The Burning E-Learning Question: Does Slide Count Matter?

1158070_876226201.jpgAs I sit down to write this post I’m thinking back on my long lost college days.  Specifically I’m thinking about sitting through Dr. Holland’s endless marketing theory class and his love for all things PowerPoint.  See, Dr. Holland (name changed to protect the not so innocent) only taught night classes.

This was both good and bad.  Good because you only had to go one night a week.  Bad cause you then had to make yourself sit there and pretend to pay attention for the entire 2+ hours that he droned on … and on … and on.

1172265_17837087.jpgHere is what I remember about that class.  The PowerPoint presentations.  Good, right?  Not so much.  See, I can’t remember a single point or topic that we discussed in Marketing Theory.  Instead I just remember the little clocks I would draw beside each slide as I timed how long it took him to move from one box on my outline to the next.  See, Dr. Holland had us trapped for over 2 hours and he was famous for using that time to power through well over 100 slides a night.

An effective teaching method I am sure!

Now let me ask you a question.
Is this what we want to leave in the minds of our students?  Do we want them to look back on our time together and think about drowning in bullet points?  Or do we want them to remember what we had to say?

Our specific situation is further complicated by the fact that most of our students will never meet us face to face.  This is E-Learning, distance learning at its finest and we have to make the most of every word and every slide if we want to make a positive, lasting impression that goes beyond our slide count.

So does slide count matter?

I would say yes, it does.  But, not in the manner that you might think.  I don’t feel that your tally is what counts, instead its your information.

1224529_hourglass.jpgHere is the thing.  E-Learning has to be about a conversation.  Not in the typical sense given the reality of distance education, but rather in the presentation of your topic.  If you do it right, then your audience is engaged and they are learning and conversing with you as you move forward.  If you approach it as a lecture, hello Dr. Holland, then they are just waiting for you to quit talking so they can move on to the next thing on their to-do list.

So go for quality, not quantity.  I think you’ll be happy with the results.

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