Module One: Programme

it’s not worth the money we’re paying for it, lots of the lecturers just read from the slides

In response to feedback from students, this first module explores tools and techniques for delivering engaging presentations.

Cognitive Science research has identified that the ‘information transfer’ model of the traditional lecture doesn’t fit with how humans learn. The brain reduces information into meaningful chunks or categories, which determine how concepts are acquired and retrieved from memory, resulting in the abstraction or generation of inferences.

Research has also confirmed that humans have a 15-20 minute attention span.

It’s advised, therefore, to break lectures into chunks and employ various teaching methods. The ‘In at the Deep End‘ booklet, by Professor Phil Race, offers a range tips and techniques on how you can do this.

In terms of visual presentations, students have complained about ‘too much PowerPoint‘ and ‘reading directly from PowerPoint‘, resulting in tedious lectures with ‘not enough energy‘ in their delivery. As PowerPoint is the most common tool for presentations, but not used as effectively as it might, we are focussing on it in Week Two. We explore alternative tools in other weeks – the full programme being…

  • Week One: 13th – 17th January: Presenting yourself via a Blog (Tool – WordPress)
  • Week Two: 20th – 24th January: PowerPoint
  • Week Three: 27th – 31st: Collaborative Presentation with Prezi
  • Week Four: 3rd – 7th February: Mindmapping with MindMeister
  • Week Five: BREAK
  • Week Six: 17th – 21st February: Emaze – (a cross between PowerPoint and Prezi)
  • Week Seven: 24th – 28th February: Curation Tools
  • Week Eight: 3rd – 7th March: Data Visualisation
  • Week Nine: 10th – 14th March: Cartoons
  • Week Ten: The Flipped Classroom – a face-to-face workshop that aims to advise how presentations can be distributed and used in this model.

Please see the video to meet the presenters and get an overview of each tool. All are free (apart from PowerPoint) and therefore also available for students to create their own presentations.

The Flipped Classroom

This model inverts the traditional teaching model so that lectures are watched online and ‘homework’ is done in face-to-face sessions. For more information see ‘The Flipped Classroom‘ by Learning Technologist, Joan Gavin.



Allison, J., Poverjuc, O. (2013) Uncovering the experiences of First Year Students through video diaries. VC’s Teaching and Learning Conference, Plymouth University.

Cotton, D., Kneale, P. and Nash, P. (2013) Teaching and Learning at Plymouth University:  The First Year Experience.  VC’s Teaching and Learning Conference, Plymouth University.

Middendorf, J. and Kalish, A. (1996) The ‘Change Up’ in Lectures. Teaching Resources Center, Indiana University. The National Teaching & Learning Forum (Vol. 5, No. 2, 1996). (PDF accessed 27.11.13)

Race, P. (2009) In at the Deep End (2nd revised edition 2009). Leeds Met Press. ISBN 978-1-907240-00-3

2 Responses to Module One: Programme

  1. Pingback: DigiThings – New Online Course Exploring Presentation Tools Starting Monday 13th January! - flea...bytes

  2. Pingback: DigiThings – New Online Course Exploring Presentation Tools! - flea...bytes

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