Friday, March 18, 2016

Three Ways To Stop The Power Point Madness and Increase Retention!

Last week I had the unfortunate experience of setting through a 300 PowerPoint slide training session that was delivered in 90 minutes. People it was painful, overwhelming, and frustrating. We have got to put a stop to the "Death by PowerPoint" mentality of training. It is born out of the needs of the instructor more than the needs of the student. Shouldn't it be the other way around?  "Instructors" or more often then not SME (Subject Matter Experts) either want show the students everything they know about the topic or want to make it easier to present by having "it all in the slides." It completely overwhelms the learner and retention of the content plummets. It is like drinking water from a fire hose. You see all the content but you certainly don't quench your thirst. Below are three simple tools we use to reduce slide count and increase the interaction and retention when we teach.
1. Can you build an activity that allows the students to go on a journey of discovery?
If we can give them a simulation that creates a discovery of the learning points then the retention of the material increases and the slide count is reduced. 
2. Could you provide them with the learning points and have them design the lesson and teach the class?
Having them self study the material really increases understand if you are there to help them as a coach and then having them teach it back locks it in. We always say you don't know the content until after you have taught someone else. Its true your prep and their questions really move the learning to a deeper level.
3. Are you pausing the slides to let the student apply what they have learned? The application  of the new knowledge to their world will answer a lot of questions about the relevance and provide them with examples they can take back. As part of the pre-work, ask them to bring data or problems to solve in class. They can use these to apply the new skills.
In the end it is not about the amount of content you cover it is about the amount of material they remember, apply, and benefit from.
Happy learning!