Why Do Nursing Instructors Rely So Heavily On PowerPoints To Teach? - page 4

by SarahMaria 12,221 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


  1. 0
    Quote from WANT2BANURSESOON
    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.
    :bowingpur

    Thank you!
  2. 0
    All of my classes in school used powerpoints. The first quarter, I took my own separate notes because I remember better what I handwrite. However, the pace and volume of information was so much that I ended up missing a ton of stuff with hand written notes. I bought a netbook, and started typing my notes in to the powerpoints during lecture. I lost the handwritten memory boost, but was better able to pay attention in class and got more notes down. It was a trade off, and in the end I think I came out ahead with the powerpoints.

    We had some instructors that didn't add much to the powerpoints and we had instructors that added a lot. Between attending lecture and having the powerpoints, our textbooks could be used as reference only, so it really helped focus our studying.

    Reading straight from the powerpoint and adding nothing has more to do with the teacher's talents than powerpoints, which are simple a tool to be used.
  3. 0
    No one on here cares that PowerPoints are used. We're all vehemently against being read to from detail-deficient slides by instructors who can't/won't/don't elaborate on anything beyond what's printed on the slide.
  4. 0
    Quote from ImThatGuy
    No one on here cares that PowerPoints are used. We're all vehemently against being read to from detail-deficient slides by instructors who can't/won't/don't elaborate on anything beyond what's printed on the slide.

    Exactly. It's not the program used that is the problem. I couldn't care less if the information was presented on Word, Excel, written on the board, or distributed on a handout. What bothers me is sitting in a classroom for several hours (possibly having the powerpoints ahead of time) and having an instructor read the material verbatum at me with no additional explanations or details. I understand that powerpoints can be helpful when used correctly as a supplementary learning tool.

    I believe students have become dependent on them because it does some of the work for them. A chapter powerpoint highlights the main, important points to focus on so the student does not have to realize this for themselves. Providing a powerpoint is like a "cheat sheet" so some students can avoid reading the textbook. I don't know if this is a good thing.
  5. 5
    I wish more students felt this way! I sum up the most important points, explain the difficult concepts with a skit or comparison, then we jump into application (ex- watch a video and assess the patient, have a guest speaker with the disorder we're covering, use a case study, have a debate or discussion, etc). After that we wrap up with a few minutes of NCLEX practice questions.

    Yet every semester, I get a few complaints. One was "Why can't we just use PowerPoint? I shouldn't have to write so much in class!" and another wrote "I just want the teacher to tell me what's on the test. I shouldn't have to read on my own time."

    The majority of students report that they love actively participating, but a small but vocal minority gets quite furious if I don't present it in a small, easily spoonfed bundle.

    To be honest, the students learn so much more with active learning. It takes a TON of time for the instructor to design great learning activities. It is frustrating when you go above and beyond and do your best, only to hear the same complaint: "I want PowerPoints! I don't want to read, I want you to tell me."

    I wish I could just fill my class up with motivated learners who want to work! Many of you sound like a teacher's dream students
    Last edit by AOx1 on Dec 18, '10
  6. 2
    Quote from LiveToLearn
    I wish more students felt this way! I sum up the most important points, explain the difficult concepts with a skit or comparison, then we jump into application (ex- watch a video and assess the patient, have a guest speaker with the disorder we're covering, use a case study, have a debate or discussion, etc). After that we wrap up with a few minutes of NCLEX practice questions.

    Yet every semester, I get a few complaints. One was "Why can't we just use PowerPoint? I shouldn't have to write so much in class!" and another wrote "I just want the teacher to tell me what's on the test. I shouldn't have to read on my own time."

    The majority of students report that they love actively participating, but a small but vocal minority gets quite furious if I don't present it in a small, easily spoonfed bundle.
    I'm a very active and participative learner. I do all my reading before coming to class (and take notes on my reading), often finding other sources so that I can delve further. In fact in my program, they don't lecture on all of our reading...so anyone not reading is going to have a very difficult time even passing exams, never mind doing well. I'm not looking to be spoon fed (in fact that really annoys me).

    I am looking to be taught though. I have yet to learn much from the techniques you mentioned above. I would find the skit and the video to be most objectionable, the skit because I'm not in grade school and the video because I could watch a video at home. I don't want to have a "debate or discussion" about the material, as my classmates likely don't know any more about the topic than I do. I'd rather do the case study at home as well, and not waste class time on it.

    What I prefer is for the Professor (the one in the room with years of both academic and clinical experience) to lecture about the topic. I'm paying all this cash at a top university program to learn from accomplished professors....so that's who I'd really prefer to hear speak about the material.
    Gator Girl 2000 and hiddencatRN like this.
  7. 0
    Why would you assume that I'm not the one speaking? I am the one who guides and moderates any discussions. And as I mentioned, the huge majority of my students give this format extremely high rankings. It is all about tailoring the class so that the majority of the students love the learning experience. And no, one couldn't just do the case study at home. These aren't the canned case studies from a book or video. The ones I present use actual patients, where the students and I discuss prioritization and care needs. The patient is present in the classroom.

    The videos are also of real patients who have signed releases to be taped. I don't release them for students to take home.
  8. 0
    if i didn't know better, i would have thought that we were in the same class!!!! my instructor did the exact same thing as far as reading the powerpoints to our class.
  9. 0
    Quote from LiveToLearn
    Why would you assume that I'm not the one speaking? I am the one who guides and moderates any discussions. And as I mentioned, the huge majority of my students give this format extremely high rankings. It is all about tailoring the class so that the majority of the students love the learning experience. And no, one couldn't just do the case study at home. These aren't the canned case studies from a book or video. The ones I present use actual patients, where the students and I discuss prioritization and care needs. The patient is present in the classroom.

    The videos are also of real patients who have signed releases to be taped. I don't release them for students to take home.
    You may be speaking but guiding and moderating aren't providing content. I don't want to have to wait for the class to get around to the point through a guided discussion. I'm not paying to listen to them try and discover the point. These aren't literature classes here, where we're analyzing the authors intended motivation for a specific character. These are nursing classes. We do plenty of small group work, in all of our simulation groups as well as weekly in our clinical seminars....we don't need them in theory.

    I have no doubt this format works well for some others (otherwise, it wouldn't be done at all), it would be nightmare for me. I don't need help interacting with the material....I do plenty of interacting with the material outside of class (it's called studying). I prefer Professor's who teach (and no, as stated earlier, I don't consider skits, videos or small group discussions to be teaching). So, I should clarify...I prefer Professors to teach via a well organized lecture. Add all that information that the book can't or doesn't give us. Help us connect topics to what we've learned already.

    I've never done a "canned" case study before (well, I've read them in the text book, but that's not what we use for class). Ours are created by our faculty and tweaked each year to improve them. It sounds like the only reason yours couldn't be done at home is that you mandate (by design) that they be done in class. You could provide the info they'd need to do it at home, you just don't choose to structure the activity that way.

    We have a course website that only faculty and members or that class have access to. We access streaming videos (including some with patient content) from that site....no one needs to "take them home."

    You mentioned that you feel your style of presenting information to require more of the student....I say it requires far less. You're trying to mandate engagement of the students by the kind of activities, instead of having it be the students responsibility to be engaged with the material.....not the skits and movies and whatever hijinks go on. I don't need to be entertained through class, I don't need a traveling carnival act....I just want to learn.

    Just a comment from an old student...
  10. 0
    I had power points throughout my entire nursing education except my last semester. I had an old school nurse who had her PhD in education and did case studies. At first I was scared of the new teaching style but ended up learning more that semester than every other semester. I think most power points come with the teachers editions of the text books, they do not even have to make them. Many nursing instructors are also working and many are working on their PhD, at least that was my experience, so teaching was their second or third priority.


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