Power Point Failure: Let’s Try a Workbook

Ken Aitken profile

A few weeks ago I did a 2.5 hour workshop called "Evaluating Birth Marriage and Death Information" which I originally developed a year ago using overhead transparencies. I thought about it this afternoon while cleaning my office and finding one of the overheads. In converting the material to a PowerPoint illustrated workshop I was concerned about the size and clarity of the images of original and derivitive documents used. Lets be honest: to folks at the back some looked small and fuzzy.


The workshop already had an 8 page handout for the participants. As I sit here thinking about it, I realize it should all be combined into a 16-20 page workbook which I provide rather than let my hosts print up. Again, its a matter of controlling the quality of the product that my students come away with.

But is also possible to do a couple of interesting things with a workbook. I can add to it , for example, an article on the topic of the workshop. I can expand the list of suggested readings. I can increase the room for students to create notes during the lecture. In fact, I can create problems that they work on alone, then share with the person next to them during the workshop. These all add value to the workshop experience and take home product.

Of course I can also add some other things to that workbook to promote my business. I can put my mugshot and bio in the front of it. I can include a list of other lecture and workshop topics – with descriptions, contact information, and that sort of thing. I can promote this wonderful blog you are reading, and even a few on-line courses I am working on. Then I can also add a list of upcoming events I am speaking at. Put it all in a plastic coil binding so it lies flat, and voila, its a workbook. A bit simplistic, but I'll tell you how it works out when I get it done.

What do you think?

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One response to “Power Point Failure: Let’s Try a Workbook

  1. It seems to me, and I could be mistaken, but the participants/students needs should drive the creation and or modification of your materials and activities. I guess I would want to find a way for students to assess the effectiveness of my materials. I’m curious what kinds of evaluations you and other seminar presenters use with your workshops. Do you use a reaction sheet (level 1 assessment)? Do you also use an assessment of their mastery of the workshop objectives (level 2) or some other type of assessment? Thank you.

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