Why Do Nursing Instructors Rely So Heavily On PowerPoints To Teach? - page 11

by SarahMaria

I have completed 3 semesters of Nursing School and so far, every lecture instructor has used PowerPoints in the classroom to teach. This method has been used probably 99% of the time. The PowerPoints are provided ahead of time... Read More


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    I find that difficult to believe since instructors are required to have a minimum of an MSN and experience in their area of expertise. They are human, yes. Some are good, others not so much. Still, there are many hoops to jump throught to become an instructor, and many more to keep your position. It is not easy.

    Teaching is not an easy job. It is much easier to teach one person a skill such as injecting insulin than it is to teach a whole room of people anything at all. You almost have to be a performer. Students today want and expect to be entertained, just lecturing is not good enough. The complaints on this thread are symptomatic of this constant need for entertainment for today's overstimulated brains. Powerpoint is not good enough, lecture is not good enough. Bring the dancers, bring the singers! -"Here we are now, entertain us" (Kurt Cobain).
    AOx1, ProfRN4, and WifeMotherRN like this.
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    Quote from cxg174
    I find that difficult to believe since instructors are required to have a minimum of an MSN and experience in their area of expertise. They are human, yes. Some are good, others not so much. Still, there are many hoops to jump throught to become an instructor, and many more to keep your position. It is not easy.

    Teaching is not an easy job. It is much easier to teach one person a skill such as injecting insulin than it is to teach a whole room of people anything at all. You almost have to be a performer. Students today want and expect to be entertained, just lecturing is not good enough. The complaints on this thread are symptomatic of this constant need for entertainment for today's overstimulated brains. Powerpoint is not good enough, lecture is not good enough. Bring the dancers, bring the singers! -"Here we are now, entertain us" (Kurt Cobain).

    I'd say the majority of us on this thread are actually against skits and entertainment as well as being read to with no ability and/or desire to augment the information on the part of the instructional staff. I've followed this thread pretty closely, and I don't recall anyone complaining that they can't learn from the above noted pedagogical methods. Instead, it would appear that the content of the lessons, rather than the presentation, is the lacking stimulus.

    I can't testify to the rigors of an MSN because I've never undertaken graduate nursing courses, but they seem as if they'd be akin to graduate education classes a few of which I've had. I know a lot of people with M.Ed.s, and very few of them ever complained about difficulty. I've asked all of my faculty about their MSNs as well as assorted APNs I've known over the years, and most of them referred to the content core for their master's degrees not as rigorous but as dull.

    Seems like the classroom dullness pepertuates on into the graduate realm beyond undergraduate nursing as well.

    I'm sure someone will become hostile over this, but relax. You're entitled to your opinions as am I.
    SarahMaria, jjjoy, and CuriousMe like this.
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    Well I have always believed that your education is what you make of it. The graduate nursing courses that I have had were never dull, though the graduate education courses I have had were. That being said, I think that it is a matter of personal interest because I find nursing much more exciting in general than education. Graduate or undergraduate, dull or exciting, I don't think that the thread was based so much on content as it was on method as the original post was discussing the use of Powerpoint slides in the classroom.

    Perhaps some of us are just less critical of our teachers than others. I suppose I have a fairly tolerant nature when it comes to people in general, instructors included. That is probably why I prefer nursing to teaching. I find it difficult to be critical of others and prefer instead to defend and help them. My caretaking nature I suppose. People are always trying to get me to teach classes and I think -why? I have tried it and believe me it is much less stressful to be a nurse.
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    Yeah, the grad edu courses weren't hard, lol. They were dull and uber easy. Probably easier than many undergrad liberal arts courses I've had.

    Life has made me a cynic, btw. I love to learn don't get me wrong. I've taken lots of classes over the years just to take them and learn more in a procotred environment. Learning is one reason I'm back in school. I wanted to learn more about a particular area. However, I've long since dropped the student persona and attend class now more as a customer in a steakhouse. I'm there because I'm hungry for something (knowledge in this case), and I want to like what's fed to me since it isn't cheap.
    Last edit by ImThatGuy on Dec 23, '10
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    The school I graduated from 1 1/2 years ago completely stopped using Power Points this past semester. It seems the professors finally caught on that the majority of students who were sitting there pecking away at their laptops were not supplementing the slides with lecture notes, but shopping or updating their Facebook statuses. Basically they were eliminated just to get people to pay attention during class.
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    All of the instructors at my school use powerpoints when they lecture, but they do it so that they're not just reading off their powerpoint, but they are explaining things and answering questions as we go along. Also, most of them make note packets that go along with the powerpoints, and we fill in the blanks so it's more active learning in that respect as well. I really like this method because you get the traditional lecture with focused notes so you know what you need to have written down, and something to do to keep you awake, plus, slides to see in case you don't hear something. To me, it seems like the best of both worlds.
    nursemarion likes this.
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    Now that is seeing the glass half full! That is exactly what Powerpoint is supposed to do. SingDanceRunLife you have got it!
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    Because students DEMAND it!

    Does that mean that's the only teaching mechanism I use? No. I find particularly in the sub 30 year old students who have grown up with every ounce of technology at their fingertips that they want power point lectures; they want them posted to Blackboard ahead of time so all they have to do is print the slides and come to class, etc. Old fashioned note taking seems to have lost its value to some; well not to A students in my experience.

    I agree with those who say that the powerpoints from the textbooks are useless, they pretty much are. I do post those for students to have as a review. If using a power point presentation, I will often print the slides and bring them to class and leave blanks on slides forcing students to remain engaged in the lecture to get the salient message. I also employ other methods of active learning such as small groups presenting a topic or case study; throwing topics on the board and having students come up and write up there what they know about that topic; review NCLEX questions on the relevant topics (particularly right before an exam). As as educator, I know that not everyone learns the same, yet everyone does PAY the same to be there. It is my job to make sure EVERYONE learns. Just because the majority may PREFER powerpoint does not mean I am obligated to provide as much. I use PP presentations in about 50-60% of my lecturing.

    While I am always interested in constructive feedback, I find it incredibly interesting how students are amazing critics of the teaching methods of nursing educators. Unless a nursing student themselves has been an educator before, I would challenge that person with the question, "What makes you, the novice to my field of expertise, able to judge what methods are the best to convey what I know that YOU need to know to get where you want to go?" Certainly, nursing instructors like anyone else in life exist on a spectrum: a handful are AMAZING and a handful really SUCK (and shouldn't be doing it), most however, land somewhere in the middle. Students often fail to recognize or own their part in the learning process. Many students often have too much going on in their lives (work, family responsibilities, etc). Then when things don't go well academically, it's the fault of the instructor's power points, or the hard exams, etc. When a class does poorly on an exam, I look at the top performers in the class and see how they did. If there are still A's on what the statistics say is a "difficult exam", that means the content still got through. Students may not like that particular instructor's style. Or if that instructor is known to be "hard"; some students won't ever give that instructor the opportunity to be a "good instructor". I would also challenge students to use your voices. By that I mean...if you are not getting what you need...be assertive and let your faculty know what it is you need to understand content and/or be more successful. NO...this does not mean us feeding you answers. But there are several times a semester where a student or group of students approach me with a proposal and I'm willing to re-do something, alter a due date or go over something again simply because I have been presented with an angle I had not previously considered. We are experienced nurses and educators (for the most part), we are NOT mind readers, folks!

    Great thread. But no surprise...nurses are excellent critical thinkers who ask the good and right questions!

    ERNURSEDAD/Runningstork
    Nursing faculty in Chicago
    nursemarion and ProfRN4 like this.
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    Quote from cxg174
    Well I have always believed that your education is what you make of it. The graduate nursing courses that I have had were never dull, though the graduate education courses I have had were. That being said, I think that it is a matter of personal interest because I find nursing much more exciting in general than education. Graduate or undergraduate, dull or exciting, I don't think that the thread was based so much on content as it was on method as the original post was discussing the use of Powerpoint slides in the classroom.

    Perhaps some of us are just less critical of our teachers than others. I suppose I have a fairly tolerant nature when it comes to people in general, instructors included. That is probably why I prefer nursing to teaching. I find it difficult to be critical of others and prefer instead to defend and help them. My caretaking nature I suppose. People are always trying to get me to teach classes and I think -why? I have tried it and believe me it is much less stressful to be a nurse.
    I am the OP, and I feel the need to defend or re-explain the reasoning behind my starting this thread. I do not bore easily, nor do I wish to be entertained in a classroom. I don't know why my intentions/motives are being described for me. No matter what method is used or what material is taught, I just want to learn something.

    I also believe your education is what you make of it. Sitting in an incredibly boring lecture and having an instructor read material at you is not useful for me. I am not criticizing the instructor because I don't know why he/she is instructing in that manner. They could have a very good reason for it, and a lot of students may prefer it. But I go home and teach myself the material. That way may not work for other students. We all learn in different ways.

    I would also qualify for a teaching position in my state (not for nursing) as I have a doctorate, but the standards for instructors at some schools are very low (i.e. bachelors).

    I just do not like your generalizations about the posters on this thread being "overstimulated" and needing to be "entertained". That is not what people have been saying. Actually the opposite. A lot of people have many years of education and more than one degree (me included). We are discussing variances between pre-PowerPoint teaching and current teaching. Nursing instructors have commented here as well.
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    Sorry that you feel this way, but it is true of society in general that people demand more than boring old lecture now as a direct result of the computer age. It is not meant as an insult, the mind is trained to accept more stimulation now, this is both good and bad. It makes teaching more difficult in some ways. I am certainly not trying to interpret your post- I think your post is pretty straighforward.

    These facts about how society and how we use our brains are not my own creation, these are things that are coming to light through research into educational psychology which I recently had to study for a post-grad certificate (Powerpoint slides and all).

    As for preparation to teach- as long as you have more education that those you are teaching you are technically qualified- RN to teach LPNS, BSN to teach ADN, MSN to teach BSN. I don't know of any programs in my area that do not require at least an MSN or PhD to teach nursing, but there may be shortage areas that do accept less. I would imagine that those instructors are also going back to school though.

    If you are not satified as the previous poster said you can always choose to speak up. You are paying for your education so if you have a strong opinion that you are not learning enough tell someone who can change things instead of getting mad at me.


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