This comes late (just discovered the site) but I have a small handout
Why give handouts:
1/ To improve my rating in student evaluation.
2/ To teach the little .., sorry, students better.
3/ To avoid twidling my thumbs while every projected item is copied longhand
4/ Half the class are obligate surface learners. They request, I quote "the
notes we need to learn to pass the exam". There is no way they want to
5/ It makes sure that students have basic facts and spelling correct, and
cause and effect in the right order.
My handouts are all my own work, compiled from the projected material. I
give about 4 diagrams to an A4 page. Bullet points are collected in normal
12pt. script around and between diagrams. I put the lot together on a
desktop publisher. 1-6 sides a lecture, mainly diagrams. Lecture attendance
is required to see the pretty photographs in colour.
I make it clear that the notes are only notes, not a substitute for the
lecture. Pass around a class list for signing in occasionally.
Sales of texbooks plummet as soon as students perceive they don't need them
- check your bookshop - but they don't read handouts either.
Students trying to follow handouts during a lecture often get lost in both.
It is possible to get through a traditional 60min. lecture in 20 minutes
using comprehensive handouts. Do not be tempted to put in more information.
I use the time saved to include stage managed jokes and more explanations.
Students who write their own notes do learn better, but they often write it
down wrong, then learn it!
Students who do not have to keep scribbling fall asleep. I am now reducing
the notes and increasing spacing in my handouts to encourage additions by
Students may assume that anything not in the handout notes is an annecdote
that is not needed for the exam.
A risograph (electronic duplicating mchine) is much cheaper then a
photocopier, 10p per stencil, then the cost of the paper (0.5p per sheet,
two sides) and ink.
It makes no difference to marks, good students come in the 80% & 90% range,
the class average is still around 43% (in a good year).
I like to show students my entire collection of notes and handouts for my
honours year. It is about 1cm thick, (I could read it in an evening) and
they often get more than that in handouts for one module now.