Using PowerPoint to Create Student Workstations
Description of the Problem
With adult students, confidentiality is always an issue. Many times adults are uncomfortable with their skill levels. By using PowerPoint to create student workstations, adults will be able to work at their own pace, review and practice as often as they need to.
I plan to create individual lessons that adults can use to supplement their class activities and their written work. The review will not only increase their competency, but it will also help them become more comfortable with the available technology. I really feel that if we do not expose our adult students to technology, we are doing them a disservice.
Description of Proposed Solution
This project will incorporate the use of individual workstations for adult students. PowerPoint will be used to create these workstations, and minimal instruction will be necessary for students to be able to view the workstations. These workstations will be used to supplement materials already available to the students; however, the additional form of media should enhance the learning process.
Adult students enter our classes at all educational levels. Classes are not as structured as in a k-12 setting and instruction is, for the most part, individualized to meet the needs of the learners. We try to use a variety of resources in the educational process, and we always try to incorporate technology in one way or another. The use of workstations will give students the opportunity to use technology in a way to meet their individual needs.
Although the creation of workstations is a time consuming process, topics will be chosen with regard to known academic areas where adult students generally require additional resources. Many students often require additional help with math and grammar. These are topics that can easily be developed into PowerPoint presentations.
The workstations will consist of an introduction to each new concept. This will be done at a readability level that is not beyond the capabilities of our adults. Each new concept will be followed by examples where students can see the actual theory. The examples will be followed by a restatement of the concept and then students will drill and practice the concept. It is important that feedback is provided to the students with regard to their practice, so slides with the answers will be included in the workstation. Students will self-check their practice pages and be required to meet minimal standards. If the standards are not met, students will need to see the instructor for further attention. This may simply be to re-do the workstation or provide other resources for the student to use.
Analysis of Alternative Perspectives/Applications
One suggestion that was made by a student in INSYS400 was to save the presentations in HTML and possibly post them to a web site. This would allow adult students the opportunity to work on the workstations at times and places other than scheduled class times. This is an excellent idea due to the fact that many of our students work with tutors that meet in the public library. They have access to a computer in the library; however, the computer does not have PowerPoint. To have these workstations available on the Web, it would allow students to work with them at times like the one described.
List of References
It is important to list all resources that are used to create the workstations. I have chosen to create a slide at the end of the presentation that lists the sources of the content.
This is an excellent example of providing adult students an opportunity to incorporate technology into their practices. It allows them to work independently and privately which is not always possible in a classroom setting. As students progress with their technology skills they can create their own slides to include in the presentations. PowerPoint is not a difficult program to learn, and it allows for a tremendous amount of creativity. This combination allows for a unique way of providing additional learning opportunities for the students.
Using PowerPoint to Create Student Workstations
Information about the Learners
The learners that will use these workstations are adults enrolled in Adult Basic Education or brush-up classes. This can include low level readers, folks preparing for the GED examination, adults wanting to increase their skills for employment purposes, adults preparing for college entrance exams, or those wanting to increase their knowledge for any other reason.
Expected Outcomes and Purpose
The goal of this lesson actually two-fold. First, it is to provide adult students with supplementary materials appropriate to their learning needs. The other goal is that the use of technology in this non-threatening way will have a positive influence on the adult learners and may increase their curiosity with regard to the use of the computer. It is hopeful that this additional media will provide more practice in the given subject area. This additional practice should provide a more solid base for the students in the given subject area.
List of Necessary Resources
Each student will need a computer that has Microsoft PowerPoint fully installed. The students will also need to have a copy of the student workstation, or it will need to be installed on the computer. Students may also need paper and pencils to complete the practice exercises.
Description of Learning Environment
Adult classroom settings are very similar to k-12 settings, although they may appear to be a bit more relaxed. Students generally work at their own pace, with teachers available for mini-lessons or additional help. Our classrooms are comfortably furnished and students have access to Macintosh computers as well as PC's.
Description of Teaching and Learning Strategies to be Employed
Adult students will have already had an introduction to the topic being addressed in the workstation. The workstations will be used to supplement materials already being used in the classroom. The students will require an introduction to the actual viewing of PowerPoint. Since the viewing is relatively simple, this exercise should not be time consuming. The workstation will be self-explanatory once the student begins working with the presentation; however, the instructor will always be available for additional assistance.
Description of Assessment Measures to be Used
Each workstation will have exercises that need to be mastered before the students can proceed. If competency is not achieved, students will be expected to discuss their progress with the instructor so that further supplementary exercises can be employed. Competency levels will be different depending upon the lessons.
Relationship to Other Learning Experiences
These student workstations are only to be used as supplementary exercises; therefore, they will relate to all other learning that the students are currently experiencing. Any use of technology in an adult classroom has a positive influence on our students and it is hoped that this non-threatening use of technology will have a positive influence on our students.