G. M. RAKIBUL ISLAM and RIDWANUL MOSRUR
Now a days, the role of technology in education is very crucial. The importance of the uses of technologies in education, specially in higher education, is rising day by day. To meet the need, different initiatives (for example- training for developing digital content, developing multimedia classroom etc) have been taken by the government. But, there is always a question, how effectively the technology is being used in higher education.
Multimedia presentation is the mostly used teaching-learning method among the technology-based methods and approaches in higher education. Sometimes, teacher uses multimedia presentation in the classroom to teach the desired lesson. The teaching-learning process goes through the questions-answers among the teacher and students. Sometimes, teacher assigns some group or individual assignments where multimedia presentations need to be used. In this approach, a presenter or a group of presenters (who are the students) present the assigned topic(s). Usually it is found that- the presenter is very serious during the presentation and afraid a bit and the teacher observes the presentation while most of the students are busy with their own jobs denying the speech and discussion that is going on. The next presenter group is busy with their own presentation; very often they remain absent at that time and stay busy with their presentation.
When the presentation comes to the end, the question-answer session begins to allow further scopes of learning and clarifying regarding the concepts. Often, the question-answer session is being omitted due to the shortage of time as the class hour goes over. In this session, the students ask some questions; they ask whatever they want to know; and often they ask something to make the presenter stuck and grab some fun by this. Sometimes, arranged questions are being asked by someone which is a set-up by the presenter himself/herself. Then the class teacher discusses a bit about the topic and declares the ending. But here is a question regarding the learning outcomes, the most important things, are achieved in what extent. Many people think that, it is an error of the method. Other thinks that, the problem is with applying approach of this method.
It is true that, the output of anything is dependent on how we use it. Regarding this, it can be said that the best outcome of multimedia presentation method depends on the proper application of it in higher education. Everyone may agree that, this method is far effective than the traditional but popular ‘lecture method’ in the perspective of Bangladesh. But how can we apply this multimedia presentation in higher education more effectively?
At University level, one of the prime target of education is to storm learner’s brain regarding the subject matter at in-depth level. Multimedia presentation method could be a very effective method to storm learner’s brain if it could be used properly. Sometimes the teacher or the student– who present the subject-matter, just recite the sentences and words of the slides like a Parrot, denying what the audience could be able to understand. This can only bring failure to this method. But, if he/she presents this with some humor and practical discussion with the main points written in the slides, the teaching-learning process could be very successful. Many, while presenting, create a very monotonous flow in order to make the audience understood any critical subject matter, could be avoided at least in this way. Beside this, instead of presenting critical subject matters at elaborated and monotonous way, it could be better to present the basic superstructure of the knowledge with synthesized synopsis and the direction of knowing more regarding that.
Instead of making the slides messy with huge texts, it is better to use graphical illustration with less text. The slides should be easy and simple, thus it could be easily understood what has been presented there in the slide. Beside this, audio-visual elements could be use there to make it perfectly multimedia presentation. Presentation need to theoretically synoptic but joyful. But, it needs to be academic and to ensure that the amount of joyful elements are need to be consciously controlled in the presentation.
Instead of conducting a class with a prolonged presentation, it is better to conduct that class with other activities along with a 5-7 minutes presentation. Otherwise, diversified relevant activities should be organized within the prolonged presentation. For example, a class on ‘the impact of education on social life’ can be organized in this way- first identifying pupils’ experience and opinions, then presenting the society at macro and micro level through multimedia presentation, then discussing the relation between society and education in lecture method (can take the help of multimedia slides but the discussion should be very lively as a story), then presenting the impact of education in the slides, then pupils’ discussions and opinions, question-answer session and finally showing something (photos or visual elements) thus the pupils would not stop thinking regarding that subject-matter after the ending of this class.
Multimedia presentation is only helpful for shadowing the weakness of a teacher/presenter but it allows the opportunity to make something remarkable to a skilled presenter. If you want success, please do not stand with a overnight-made presentation, but start planning from the beginning – think what exceptional you can do there. Remember 5P (PPPPP- Prior Preparation Prevents Poor Performance) can help to earn success. Keep in mind that- lecturing and reciting the writings of presentation slides not only make the learners bored but also make you tired. The learners will enjoy a session when you will engage them and that will make their learning long-lasting. Thus, try to ensure everyone’s participation to drive away unnecessary theoretical complexity and ensure a joyful learning environment. If the learners participate actively, they will never forget that learning experience. By default, the merit, critical thinking ability and observation skills are unparalleled. So, invest you all sorts of ability to be successful in multimedia presentation. Be strategic and you will be skilled.
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G. M. RAKIBUL ISLAM: Lecturer (Education), Government Teachers’ Training College, Rangpur, Bangladesh and RIDWANUL MOSRUR: Assistant Officer, Communications and Resources Mobilization, Save the Children, Dhaka, Bangladesh.