Author Archives: Stephen Francoeur

Posts: 3 (archived below)
Comments: 4

Note Taking Tips

Lifehacker recently posted this handy survey of five ways to take notes, something that may be worth sharing with your students.

Posted in Students' Skills and Abilities, Students' Thinking | 2 Comments

Citing Sources in Slide Presentation

A student I was helping at the reference desk recently asked me to examine a slide presentation he and a classmate were working on for an assignment. On one slide, there appeared a bulletted item that was clearly not written by the students. When I mentioned to the student that she should consider putting quote marks around the quotation and in some fashion identify the source, she seemed completely nonplussed, as though there was no need to indicate in this slide medium content which material was written by others. That got me to thinking that I haven’t really seen any guidelines or best practices about how to indicate in a slide that text or ideas came from another source.

I’m curious to hear what sort of advice instructors give to students about citing sources for slide presentations. While it easy to envision a final slide that is a reference list, it seems to be trickier to develop best practices for identifying sources in slides that make up the main part of a presentation. Should you use numbered notes? An author-date notation set in parentheses? A source note at the bottom of the slide? To what extent can the rules that are delineated in the major style guides (APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.) be applied to slide presentations? Do these rules, which were created to support the needs of scholars writing books, articles, and reports, work well in a medium like slide presentations, where there is a great deal of flexibility in the way text can be presented?

Posted in Academic Integrity, Communication Skills, Students' Skills and Abilities | 9 Comments

Breaking Free of the Podium

Let me say up front that I’m a walker, a roamer, someone who likes to circulate around the classroom while lecturing. My intent is to make sure that no part of the classroom feels like a neglected corner (and perhaps to ensure that the sleepy students or the ones drifting away remember that I am still there). On those days, though, when I am doing a slide presentation, my desire to move about is undercut by the tedious task of returning to the podium to click the mouse or keyboard to advance my next slide. Last year, I invested about $25 of my own money to purchase a presentation remote control that would allow me to move slides forward (or backward). After using the remote extensively in the past twelve months, I can highly recommend it.

Setting up the remote is dead simple. There are usually two parts to the remote: a receiver unit that looks like a flash drive and is plugged in to any USB port on the machine you’ll be using and the remote itself, which is usually about the size of a thick highlighter pen. Once you plug in the remote, the computer will take a few moments to recognize just what kind of a device you are setting up and then let you know you are good to go.

Getting the hang of clicking while you walk about is easy and, ultimately, an act of liberation.

Posted in Using Technology | 6 Comments