It can be difficult to make lecture materials engaging. You might have some great slide content, but who’s got time to animate, illustrate, and narrate all of their presentations, and still keep them up to date?
You don’t need to be a programmer anymore to convert your lectures into lively multimedia video. Visit Custom Show’s website to review 24 great Powerpoint alternatives, including many free, easy-to-use web apps like PowToons (example below) and My Brainshark with no software download required. Even if you can’t get excited about switching from PPT, your students might. Encourage them to use these apps for assigned student projects, too.
While you’re at it, keep these 5 rules of thumb in mind for your online (or face-to-face) lectures:
- Maximum learning occurs in short lessons of 5-7 minutes. Time your lectures accordingly, and break often for questions and reflection.
- Learners are easily confused by extraneous content. Narrow your focus to “need to know” content and make sure materials relate directly to your learning goals.
- The most powerful lectures include relevant stories and meaningful examples.
- Include simple visuals that explain things clearly, avoid lots of bulleted text.
- Include an introduction and summary, and give contextual refreshers that trigger (and build on) existing knowledge