Sharing Powerpoints

I’ve had requests from students in the past, asking me to make my powerpoint presentations available to them. But this is the first semester that I’m seriously considering doing so. I wonder whether other educators and students who read this blog have feelings about and experiences related to this subject that they might be willing to share. On the one hand, I’d love to have students listen and interact rather than frantically scribble down notes during class periods. On the other hand, I’ve shared powerpoint content with colleagues and they have shared theirs with me, and I’ve often included (hopefully) amusing elements and pop culture references that will make no sense if removed from the context of their use in class. Any thoughts?

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  • Josh

    Do you mean pass out copies of the slides for them to look at during lecture? My philosophy prof did this in the larger lecture classes (the smaller were discussion, of course). I found it really helpful. There was space to the right of each slide for us to write notes.

  • Jared

    I have tended to notice less engagement with the material when given the slides. When everything is already there, many students feel no need to take notes and often tune out. Although, I tend to dislike powerpoint in humanities classes in general except for pictures, slides, etc. that are more difficult to incorporate into discussion otherwise.

  • Bill

    Slides will certainly prevent scribbling. And somehow, professor, I’ll just bet you’re quite capable of stimulating the discussion. :)Unless of course there are “right” answers or nobody’s done their reading. 😉 Please do let us know in a month or so how it’s going…

  • James F. McGrath

    What I thought of doing was actually making the powerpoint files themselves available. But I like the idea of perhaps printing the slides into pdfs so that they’d have outlines and images but not the files themselves.

  • Paul Niles

    My two cents, when the prof provided his/her slides and/or notes, I think they got the opposite effect than what they wanted. Knowing that there were notes available it made it very easy to either skip class or tune out – then cram for the test with the slides/notes. You want people taking notes, it keeps them involved, if they don’t have anything to do, they will start thinking about something else.