Re: Outliners/agenders LO2985
Fri, 29 Sep 95 15:44:59 EST

Replying to LO2907 --

Responding to DeKoven:

'Soft presentation' is a good term. I think your use of displays and a
forcing function (participants contributing to the displays) can achieve
an important objective, which is to get the attention off the presenter.
An 'open presentation', while good in many respects, doesn't regularly
achieve this.

I've observed that, in school settings at least, there is an obvious split
between the open and closed presentation. There is also a split between
students who prefer one or the other. I despised closed presentations. I
remember one professor who lectured from detailed notes that he refined
over 8 years of repetition. Other students thought it was great. I
learned the most from a loosey-goosey professor who challenged us to
formulate questions, expose ourselves, and find things out. I can't
remember a word from either, but only one had a lasting effect.

When I became a professor (short-lived) I lectured on topics where I had a
lot done but was still thinking. About a third of the students found this
to be a revelation and were completely turned on. The others were
confused. One was right down the middle. She said, "Either you are
wrong, or I've been ripped off for the last three and a half years." In
their evaluations of me I scored low on "teacher is prepared". Wrong! I
spent a lot of time setting up problems and amassing a lot of material
that I could use in any order, depending on the direction of dialogue.
But apparently I did not succeed in getting the attention away from me and
toward the material and to their own preparation. Of course the
evaluation question was loaded against me. A better question might be,
"Did the instructor engender and sustain thought and dialogue among
students that developed understanding of the material, to the extent the
students were capable?"

Kent Myers       Richard S. Carson Assocs,  Falls Church, VA