By Jeffrey H. Rabidoux, Social Thinking Instructor, Berkshire Center
The Theory of Mind class recently accepted the challenge to redesign a 14-slide introductory informational PowerPoint presentation that they determined to be boring and confusing.
After dividing the eleven students into four groups, some parameters were established and closely followed: 12 -14 slides; identify and reproduce key terms and phrases from each original slide, using a thesaurus when appropriate; provide graphic design guidance while giving them the freedom to explore ‘clip art’; and requiring each student to create a minimum of 3 slides toward the final presentation.
One class period was devoted to producing a list of the key terms and phrases, and discussing graphic design principles, such as templates, font choice, and color. Two more classes were used for the creative process, while a fourth and final class focused on viewing the finished products. A fifth class was scheduled for a teacher-designed assessment that was immediately reviewed for student evaluation.
This class studied a printout of the original PowerPoint program, viewed it three times, and critiqued four original student presentations, giving positive feedback in a clear and courteous manner.
This was a unique and successful project where the students took valuable information and created a meaningful learning experience, while at the same time identifying, utilizing, and internalizing important social thinking concepts.