A Little Less Tell, A Little More Show

Consider the following scenario: You’re a professor at a local university. It’s Friday night and you’ve just received notice that as of Monday, you’ll no longer be able to set foot on the physical campus without explicit permission and all your classes will now be offered through your university’s e-learning portal – something you’ve never used before.

This was a very real reality for many educators grappling with wide-spread campus closures in the early days of the pandemic. Although most have successfully shifted into virtual classrooms adapting their learning materials and approaches, there was a steep learning curve for both students, instructors, and educational administrators.

It’s not surprising that early on, educators simply shifted existing live lectures into virtual meeting spaces, most notably Zoom. This was a reasonable step at the time; however, as the pandemic drags on and Zoom fatigue sets in, instructors need to revisit this approach.

Breaking up long lectures by introducing voices other than your own is an easy way to make live sessions more engaging – whether online or in-person. You can invite guest speakers, arrange a panel of experts to debate a specific topic, or embed student presentations. The Pecha Kucha format is an excellent way to structure student presentations within the e-learning environment.

Pecha Kuchas are essentially brief presentations which use a specific format – 20 slides auto-advancing every 20 seconds. They can either dig deeply into something specific or provide an overview of a wider range of related topics. Unlike traditional presentations, Pecha Kuchas are fast paced, conversational, and image/graphic-heavy. Pecha Kuchas can be stand-alone or integrated into larger capstone or research projects. The possibilities are endless.

Check out our 10 Tips for Building an Effective Pecha Kucha to get started.

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