I do believe that Power Point has ruined the teaching experience. I speak from experience, vast experience, sitting in a classroom, watching the teacher read from the board.... leaving me bored in my chair.
I don't understand it. Long, newsy, two and three sentence points, strung together in a wall of text alleviated only by the italicized titles, adorned the screen in the Rubel Auditorium this morning, just as they had the two weeks before. I read them, digested them, then settled back in my chair so that the instructor could read them aloud.
It would be too much to assume, I imagine, that the room full of adult learners were actually capable of reading them to themselves. The teacher felt the need to read them to us. His voice is loud and clear and full of energy. He reads well.... I have lots and lots of examples to back up my claim.
He's read paragraphs from the novel we're studying, long, dense, already read by the audience, chapters we had devoured on our own but which were being brought back to life on Monday morning. He didn't stop to point out the more interesting sentences. His voice rose and dropped as we were drawn into the story... at least, that was his intent, I suppose. All I could do was seethe.
It's insulting to the students in the room. We are not there because our parents are paying our tuition. We are adults in an adults-only program. We have chosen to be in the room. We have other options, and we selected this one. Other teachers in the program have marveled at the wonderfulness of standing in front of a group of students who have not only read the material, but are able to sit quietly without texting or answering email or surfing the interwebs. We are, in general, an attentive bunch.
But when the information is presented in type before our eyes, it is hard to remain interested in the repetitious recitation of the words. How I wish he would take off from the starting points he's written and let his mind wander to further edges of analysis. How I wish he would expand upon the facts he's presenting. Those facts are clear as bells, right there in bold type in front of my eyes. They need amplification, explanation, context and discussion. They do not require reading aloud.
There are other areas of classroom management in which he is failing, as well. It's a big room and some of the students have small voices; a portable microphone is provided to remedy the inevitable what did she say querying. Unfortunately, the class has its fair share of those who know that what they have to say is of such importance that it cannot wait to be shared - with or without the mic. Not only does he seem incapable of staunching the bloviations, he adds insult to injury by not sharing the voice amplification system. I suppose I should be grateful that my ears were spared the nonsense being spouted - 21st century personal stories have no place in an analysis of Victorian ghost stories. Still, it's frustrating to watch a conversation in which you cannot participate.
I've spoken to the program leader, who is powerless. He's an important professor; she can't presume to give him pedagogical tips.
Why do I continue to attend? I'm enjoying the works we are reading (Christmas Carol, The Woman in White) and I enjoy the company of my fellow students. Today, while he was reading his words aloud to the captive audience, I pretended to follow along as I read on further in the text. I don't want to be rude. I just don't want to waste my time.
Sigh. Not a big problem, but one I needed to get off my chest. Thanks for listening, denizens.