A colleague recently asked me what my thoughts were on posting slides before class, after class, or at all. Here was my response, in case it’s helpful. Colleagues, Students: What do you think?
I don’t post them until after class for 3 main reasons
- I can’t guarantee they’ll be ready early enough in advance so all students can have a chance to print/review them
- Giving them in advance prohibits me from (a) surprising students with reveals, (b) including the clicker answers in the slides (so students can review later), (c) being spontaneous and responsive to that class (e.g., cutting/adding content/examples in response to what that group needs — if students have the slides, then I have to communicate what we *didn’t* get to and what won’t be tested, adding in what slides we build together during class…)
- There isn’t any scholarly evidence to suggest they help (on average — I recognize that special needs groups may be different).
I do post the class period’s learning objectives before class though, to help (keen) students prioritize while note-taking. Here’s what I put in the syllabus:
PowerPoint slides and handouts will be available after class on our course Connect site. Learning Objectives will be available there before class. Slides cannot be posted before class because they will undermine clicker questions. Moreover, data shows that having notes in advance rather than after class does not influence performance (Babb & Ross, 2009).
Babb, K. A., & Ross, C. (2009). The timing of online lecture slide availability and its effect on attendance, participation, and exam performance. Computers & Education, 52, 868-881. doi: 10.1016/j.compedu.2008.12.009