Monday, June 08, 2015

Testing our "Eye-Power"

When I underwent training as a teacher (more than 20 years ago), I recall one of the compulsory modules was about the use of media for teaching and learning. In those days, LCD projector was a rare and novel equipment in the classroom. We would probably see it only once in a blue moon in a more state-of-the-art Lecture Theatre.

A guideline on the use of the transparencies was not more than 8 lines per transparency and the font should be big and clear so that audience can read from far. Well, as transparencies grew obsolete (and today, I guess it's good for the museum), the same guideline should still apply to today's technology as the mode and means and purpose remain relevant.

Nevertheless, increasingly, we notice that more and more people either ignored or are ignorant of this guideline, and started to squeeze as much as possible into a single slide. Sometimes, I wonder if these presenters who packed so much stuff in a single slide had put in enough of thoughts for the audience, and how the audience would receive the info; or the slides are more for their presentation convenience?

So, the key point is - what is the purpose of the slides?
- To communicate the messages to the audience effectively OR
- For the convenience of the presenter to refer and talk?

The above instance (photo) is the more recently encounter in an auditorium, where the presenter was to present some findings to an audience in an auditorium that can sit more than 1000 people. Just wonder if the presenter had over-estimated the size of the projector and think all the smaller text would be 'enlarged' to the desired size? or he/ she was limited by the number of slides that he/ she could put in the presentation?

In fact, such issue has become more and more common in classrooms too. Often, we can find fellow colleagues packed so much things in a slide which, obviously only those seated within the first 10 metres could read. So, how effective are the information being communicated?

Let's revisit the slides after putting them up and ask ourselves, would the slides prepared serve its intended purpose before we put it to use :)

Well, a friend actually humorously suggested to get this equipment to aid reading in such a situation:

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