Why Do Nursing Instructors Rely So Heavily On PowerPoints To Teach? - page 3

by SarahMaria

11,921 Views | 121 Comments

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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    Quote from ImThatGuy
    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.

    I completely agree. Beautifully written. Same as you, I received my BA and JD without any PowerPoint presentations. My undergraduate and law professors were incredibly knowledgeable and able to think on their feet. Some would use notes, others would lecture without any aids at all. Most encouraged avid student participation to keep class interesting and engaging.

    I also agree that group work, projects, quizzes, and activities are very juvenile, and I think instructors do these types of "learning" methods to avoid having to teach.

    I think you are absolutely right. The entire curriculum (except clinical) of nursing school can be self-taught either online or through textbooks.
  2. 5
    Why do we rely on it? Because it's what you guys want

    Obviously not ALL of you, but let me tell you, on the rare occasion that I walked into lecture without it (due to my technical ineptitude ), the class would literally freak out!! I'd often go into my rendition of 'back when I was in Nursing School..."

    But it's true. Before the days of PP, nursing students did what they had to do: record lectures, and/or wrote until their hands fell off. I would go home and rewrite my lectures (so they looked neat, color-coded for my own purposes, and it reinforced it).

    I put a lot of effort into my PPs. I may start off with the 'canned' version (for consistancy purposes, as I have gotten nailed for giving info that conflictw with the text). I add lots of pictures, graphs, charts. I do not read it word for word, and I say a lot more than is what is on the slides (whcih leads to students complaining that there is not enough on the PP). The Powerpoint should not be the lecture; if that were the case, I could e-mail it to you, and you wouldn't have to come to class.

    I have seen colleagues read right off the slides, load the slides with every little thing, and use the canned version. I cringe
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    I appreciate your sense of humor, Nurse Educate! And if your students don't appreciate your efforts now, they probably will at a later point. I do wonder if you happen to teach more younger, first-time students as opposed to older, second-degree students. Or maybe they all come across as whiney!

    Quote from nurse educate
    But it's true. Before the days of PP, nursing students did what they had to do: record lectures, and/or wrote until their hands fell off... .The Powerpoint should not be the lecture; if that were the case, I could e-mail it to you, and you wouldn't have to come to class.
    Even in pre-Powerpoint days, if lecture was just an almost verbatim repeat of the text, why bother? I did have some non-nursing classes that were dull like that, but most weren't. On the other hand, most nursing lectures were a mind-numbing, very rushed, almost exact repeat of major chunks of the text. Let's see, 30 seconds per page for a three hour lecture, minus a short break... that would 'cover' about 300 pages of text.

    I may start off with the 'canned' version (for consistancy purposes, as I have gotten nailed for giving info that conflictw with the text).
    I again blame the system, not so much the instructors in regard to so much controversy over lecture/text conflict. Instructors have to use NCLEX style questions and so often rely on test banks instead of writing their own. It's not like the instructor is going to read through every page of the 1000+ page text book and then record and listen to every word of their lectures to ensure there aren't any conflicts or inaccuracies between the text, lecture and test questions. Add to that that the test covers just a very small fraction of the content studied, that the wording of some questions is not straight forward and that there's a very small margin of error (eg 82% to pass), of course students will nit-pick every question they get wrong!
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    My posters have stated very well that Powerpoints are tools. As an individual who has spent time on both sides of the desk, and also long before there were even computers, I think I may have something to add. Back in the day (when coal was still alive), I had some profs who were great teachers, and some who were dismal. The same can be said today, nothing really changes. A good teacher will use tools to fit in with his/ her strengths, and make up for their weaknesses. In my opinion, a good teacher can teach almost anything. The criteria that are used to select teachers is suspect. I have an advanced degree, but I know I am a lousy teacher, but I bet some school out there would hire me. Doubt if the system will ever change though. Lucky is the student who finds that rare individual, a real teacher, because true inspiration can be found!
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    I survived pre-PowerPoint without taking copious notes.
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    Many of my profs use power points, but not all. Some make Word documents with blanks in them for us to print out and fill out through out lecture. I had one professor, for Peds, who did used case studies as her main format. Not many people enjoyed that, but I did. The profs who do use power points use them responsibly (except the one who skips 15-20 out of the 60 slides)
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    I have had instructors who were completely lost and couldn't lecture when the PP projector wasn't working. I often suggested we use the book to follow along and instruct like they did before power points...but then the instructor has to actually know what is in the text.
    ChristineN and TERRYKOZ like this.
  8. 0
    Quote from dudette10
    You've got the "teachers" that read the powerpoints (I had one of those), then you have the instructors who provide the powerpoints as a study/review tool and as a way to organize a lecture.

    For me, it's not the use of powerpoints that is the issue; it's how the teacher uses them. Most teachers that I've had know how to use them properly.

    ETA: My first go 'round in school involved no powerpoints at all. In fact, personal computers were a luxury that nearly no college student had. Back then (when I walked 10 miles to school in five feet deep snow , we would take notes by writing like crazy in our notebooks. I would rather have some of the notes provided for me on the ppt's with the instructor's lecture and my notes supplementing what is already there.

    I completely understand what you mean... I've been in school for a while now.. and I know a good instructor when I see one... I've had a nursing instructor where she would just read off the powerpoints... and I was like.... HUH????? why do I need to drive 1 WHOLE HOUR to school to listen to you read the powerpoint notes when I can do that myself at home; but, on the other hand, there are those instructors (usually w/ more experience) that utilize powerpoint notes differently... in a much more effective way... where they thoroughly explain the process and go into details and give examples or further explanations of the material, which really helps aid in learning...
  9. 1
    Quote from Kentuckymom23
    I have had instructors who were completely lost and couldn't lecture when the PP projector wasn't working. I often suggested we use the book to follow along and instruct like they did before power points...but then the instructor has to actually know what is in the text.
    Same here. Ask a question not on the ppt slide, and you get the deer in the headlights look. What happened to critical thinking?
    TERRYKOZ likes this.
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    My issue isn't the powerpoints. Powerpoint, as a program, can be used in great ways as a supplement to a lecture. My problem is when teacher sit there and read the slides to you.

    In fact, I also went to school in the days before powerpoints were used, and here is the thing. There were still professors who wrote out lecture notes for themselves and proceeded to read off those notes.

    The problem isn't so much the powerpoints, but the style of lecturing where you are being READ TO.

    Powerpoint, in itself, is actually a great tool. You should be able to put up a point on a slide, and then as a teacher, EXPLAIN the point in your lecture. You shouldn't have to read this from notes!

    For example, while studying, for example, enzymes. I would think that a great slide would be "Enzymes and Substrates : Lock and Key Model" with some sort of a clip or animation showing how the enzyme and substrate fit together. This should be followed up by the professor EXPLAINING what this means and taking questions.

    Powerpoint can be a really great tool, because in the prepowerpoint days I felt like I was doing a lot of rote "copying" from the board.

    Lecture should be the time where a human person is EXPLAINING the material in print (or in this case, on the screen).

    If I just wanted to read words, there are tons of books out there that could do the same thing- that isn't what I am paying for or why I attend class.

    I'm not in nursing school yet, but this is what i've found in the prerequisite courses.
    Moogie and CuriousMe like this.


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