Heading Out

Seeking the winds that help to sail on Shakespeare's tide.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Catching attention

The other day I was invited, along with a motley crew of other faculty to make a short presentation to a group of students trying to decide which elective to take next semester. For some reason I got to go first and decided to stick around, eat the pizza and listen to the other faculty. We had 4 minutes each and could provide Powerpoint slides which could be included in the general handout. I not only sent the slides early but also took copies as handouts. I noted that only one other faculty did, and both of our piles were gone by the time we started talking.

I began with a small joke (the only other relatively self-deprecating talk was by another faculty slightly older than I). I showed pictures of what they could do with knowledge from my class (and skimmed without dwelling on them on the detail slides) and I finished on time.

Why bring this up? Because several of the junior faculty lost their audience almost immediately by going into great detail on course structure, grading policy etc and did not really explain the value (in whatever currency) of what they cover. And let's face it it was a bit of a competition. So we'll see how it turns out in numbers at the start of next semester. But it takes little more effort to send a couple of good Powerpoints for the compilation (you should have them in class notes already) than it does to provide relatively scruffy overheads that were hard to read by the third row (and the auditorium had people all over it).

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