Lecturing in the nude

My last few blog posts have been reflecting on open(ish) practice and one instance of this has been making my lecture notes publicly available, warts and all, on slideshare. Exposing my mishapen slides to the unsuspecting public.

I had a trial run with some revision notes from a course last term that went quite well. I think because of a snazzy title (sex, death and monkeys) it was picked up on slideshare’s front page and got a thousand hits fairly sharpish, a few downloads etc.

This term I have tried to keep up the momentum and made the first two week’s slides available. It’s made me focus on trying to make my slides prettier, although I’m not a naturally gifted design oriented person, and there’s definitely a few ‘fillers’!


The reality is they are OK slides. I’ve started to try and make slides that would be relatively intelligible to the general public, although I feel some way short of that. I’m conscious that some of my choices of images might actually confuse, as I have picked examples to spark discussion which may be because they illustrate the opposite of the point I’m making. And embedded videos don’t appear to work, although I imagine I’ll sort that out at some point.

Being this open with my slides is quite unsettling. I think it’s similar to having a lesson observed, except that I can’t see who is observing, or what criteria they value. I’m half expecting some negative comment via slideshare from somebody slating my slides as ugly or unhelpful. On the other hand I may get a positive comment from somebody somewhere who finds them useful, as has happened with this blog or on my work related stuff on YouTube or Facebook (where one positive comment/ interaction can really make my day).

Essentially I feel like I’m lecturing naked, and I have to question how long I will keep going before I get cold and put my clothes back on, only exposing myself in the relatively privacy of our VLE. Or maybe I just need to go the metaphorical gym (ie learn photoshop) and get buff instead 🙂


About digitalscholar

I am a sociologist with an interest in new technology. Previously I’ve worked on a number of projects at Lancaster University and the Open University looking at the use of new technologies and social media by researchers. I was also a social sciences teaching fellow at the foundation centre at Durham University teaching sociology and anthropology. I am now a senior lecturer at the University of West London's Institute for Teaching, Innovation and Learning where I oversee the foundation provision and support retention. I'm sure I'll still be interested in, and occasionally blog about, tech related things. I use this blog to post thoughts about using new technologies in my professional academic life and wider thoughts and links relating to technology more generally.
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