Tuesday, 12 October 2010

A Happy Follow-up

I presented the Happiness Presentation I talked about in my previous posts to my two Theory of Knowledge (ToK) classes for the real test. Was it really 'zen'? They praised it!! Here are the highlights of the comments: the word 'simple' came up repeatedly. They loved the simplicity, especially contrasted to my usual density of information on one slide. One student said:
"I like the minimalist design... doesn't hit the eye with information bomb."
More positives included: "time to think & digest more deeply;" the use of 'real-life,' relevant, personal anecdotes/ examples" seemed to be the number one thing that students found "captivating." That they could connect to what I was presenting seemed to make all the difference:
"I could connect to real life."
Others liked the "flow," the "clarity," the "pace," and so many said they enjoyed the presentation. Before I let all of this go to my head, I have to give credit to the 'novelty' factor. I talk about 'novelty' as one of the types of happiness even! It is novel to see such a different type of presentation. But I know why they enjoyed the presentation. It was because I was in the moment. I was story-telling. I felt their connection. It flowed because I loved what I was talking about and they knew it—and I believe this is what made all the difference.

On the 'suggestions for improvement' side, a couple of students thought the font needed to be more professional-looking. One thought I needed to vary the color/ theme per slide. I agree with this and if given a need to revise it, and given the time, I'd look around at different backgrounds that match up with the concepts. One wanted more dynamism in the actual Keynote slides—could be s/he enjoys the transitions. Funny that one students thought the yellow-orange color was "too warm," but another in the same class thought "the color reminds me of happiness!" One person suggested putting a summary slide at the end that shows all the types of happiness on one slide. I think this is a good idea. I wouldn't have to have a cluttered slide like the original, but one showing the different types together, maybe without any other visuals.

So, they liked it—the bottom line—and the real test. If it passes the 'high-school student test,' then it definitely passes! I made it to (Presentation) Zen Pl.!

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