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A new way of teaching.

Thanks to the lockdowns and COVID-rules, it has become clear that ‘interaction’ is not something we can take for granted. We took interaction for granted and stopped cherishing it like the essential basic need from the Maslow pyramid it actually is. Also, our society has made a huge shift; thanks to smartphones and social media, we are online 24/7 now.All of this poses a challenge for educational institutions: how can we keep engaging a young target group such as students when they are surrounded by so many distractions? Can we turn this challenge around in such a way that we can use it to create a new way of teaching?


A new way of teaching

We see it on a regular basis: traditional presentations with simple slides crammed with text, bullet points and cliché images. Of course, we don’t have to tell you that these presentations aren’t exactly inspirational. But, even so, everyone seems to forget that we are living in an era in which we can – and must – do much more with presentations than we used to.

Whether it concerns regular education, such as teaching at high schools or classes at colleges and universities, or courses taught by other educational institutions, we process lots of knowledge from the comfort of our own living rooms. That doesn’t only require a different way of thinking – how do we create a digital course or class? – but also a different way of presenting that class: how do you convey knowledge in such a way that your target group stays interested and remembers what you are trying to teach them?

Doing our jobs and attending our classes according to the ‘new normal’ requires educational institutions and their teachers to adapt themselves. A black-and-white presentation with bullet points can easily make a big college room yawn with boredom, let alone when used in a digital environment. Students can simply click away and focus on something else. The challenge is holding onto the attention of your (online) target group and, in this way, conveying what you want to teach them effectively.

Forget oldschool

Based on that statement, you are probably dying to ask the following question: “How do we do that?” We believe that there are many different ways to make a presentation and/or class much more memorable and interactive. After all, you want your students to remember what you are teaching them. These tips can help you get started on that.

TIP 1:
Connect with your students’ experience

We have experienced teachers and communication specialists to keep their seats. It is always easier to fall back to the traditional way of teaching because “that’s how we have always done it”. We as presentation specialists have, of course, tried our best to show educational institutions and teachers what the possibilities are within their given framework. We creatively enrich presentations for them and have the designs made and tested by young people to try to engage with the target group’s experience. Unfortunately, it happens every so often that the creativity gets filtered out during the creation process; designs get formalized and creatively undressed and, before we know it, we are creating to meet the teachers’ needs. But they’re not the ones that have to remember and apply the materials… Time to adapt the education to the young target group’s experience! Involve the students and let go of the old school way of teaching. There are some educational institutions that have already started doing this, such as the Albeda College.

Before the corona crisis presented itself, we started working with Albeda College to create educational presentations for 13- to 20-year olds that were more interactive. We dealt with issues concerning which educators we needed and which content was interesting to share. Just as the new presentations were finished and the team was ready to start giving educational presentations in the new style, there was an outbreak of the coronavirus. By making a quick switch – well done, Albeda! – the presentations were converted to Prezi Video (a tool that offers interaction between the students and their teachers) in a week and a half, which allowed us to introduce a new way of educating within Albeda College. The tool is now being used for the classes Horeca and Zorg.

TIP 2:
Use creative, innovative tools

An ‘easy’ way to educate in an exciting way, is to use different tools. Trigger teachers to let go of their standard PowerPoint slides and open themselves to using new innovative and creative tools. Good examples of those tools arePrezi, Prezi Video, Canva and <a href="https://www.visme.co/" , which are perfect for creating a new way of teaching within the world of education.

Prezi has been well known for the interactive presentation concepts they create for a long time. By launching Prezi Video last year, this tool became a renewed opportunity to present online. As a presenter, you are constantly visible on the screen and, therefore, constantly in touch with both your content and your audience. Therefore, it is not surprising that many educational institutions and teachers abroad have adopted this tool for their online classes (see a couple of examples here). By combining attractive visuals – such as smartly designed graphics and infographics, useful highlights or supporting images – with moving images of the teacher, learning will not only become easier, but also more fun. You can pre-record videos or talk to your students live, supported by the visuals you have created beforehand. To sum up: no more basic slides, no more creaking voice-overs, but an interactive, effective way of presenting and, therefore, teaching.


Canva and Visme are tools that make it easier for non-designers to create attractive presentations and visuals. Thanks to the various attractive presentation templates that they have available, you can always create and aesthetically pleasing design and let go of standard PowerPoint designs that you used to work with. Also, Canva offers the option of presenting online now.

A new way of teaching - Canva
A new way of teaching - Canva


Thinking about using other tools that the young target group uses nowadays, such as TikTok and Instagram, is definitely worth a try. Students are actively engaging with each other via these tools throughout the day and there are lots of courses that are being offered in Instagram through closed communities already. You don’t have to develop an entire e-course with expensive videos in an online setting, but you can ‘simply’ share the teaching materials via Instagram Stories, videos, polls or posts. Something that your students are already using. This is also called micro-learning, which means offering materials in relatively small portions.

The educational system might not shift to these tools entirely, but it is wise to dive into them, even if it is only to be able to dive into the students’ experience.

TIP 3:
Create variation

A nice way to hold onto the students’ attention for a greater amount of time is to create enough variation, both in the learning materials as in the way that you convey knowledge to them. Think about both the shape (design) and the medium (Facebook, Instagram, etc.) that you use. The new tools are excellent for doing that, since they give you the opportunity to switch between presentation ways during the same lecture and, in this way, keep stimulating the students’ brains. Our project for Stenden Hotelschool provides an excellent example.

The Stenden Hotelschool heeft een online academy opgezet, waarin ze specialisten uit het werkveld aan het woord laten om zo hun studenten op een creatieve manier te voorzien van de kennis die ze nodig hebben. Door de verschillende experts in verschillende studio settings te plaatsen, werd er afwisseling voor de studenten gecreëerd. Ook heeft Stenden naar aanleiding van de online academy besloten dat niet alleen de lessen, maar ook de voorlichtingen in een nieuw jasje gegoten zullen worden, om zo de kennisoverdracht te stimuleren. Dit hebben ze met Prezi video gedaan.

A new way of teaching - Stenden

TIP 4:
Shoot for visual creativity and interactivity

Not just the variation in ways of presenting is very important for the students, they will also remain focused for longer periods of time when they get to play a part in the lectures. After all, it is not very exciting for a young, quickly distracted audience to just keep watching a teacher who’s simply talking. Therefore, it is a good idea to create interactive lectures, which is very doable with all the current online possibilities. Think of voting, puzzles, break-out rooms or visual brainstorming.Miro and Mural are tools that are extremely suitable for this.


TIP 5:
Upgrade your (presentation) skill set

To make sure that you, the educational institution, can engage with your target group and make sure that the students will stay focused, it is important to upgrade your skill set. A new way of online teaching and presenting requires new skills, for example when it comes to creating presentations. The University of Hong Kong poses a great example. They chose to have their students and teachers attend a presentation design training to enable them to convey knowledge strongly online. You can read more about it below.

For the University of Hong Kong, it is important that a group of 70+ MBA students can do their courses online, due to COVID-19. To prepare them for this, we gave them an online workshop that provided the students with the skills & tools they need to set up their own projects effectively from the start. The workshop – Presentation Design for Non-Designers – started with the entire group but was then divided into separate break-out sessions, that were led by trainers. In this way, the students got to know several options within online tools and were trained how to strongly design their own projects and presentations.

Get into action

We want to address all educational institutions and teachers on behalf of the students that are being taught online for months now: start exploring a new way of teaching, drop old school. Step outside of the comfort zone of the safe PowerPoint presentation and really make an impact on students with unique and memorable lectures and classes. Dare to be creative within the framework that you have and step into your students’ the world of experience. After all, they have to keep enjoying the learning process. Let’s turn this into the ‘new normal’.

Malmberg has a super teachers podium during the national education week

There are also so many examples of teachers who have gone completely out of their comfort zone in the past period. Malmberg put these people in the spotlight on this super teachers stage. 

We would also love to support you in this!

Do you also want to make a difference and become a pioneer of this new way of teaching? Please contact us to discuss the possibilities! Or leave your details and we will contact you.