Peter Coffman (Carleton University)

The Digital Lecture in Art History

Peter Coffman

New technologies are often used to do exactly what used to be done with the technology they replaced. This is common in art history classrooms, where many ‘Powerpoint’ lecture presentations are essentially 35mm slide presentations that happen to be digitally projected.

Digital presentation technology, however, has far more potential than this practice exploits. Relatively simple and ubiquitous presentation softwares enable us not merely to put more information on the screen, but to conceive the lecture itself as a form of visual communication. In doing so, lectures become more lucid, more vivid, more memorable and more amenable to different learning styles. This paper will explore ways to realize that potential in the art history classroom.