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Multimedia Presentations Workshop


Why I'm Sticking to 'Talk and Chalk'

Terry Hewitt

Terry Hewitt from the CGU, University of Manchester, acted as devil's advocate at the workshop and argued the case for continuing to use traditional lecturing methods.

'Chalk and Talk' in this case was extended to include OHPs, 35mm slides, as well as the blackboard/whiteboard. The talk largely concentrated on OHPs, since these are the most widely used support aid for lecturers. The main advantages of OHPs are:

They can be created simply with a pen and blank transparency, or from familiar word processors and text editors. Presentation software such as PowerPoint and Persuasion can also be used to create transparencies. Their strengths lie in presenting summary information, with a list of bullet points, with or without extra graphics. Transparencies do tend to be single colour, but with the increasing availability of colour printers more effective transparencies can be produced.

Reliability and portability were themes that cropped up several times during the two days, and were felt to be major barriers to the uptake of electronic presentations. A presenter does not yet feel confident that, without taking all their own equipment, they can go to another site and run their presentation without problems.

OHPs do have a number of problems, particularly in the audience perception of them as old technology and possibly boring. This is increasingly true as younger students are more exposed to high quality graphics and multimedia, and their expectations of presentations increase.

In conclusion, OHPs provide a simple, reliable and effective delivery mechanism for most presentations. Currently multimedia presentations are being held back by the complexity of creation, and the poor quality of many LCD projectors, which are low resolution, require dim lighting and are very expensive.

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