July 9, 2004, by Teaching at Nottingham

Demonstrations and visual aids in lectures

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Liz Sockett: “I use props a lot in lectures, probably the least today actually, but it’s very important to have something that isn’t just PowerPoint. Not just because it’s monotonous having a lot of PowerPoint – you can hear people starting to get restless because you’ve done a lot of PowerPoint.

“You also have in this mixed group a lot of people who are really trying to understand this and in this sort of class you have got to bear in mind that there are a lot of people who really need you to tell them the detail of the story.

“There are a few people who will just happily take the handouts and learn it all.

“You’re trying to find a happy medium.

“The use of props just brings you back out to talk to people at the front and make a bit more eye contact with them. One of the things I am not particularly good at is eye contact with my audience, it’s not one of my natural things.

“I am there showing them pictures on the board and pointing at the board and I am certainly clear and audible to people, but I am very aware if someone wanted to lip-read me I would be a nightmare because I am side-on rather than face-on and so it makes me come out here, turn to them and say ‘Here is a bit of protein’.

“If this is your linear prion protein that you see here, you can imagine functioning in a cell this thing is folded up and indeed it does fold up. It folds up to give you a structure. It has a tail and that tail here, allows it to insert into the membrane of a cell. So you are looking at a functioning protein that is normally membrane-associated in human cells.”

Liz Sockett
School of Biology

Liz is lecturing on Microbiology (module code C41105) to approximately 150 first year students in a QMC lecture theatre. Produced July 2004.
This video was originally published as part of PESL’s Teaching at Nottingham collection.

Posted in Lectures