Training of Trainers – 7 Steps To Use An Overhead Projector Efficiently

There are many visual resources you can use as a trainer, such as data
projector, slideshow, video, PC output and interactive boards. One of the
original methods used by trainers and is still used as a standby is an
overhead projector.

You can use the OHP with the whiteboard as a screen. The unit gives the
outline of, say, a statistical table, a map of the country, and you, or the
students, can write on the whiteboard and build up the image. However, the
whiteboard may have a surface which reflects some light which appears as a
bright spot – hence limited vision. Images are printed or drawn on acetate
sheets, which are placed on the unit and projected to the screen.

When using the OHP:

switch off when the image is not needed in order to reduce any possible
distraction due to glare and noise;

keep out of the way of the image by standing, neither in front nor behind
the projector, but to one side of it;

use a pointer on the top of the acetate to indicate key points rather than
pointing to the screen. When you point to the screen you obscure part of
the image by standing in front of it. Even resting a pencil on the top of
the OHP is effective;

give your students a chance to see the whole image before you start
talking. This provides an ‘advance organiser’ for the students and can
assist them in making their own notes;

keep the caps on the OHP pens so that they do not dry up quickly due to
evaporation from the heat of the room and the projector;

don’t mix up your transparencies – have a system. Pick up from left hand
side place on projector, remove and store on right hand side.

try to involve the students in your presentation of the transparencies.
This might be achieved through question and answer, leaving spaces for
either yourself or the students to complete, or just through expecting them
to make their own notes;

Design Principles

The following design principles are valuable:

keep it simple;

not too much information in words;

not too many drawings;

not too much detail;

one topic per transparency;

design on plain paper before making the transparency;

ensure there is a title on every transparency;

put the main idea in the middle of the image;

ensure an adequate space at each edge of the transparency;

simple words – key words instead of sentences;

not all upper-case – use both lower and upper case.

For more information on Learning to teach in the lifelong learning sector
(PTLLS) go to PTLLS Courses .

Dave Summers

For more information on PTLLS Courses go to

The Level 3 Award in Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector
(PTLLS) is aimed at those wanting to teach in the lifelong learning sector,
or those already teaching within the sector who do not have relevant

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