Sunday, December 06, 2009

Not a Slide Talk

On Wednesday I'm giving a WebAssign training session to some people in the department. The trainer sent by the publisher taught above the level that most people were ready for, so most people didn't get much out of the training.

Since everyone coming to my session has already sat through a (to them) useless and inscrutible training, the stakes are especially high for me to do a good job. So I've been thinking about how to present things in a way that will be useful to the audience.

I've planned out a series of questions whose coding requirements range from trivial to modest, and I'll code them up in WebAssign with my laptop hooked up to the projector. Both to organize my thoughts and to save my audience from having to take notes, I've made a series of Keynote slides that illustrate the steps that go into writing the questions.

I really like the medium of the Keynote slide as a way of organizing my thoughts and breaking things down into one-idea concepts. The slides I made will be a nice follow-along handout with all of the code written on them and annotated. Showing this slide show would be a disaster. Almost every slide deck that I see is like a comic book without pictures -- ideas in boxes that are meant to be read.