Why Do Nursing Instructors Rely So Heavily On PowerPoints To Teach? - page 2

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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    Don't blame the Powerpoint! I suspect that so much material is crammed into so short a time that for instructors to cover all of the content the solution too often is to read, quickly and without elaboration, non-stop through dozens of pages of material.

    Even before Powerpoint became ubiquitous, too many of my nursing instructors seemed to do just that - no time for questions, elaborations, examples, etc. Why bother having students all come together for lecture at all if the instructors are just going to read out loud to them, and read so fast that's there really no time to process the info before moving right along to the next and the next and the next?

    If I reviewed the material ahead of time, then at least the 'lecture' could function as a mandatory speed review of the reading materials. It didn't help with comprehension or even retention, but it did increase my familiarity with the 'nursing language' and general nursing considerations associated with whatever units we were covering at that time (pediatrics, oncology, etc)
    Last edit by jjjoy on Dec 16, '10
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    [quote=jjjoy;4687056]Don't blame the Powerpoint! Why bother having students all come together for lecture at all if the instructors are just going to read out loud to them? quote]


    You made some excellent points.

    I do not blame PowerPoint. I believe PowerPoint should be used as a supplementary teaching tool, not the sole means of instruction. If they are utilized properly in the classroom, PowerPoint presentations can be great. Instructors need to take the time to individualize them (i.e. not use the manufacturer's version), use other teaching materials, encourage student participation, and use varying methods of instruction.

    I have been a student for a while and dealt with many instructors (I have a BA and JD). Throughout 10 years in various colleges, I have never had a teacher who stood in front of the class and read off a screen at us. It is so boring, tedious, and I see no point in attending class.
    ImThatGuy likes this.
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    I think many students learn much better if the teacher says a fact and then writes it down on a chalkboard or whiteboard. Watching him/her write it actually reinforces it in the brain. It's like getting it twice. I also don't like using powerpoint printouts for studying. It is not the best way to learn IMO.
    ImThatGuy likes this.
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    Quote from EJM
    I think many students learn much better if the teacher says a fact and then writes it down on a chalkboard or whiteboard. Watching him/her write it actually reinforces it in the brain. It's like getting it twice. I also don't like using powerpoint printouts for studying. It is not the best way to learn IMO.
    I know this method helped me and was pretty close to how my Med/Surg teacher did things with his "care map" method. He would discuss it and write it and have active conversations with us going on about it. We have one teacher that pretty much buts things directly from the book on her power point and reads it. It's SO BORING and I often think "Why did I even bother coming to lecture when this is straight out of the book" Some of my other teachers used PP as a guide and always added to it. That was better than the previous method but my favorite was my Med/Surg teacher.
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    Quote from EJM
    I think many students learn much better if the teacher says a fact and then writes it down on a chalkboard or whiteboard. Watching him/her write it actually reinforces it in the brain. It's like getting it twice. I also don't like using powerpoint printouts for studying. It is not the best way to learn IMO.
    That is my least favorite lecture style. I'm so freaked out about getting everything down, that I can't pay attention nearly as well.

    I MUCH prefer a PowerPoint.
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    Quote from CuriousMe
    That is my least favorite lecture style. I'm so freaked out about getting everything down, that I can't pay attention nearly as well.

    I MUCH prefer a PowerPoint.
    We all have different learning styles, likes and dislikes. I just wish teachers would branch out from their powerpoints. It seems like our schools (a large chunk of them anyway) are stuck on it.
    ~Mi Vida Loca~RN likes this.
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    I actually like power points. My biology teacher has been proven quite good at presenting the material via power point. Along the way, she would read off of it and elaborate on each point on the slide. I think its an excellent tool but only for supplimenting the reading. Relying too much on the power point put me into trouble my last bio exam before the final and I got a 86%. My average is still an A though :].
    CuriousMe likes this.
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    Quote from EJM
    We all have different learning styles, likes and dislikes. I just wish teachers would branch out from their powerpoints. It seems like our schools (a large chunk of them anyway) are stuck on it.
    We do all learn differently. I dislike when Prof's try and get creative with presenting information. I don't want to play games, join small discussion groups and emote about the topic, or frantically try and keep up with a Prof writing chicken scratch on a white board while trying to understand what they're talking about.

    I want to go to a lecture, by a knowledgeable professor with a well organized PowerPoint, and learn.

    This was one of the ways I chose my current program.
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    Quote from jjjoy
    Don't blame the Powerpoint! I suspect that so much material is crammed into so short a time that for instructors to cover all of the content the solution too often is to read, quickly and without elaboration, non-stop through dozens of pages of material.

    Even before Powerpoint became ubiquitous, too many of my nursing instructors seemed to do just that - no time for questions, elaborations, examples, etc. Why bother having students all come together for lecture at all if the instructors are just going to read out loud to them, and read so fast that's there really no time to process the info before moving right along to the next and the next and the next?

    If I reviewed the material ahead of time, then at least the 'lecture' could function as a mandatory speed review of the reading materials. It didn't help with comprehension or even retention, but it did increase my familiarity with the 'nursing language' and general nursing considerations associated with whatever units we were covering at that time (pediatrics, oncology, etc)
    I think your point is very well-taken (no pun intended---PowerPoint, point, sorry.) However, not all PowerPoints are created equally. In one of my courses over the summer, a couple of classmates created a PowerPoint that was truly a work of art---it was well organized, visually appealing, and captured everyone's interest. It was an amazing piece of work. Not saying that all PowerPoints have to live up to this high of a standard, but there's a huge difference between a presentation that augments learning and one that bores the audience into a stupor. Canned PowerPoints often have the latter effect on many people.

    I agree completely that reading the material before lecture is an excellent way to increase one's active learning. However, it is mind-numbing to sit in a class or a presentation and have someone read the slides verbatim. I agree that it is difficult when instructors read so quickly that there is no time to process information or to ask questions.

    I agree that one cannot entirely blame the PowerPoint and one cannot entirely blame the instructor. Learning takes effort and there are students who will tune out even the most interesting lectures or the most captivating PowerPoints. However, there are times when it's appropriate to point out that the emperor wears no clothes and that the instructor may not be the most gifted in terms of organizing or delivering content.
    jjjoy and SarahMaria like this.
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    Quote from 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 for download on a website, so students can bring them to class. Then, the instructor projects the PowerPoint on a screen and READS it at us for the lecture period (3-4 hours). Occasionally, there is a student question or the instructor may add something.
    Why is this type of "teaching" popular? Why am I spending money to go to class to have somebody read to me when I am fully capable of reading the same material in the comfort of my own home? It seems lazy and insulting to my intelligence.

    Any thoughts? Does anyone else have this experience? Does anyone benefit from this method of instruction?

    I hate it too. Fortunately, I got my first degree before the PowerPoint craze so I didn't have to endure it then. Now, however, is a different story. I guess it prevents them from having to write on a board, and they can more readily recycle their lesson plan for the next class. Realistically, it's to provide a medium for non-auditory learners, i.e. the visual learner, but I don't ever see anyone looking at them. I can't stand being read to like that. All that said, I don't like activities, group projects, team discussions, etc. I want to sit, be spoken to, and dismissed. If I choose to read anything it'll be select chapters of the textbook that interest me.

    Quite simply, nursing school is death by PowerPoint. Police academy is the same way, FYI, if you ever decide to change sides. I spent over 300 clock hours watching PowerPoint slides change, and the instructors there didn't do anything BUT read to you.

    I am absolutely, positively, thoroughly convinced that the didactics of ANY RN and/or BSN program could be completed entirely online.

    I wanted to add that you're not "supposed" to put but four to five short, concise statements on a slide and limit the number of the slides. Also, I cannot stand when a teacher, nursing or otherwise, is unable to answer a question when the answer is not a direct statment from the PowePoint or textbook. If you can't elaborate, move on. I know you can't be an expert in everything, but if you're going to teach something then try to know more than the paragraph in the textbook or on the ppt says.
    Last edit by ImThatGuy on Dec 17, '10
    Moogie and Faith213 like this.


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