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Using PowerPoint to teach the American Government Survey Course
Unformatted Document Text:  The manual is a key pedagogical tool in my course. Many students at San Diego City College are the first generation in their family to attend post- secondary educational institutions. Some come from schools that did not prepare them for the college experience and the manual gives them one way to take notes, a skill which can be transferred to other classes. It is my belief that this should be a major learning objective in our discipline’s freshman survey course in addition to its content. While the content is the heart and soul of the course, PowerPoint is the method of delivery. So what has been its impact? After five years of usage, I have found that my retention rate has gone up about 10% and the classes’ overall grade point level as increased slightly. While I am satisfied with those two factors, I am more intellectually satisfied and challenged with this technology. I have to constantly revise and assess the content of my presentations and this keeps the material more relevant and current.. In assessing PowerPoint and its value as a pedagogical tool, I was struck by the lines I heard in a film. “Good Night and Good Luck” is a film that covers a brief period in the life of the famous newsman, Edward R. Murrow. The film begins with Murrow giving a speech at the Radio Television News Directors Association (RTNDA) Convention in Chicago on October 5, 1958. It then flashes back to the Murrow-Joseph McCarthy controversy, focusing mainly on the role of television news in a democratic society. The film concludes with these remarks about television Page 16

Authors: Clowers, Myles.
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The manual is a key pedagogical tool in my course. Many students at San
Diego City College are the first generation in their family to attend post-
secondary educational institutions. Some come from schools that did not
prepare them for the college experience and the manual gives them one way to
take notes, a skill which can be transferred to other classes. It is my belief that
this should be a major learning objective in our discipline’s freshman survey
course in addition to its content.
While the content is the heart and soul of the course, PowerPoint is the
method of delivery. So what has been its impact? After five years of usage, I
have found that my retention rate has gone up about 10% and the classes’
overall grade point level as increased slightly. While I am satisfied with those two
factors, I am more intellectually satisfied and challenged with this technology. I
have to constantly revise and assess the content of my presentations and this
keeps the material more relevant and current..
In assessing PowerPoint and its value as a pedagogical tool, I was struck
by the lines I heard in a film. “Good Night and Good Luck” is a film that covers a
brief period in the life of the famous newsman, Edward R. Murrow. The film
begins with Murrow giving a speech at the Radio Television News Directors
Association (RTNDA) Convention in Chicago on October 5, 1958. It then flashes
back to the Murrow-Joseph McCarthy controversy, focusing mainly on the role of
television news in a democratic society. The film concludes with these remarks
about television
Page 16


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