actually quit going to class her last semester- till the Program Queen called her on it. SHe replied- Hey I've got an A, without ever sitting thru a lecture, you could say something to me IF my grade was unacceptable, but its not." Most of our instructors just vomit back out to us what is written on the power point. I can read this at home. One of them had us do a lecture as well- hey am I NOT paying for this education?? Lots of students skip lecture- whats the point...??
  5. by   BlueEyedRN
    Oh my gosh, I hated PowerPoint. I remember when teachers first started using it when I was a freshman in college and I wanted to strangle Microsoft for it back then. Teachers have gotten so lazy! A lot of my teachers would just make an outline of the textbook chapter, read it out loud to us, and call it a lecture. The only teacher I actually remember stuff from was the one who didn't use powerpoint at all (thanks heavens that was med/surg). All of the other teachers would make fun of her because she "obviously didn't know how to use a computer." It was always the PowerPoint teachers who wouldn't be able to answer a question. Sooo evil.
  6. by   agoodusername
    I totally agree with you BlueEyedRN -- my med/surg prof was my favorite one because he didn't use PowerPoint at all! It forces you to think about things, because without an outline you have to put it into your own words and therefore remember/are forced to actually pay attention and ask questions for fear of missing something. It's almost like PowerPoint breeds laziness and total lack of critical thinking -- because you're right, nobody thinks about the "blanks" or what is behind them as the professor reads them off, and so nursing -- a profession that MUST be creatively founded and critically thought through, is becoming a black and white checklist profession! It's so depressing.

    What do you think: I've been toying with the idea of putting together a proposal for a research article regarding the effect of the use of PowerPoint in nursing education. I'm really new to the research scene, but after talking with an advisor who is very experienced in it, she told me that a lot of publications are looking for student contributions. I haven't looked too far into the prevalence of studies involving PowerPoint in nursing lectures, but this seems to be an issue not only with all of my classmates, but a lot of nursing students everywhere. I just don't know how to phrase it/present it so that the nursing faculty won't take offense and will actually let me carry out the study.

    Any thoughts?
  7. by   David's Harp
    At least you guys have blanks!

    We're lucky when there's a line of notes next to the slide. All too often, too, the professor tries to put a nifty, highly-detailed picture on a slide, one with captioning in some tiny font, and on the screen it looks great and you look down at your B&W copy and see this big ink Rorshock-style smudge that doesn't resemble the actual picture at all. Good times!
  8. by   cardiacRN2006
    My lectures were also on PP (on a CD that we had to purchase). I liked that I could add all the other stuff in the blanks in addition to all of text that was already there. For instance I can write questions comments or elaborations next to the things that were said. Or I could underline/circle the text and re-write things in English!

    During lecture, I would have my textbook open to the section that we were talking about, and I would highlight anything in the book that the teacher said, and if she said it twice then it would get a star. Then I'd put the page number with the highlight into the PP blanks. It seemed to work out pretty well for me.
  9. by   danh3190
    I find I pay more attention if I take notes by hand instead of scribbling on the PP handouts.

    I think the biggest problem with PP is the noxious effect it has on the instructors themselves. Our best current class (microbiology) uses PP, but the instructor is a retired M.D. who loves the various bugs and diseases. So he uses the slides but augments the info with his own experience.
  10. by   jov
    I find the PP system works out well. I listen to our lecture which includes reading the slides and embellishing them with stories from nursing practice, etc. I circle anything on the slide I think is important and fill in on the side of the notes with anything else. When I go to study, I review the notes and skim through the same section in my textbook. I rewrite the notes, making charts to compare and contrast, this time only keeping the material that wasn't obvious to me the first time through.

    I'm not sure what it is you are wanting instead...I've sat through enough very dry lectures with no PP the first time through college(b4 there were computers LOL), so I can't believe it's PP that's making lecturers uninteresting.
  11. by   NaomieRN
    The power point is great, I get to listen instead of spending time writing.
  12. by   moxy_kel
    I am split on the use of Power Point lectures. Practically ALL of my profs have used power point lectures. Some put everything on the slides and basically regurgitate what is sitting in front of you on the page. This make me drift off and not pay attention.

    My favorite use of power point would be my Mental Health prof. She used power point slides has an outline of what she was going to talk about. It have the topic on the slide, and then would talk about it and refer to the textbook. So i would sit with my textbook open to mark pages she was referring to and write notes. I found this was the best way to learn.

    I think it has become common for profs to just use powerpoint and talk about what is on the slide, and it is time to go back to making us actually LEARN during class instead of drifting off.
  13. by   Elizabeth Hanes
    I understand where the OP is coming from. When I returned to school after a number of years and encountered the PP lecture, I was a bit confounded and even angry. I guess I felt the instructor should somehow mystically impart to me their wisdom, rather than just going over projected slides.

    However, today I come down firmly in the pro-PP camp. I like having most of my notes already recorded, and I use the lecture time to make my own notations explaining or augmenting the slide material. If I don't understand something or want an example, I raise my hand and ask. Plus, if I can't make a lecture or don't feel like going, I can get by quite nicely just by reading over the slides and comparing them to the text. The content of the slides gives me a very good idea of what the instructor's going to want to know on the test, and the organization of the slides makes it easy to study for the exam.

    I'm pretty much a self-learner, which may be why the PP method works for me. Also, like another poster said, I remember sitting through a lot of boring lectures long before PowerPoint even existed!
  14. by   GratefulHeart
    Quote from semisweetchick
    I understand where the OP is coming from. When I returned to school after a number of years and encountered the PP lecture, I was a bit confounded and even angry. I guess I felt the instructor should somehow mystically impart to me their wisdom, rather than just going over projected slides.

    However, today I come down firmly in the pro-PP camp. I like having most of my notes already recorded, and I use the lecture time to make my own notations explaining or augmenting the slide material. If I don't understand something or want an example, I raise my hand and ask. Plus, if I can't make a lecture or don't feel like going, I can get by quite nicely just by reading over the slides and comparing them to the text. The content of the slides gives me a very good idea of what the instructor's going to want to know on the test, and the organization of the slides makes it easy to study for the exam.

    I'm pretty much a self-learner, which may be why the PP method works for me. Also, like another poster said, I remember sitting through a lot of boring lectures long before PowerPoint even existed!
    I agree. I remember the days of the talking heads, LOL. It really is soooooo much nicer having something visual in addition to auditory.

    Most of the time (thus far anyway) the Powerpoint outlines and lectures have been more of a reinforcement for me. The real *work* is what I do on my own when reading and outlining.

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