David Read

      Thanks @amon , @timr and @lynnen for your contributions. I think it can be confusing sometimes to consider these principles in relation to giving a presentation as it does in the article. I think the reason I chose the article is that it gives a fairly good summary of the six principles and presentations are something we have all experienced and given, so it’s very familiar context for us.

      At the same time, we also tend to think of presentations as done ‘live’ (whether online or face to face) so we have an audience. In this course the focus is more on creating asynchronous content, so content that is accessed by an individual at a time of their own choosing. It’s likely to be recorded in some format or use software to create interactions. Certainly in a ‘live’ setting we may want to put more text on slides to give support, as it’s possible that students might miss something due to the lecturer speaking too fast, mumbling words, distractions etc, but in an asynchronous context, students have more time to control the speed of what they take in, so we may be able to adhere more to principles of effective learning, such as providing audio input before written input.

      However, as Lynne points out, it’s very difficult to generalise as what might seem to be appropriate in one discipline might not work so well in another. So, in mechanical engineering it’s perhaps easier to introduce a principle through images of objects and recorded voiceover, but a lot trickier for example when teaching how to write a paragraph. Which is probably true. But at the same time, there are ways to help students understand paragraph writing that doesn’t involve slapping huge amounts of text on the screen for them to look through. We can help them by providing a visual representation of a paragraph through diagrams or colours and talking through it before showing them a textual version. I think the idea is not that we never put text on the screen, but rather introducing new ideas via visuals and audio might help them at the start and avoid too much cognitive overload. Anyhow, I’d love to hear all of your thoughts on these points as we go through the units.