Nursing Classroom Education: The big bang of powerpoint slavery - page 4

by Floridatrail2006 | 11,338 Views | 48 Comments

I have recently graduated and having a fair amount of time on my hands (jobless, thousands of applications filled out and resumes polished) I wouldn't mind giving an open, honest opinion of educators and the practices. There... Read More


  1. 1
    Quote from Tait
    While I will preface that the overall tone of this thread is negative and blaming, I do understand the frustration.

    As someone finishing their MSN-Ed I have been preparing ppts for class and did a few for my practicum experience with new grads in an acute care hospital setting. Personally I LOVE preparing ppts. I love the challenge of creating something visually stimulating. However, I can not stand sitting through a lecture where someone reads from the ppt. I love nursing, learning, etc etc, but there is something mind-numbing and painful about a dry, lackluster, blue background ppt presentation.

    My goal with ppt is to creating something stimulating, with bites of information to support the conversation of the topic.

    Some of the things ppt can do in a classroom is:

    Give students something tactile to write on.
    Give students something visual to look at.
    Give instructors something that moves conversation along. For example, when I get done discussing a patient scenario or if students get off track with questions, you can always advance the ppt. This draws the student attention back to the fact that there is content to be explored.
    Reminds the instructor of the direction of the class.

    The hard part of nursing education, as others have stated, and really with any educators is passion, ability, and skill. I have a friend who can explain complicated chemistry to anyone. That is a gift. I feel I have always been blessed with an ability to educate, which is why I am continuing my education down that path.

    Nursing education has a particularly hard slant in my opinion when it comes to teaching. There is a rare integration of science and humanity in nursing that often leaves nursing students feeling like their education is worthless. "Oh I just learn rote crap" or "I want to take care of patients, not write care plans". Integrating the two does, as you stated, involve sharing patient stories in my opinion. I didn't understand CHF until I watch a patient sit tri-pod over her table, gasping for air.

    Anyway, back to the point, ppts are intended to support a strong speaker and should be used accordingly, however many also use them as a crutch. While this is frustrating, nursing is about lifelong learning and being able to acquire information through class and your own power. Evaluations are intended for a reason, and even through my MSN I still gave viable feedback. LEt your instructors know, in a respectful way, the details of your frustrations. Don't just say "powerpoints are boring" say "During the med-surg lecture on CHF I felt it would be more helpful to veer away from the powerpoint and provide more patient centered examples from practice."

    If you pick up Patricia Benner's book "Nursing Education: A Radical Call for Change" you will see that nursing faculty on all levels are aware that no specific program (ADN, diploma, BSN) are doing everything right. There are a lot of strengths from each program that need to be combined to bring nursing education to the level it needs to be at. Pretty soon nursing students will be in classes with students of RT, PT, and MD so that the whole process of interdisciplinary care and teamwork can be taught at the most basic of levels.

    Tait
    ^Spot ON Tait!!!

    I found BOTH of my PN and BSN programs were very interactive with the student body. There were a few that could have done better in my PN class, but such is the life of the adult student.

    My BSN program had more teachers that wanted to prepare for the NCLEX and the role of student nurse observing the profession we were entering. We were on the fence, so to speak, and was able to toe the line and stick our foot into the real nursing world and recognizing the NCLEX world.
    Tait likes this.
  2. 1
    Quote from GrnTea
    I loathe PP, mostly because I have been able to create fun and engaging presentations much better with Keynote, the Apple presentation product. I always get great reviews with 'em, too. I have hardly ever seen a PP presentation of any kind that didn't have technical glitches or broken effects; that this is still going on after it's been on the market for so long is appalling. And BORING.

    When I taught in BSN and ADN programs, I used overheads, too, because it was easy to write on them and have the whole lecture hall see better than if I were writing on the board. But the best thing I did for my students was give them a note-taking outline. This had the main points (but NOT all the whole content of the lecture), some questions to think about and answer as we went along, and lots of white space for them to fill in-- with notes, doodles, pictures from the slides, whatever. Then they could take it and use it to make more notes from any other source-- texts, journals, study group-- they loved it. Nobody else did this for them.

    It took some extra time and trouble, but as I was always fond of asking, "Why do we care about this?" Because, in this case, we want the students to learn it.

    In my case, I also went to a lot of presentations at professional conferences to see how somebody else presented familiar material. I learned a lot from other folks like that.
    What you provided your students is called a 'graphic organizer' in the homeschooling world.

    And I know a chemistry instructor who provides these to her class of remedial students with tremendous results.
    WineCountryRN likes this.
  3. 0
    I am a new educator and have mostly taught clinical and just recently started doing some didactic instruction. I love to teach, but for so many reasons, I just do not know if I have didactic in me long-term. Just wanted to throw out a few points.

    I find students DEMAND Power Points. If you have ever tried to lecture without a PowerPoint, they freak out. So what happens is faculty feels they have to make Power Points, even if they are not comfortable with it, or really even enjoy it as a teaching method. There were no Power Points when I went to school 15 years ago. You took a furious amount of notes and read the book!

    We have to teach subjects that we are not experts on. This is difficult. We can't be experts at everything. For example: I have a strong critical care background in trauma and ICU. I am not strong in heme-onc, but if that is a requirement of the semester, I have to teach it. Schools are not able to find experts in every subject. That makes material flow less smoothly than it should.

    People learn differently. Some people want traditional lectures. Some want more interactive methods. Some despise group work, while others love it. You simply cannot please everyone! The majority of my students are only focused on what will be on the test. That is the reality of it.

    When I try different techniques in class, I seem to get a lot of grumbling and complaining. I blame much of the PowerPoint, spoon-feeding culture on secondary education. Unfortunately, many students are used to being taught-to-the-test and that is what they are expecting in college as well. I am already questioning my career decisions, because students might be harder to please than patients and families! I wish every nurse could try teaching at some point. I spend so many hours preparing lectures. There is so much to do, with not enough time and certainly not enough appreciation. Hmmm, sounds familiar?
  4. 3
    Quote from daisy78
    When I try different techniques in class, I seem to get a lot of grumbling and complaining. I blame much of the PowerPoint, spoon-feeding culture on secondary education. Unfortunately, many students are used to being taught-to-the-test and that is what they are expecting in college as well.
    So true ...
    WineCountryRN, llg, and Altra like this.
  5. 2
    I use lots of ppts; they keep me on track and moving. Since my students have access to them I don't have to stop and wait for pencils to stop moving before I can move on. I don't have to spend a lot of time scribbling on the board, and my students can far more easily interact with me; not a lot of heads down writing as fast as they can.

    No, I don't read them, I use them as outlines and jumping off places. I use a great many anecdotes, physical demonstrations and pictures. I could describe some of the abnormal findings we look for, but a picture of it with a verbal description really makes it come to life.

    There are a lot of guidelines about writing good powerpoints, such as limits to amount of info on any given page, use of fonts both style and size, colors, backgrounds.

    In short, they are a tool, and tools are only as good or bad as those that wield them.
    llg and Tait like this.
  6. 1
    Quote from JBudd

    In short, they are a tool, and tools are only as good or bad as those that wield them.
    Yep!!!!
    llg likes this.
  7. 2
    I also agree that it is a tool and I never just get up there and read off my PowerPoint!
    llg and Tait like this.
  8. 0
    As I've read through the commencts, I've noticed some patterns among people.

    First, students that commented generally agreed with me. I wonder how many others agree with this idea of powerpoints, within the classroom, that aren't willing to speak up. I know there are plenty of students out there that aren't willing jeopordize their grade. Eventhough, grades are not affected by evaluations. This is a common superstition/misunderstanding among students I've noticed.

    The educators that did comment seemed to use powerpoint the way it is intended. I'm wondering, then, what about all the ones out that aren't? And, will it ever change? Especially, when I read comments from people like, "Sadly I don't think anyone evaluates if faculty is doing a good or bad job!!!" I'm get concerned. I'm accountable and report to my instructors while in school. Who do the instructors report to? Is the faculty self-governing and wouldn't change? I doubt it but a concern nonetheless.

    I read a few educators mention that there would be an uproar among the students IF pp wasn't used. This is odd because I haven't seen that much. Now, there are the select few that hound the school's site looking for the exact moment the pp is posted for in-class notes. Overall, the people I went to school with, behind closed doors, have very similar complaints as I. I was only person, as far as I know, that spoke up.

    I liked in particular when someone said, "Nursing is a rare integration of science and humanity." I agree with that. It's difficult to teach empathy or great listening and communication skills. However, there are many parts of nursing that could be taught with visuals, hands-on activities, crisper pp, etc. Unfortunately, though, I did not see a lot of that. The pp were more words than pictures. One instructor put pictures up in response to what I had said. However, as a whole, it was story time at my college. In addition, when I've written my letters to the faculty, I've been respectful. However, honesty from one may seem disrespectful to another. I do, at times, have a sarcastic tone. I write this way to get my point acrossed because I'm exhausted from the current state of affairs. I realize that sarcastic and super negative writing will get my letters thrown in the garbage in the professional world. Or, at least likely to.

    "I think I understand the problem, but am not so sure of the solution."

    Someone wrote this. I guess we've got that general feelings about pp and educator techniques discussed.

    So, how does one fix this issue?
  9. 0
    Quote from Floridatrail2006

    "I think I understand the problem, but am not so sure of the solution."

    Someone wrote this. I guess we've got that general feelings about pp and educator techniques discussed.

    So, how does one fix this issue?
    I noticed a complete lack of discussion on educating techniques through my MSN program. I also noticed that most of the ppts I saw from classmates were boring, uninspired, and down right ugly. I think giving nursing educator students better feedback on teaching techniques and tool usage would be a great start. Funny thing is though, the example in the back of our current book "Evidence-Based Practice in Nursing & Healthcare" by Melnyk & Fineout-Overholt is just as boring as anything I have seen instructors use. And these presentations are supposed to get administrators and staff excited about big time changes in practice! Hah!
  10. 3
    I think that ideally we integrate different methods of teaching (lecture, case studies, hands on in clinical and lab, discussions, simulations). I think you may have to realize that you are fairly unique in your expectations. My experience (as a student and instructor) is completely opposite of what you are stating. I do not like that I always have to go in with a Power Point and when I hand out a case study everyone rolls their eyes. I also think if you do have the opportunity to teach in the future, it will give you an entirely different perspective. I do have to prepare students for entry-level, safe practice. I do have to prepare them to take NCLEX. It is not always going to be exciting, unfortunately.
    JBudd, Altra, and Floridatrail2006 like this.


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