Should bullets generally be introduced one-by-one using animations or should the entire slide be displayed immediately?
Teaching should be about telling a story. Whatever you are teaching about should have some sort of flow -- a beginning, a middle, and an end. I teach IT Networking for a living, and often my three-step "story" is: Define the problem, Define the solution, Define how the solution fixes the problem.
Assuming you are following something like techkilljoy's 6 x 6 rule and only have a reasonable amount of text on each slide, it is essential to have the bullets appear one at a time.
If everything shows up at once, the students will sit there and read your slide, and ignore your story. But if there is only one bullet to read (of only 6~ words), they will have read it in the first 10~ seconds, then their attention is back on you, and on your story. Even the students who insist on writing everything on the slides in their notes will only be writing for 20~ seconds, before they give you the attention back. Instead of for the next 60-120 seconds and then "come back to" you when you are part way through your story, potentially having missed something important.
Remember, most of the information will come from your speaking and lecturing. The slides are just little bullet points, often mostly to keep you (the instructor) on track. But hopefully to give the students "hints" at recreating your lecture when they are studying later.
Is animation generally good or bad for lecture slides?
As a general rule, keep it minimalist. HOWEVER, do not take that to mean avoid it entirely. A little animation can create a bit of visual stimulation that simple text can not.
For text, the only acceptable animations are "appear" and "fade", and if you use fade, it should always be set to "very fast" speed (0.5 seconds). The effect is barely noticeable when compared to simply appearing, but makes for a somewhat more 'graceful' appearance of the text. It gives the impression of a more fluid presentation.... especially if you do a good job of introducing the bullet before it appears on screen.
For pictures, images, or abstract concepts represented visually, use animation if it makes sense. One of my classes discusses encryption between two parties. I actually have a message (a letter) move back and forth between my Sender and Receiver (represented as cartoons or faces) as I discuss what each party does with the message to encrypt/decrypt and verify the contents. The animations are simply the "move right" and "move left" animations, also set to very fast.
The vivid/blatant animations like woosh, or spinning text, or bounce or, spiral in/out, and the others, pretty much never make sense, and really shouldn't exist in any professional or higher learning teaching setting.
What is a good approach to take for titling slides?
Text slides ought to be titled. When creating curriculum, most people start with an outline. Assuming an outline looks like this:
* Chapter 1
- Section A
* Idea I
Each text slide will be titled with "Idea I", or "Idea II" (not Idea itself, but the actual content of that idea, of course).
If I have a slide which is pure infographics or sequence animations, then I might omit the slide title. This cues the students in to watch the screen, and the furious note takers to put down their pen for a second.
Should I include "separation slides" to chunk content?
Yes, absolutely. There is no reason not to. If gives the students a visual break and the instructor a 'pause' slide to check in with the students, see if there are any questions, or check the time to ensure you are giving students breaks every 45-60 minutes.
Using the outline example above. I might not put a separation slide between each Idea, but I definitely would between each Chapter and Section.
What is the optimal amount of information per slide?
This is often debated, but can be summarized as "less is more". I like what techkilljoy said about the "6 x 6 rule". That is a good guide to follow (but maybe not a hard fast rule). Again, most of the content should come from the Instructor's voice. For example, I might use these bullets to "teach" the entire plot of Disney's Alladin:
- Aladdin, the street rat, unexpectedly acquires a magic lamp
- Aladdin wishes to become a prince to impress Jasmine
- Jafar thwarts Aladdin, and tries to marry the Princess
- Aladdin outsmarts and defeats Jafar
- Aladdin frees the Genie
Obviously, if all you read was the bullets above, you wouldn't see how Aladdin was the most successful film of 1992. But with the instructor providing the content, you might get an idea. And if a student was in the class and heard the story, they might be able to recreate it given just the bullets above.
Slides should be numbered, but is it better to give the total number of slides on each (e.g., 4/20) or just the current slide (e.g., 4)?
I prefer "4/20" if the "20" is the number of slides in the current Chapter (see outline above). This allows adults/students to time their bathroom breaks, etc, knowing a break is coming in 16 more slides, assuming the teacher is nearing the 45-60 minutes of lecture mark.
If the "20" is total slides in the presentation, then using "4" or "4/20" produces the same effect.
But definitely, the slides should be numbered. Helps for students wanting to refer to a specific slide, or when the students point out a spelling error, you can just jot down the slide number and fix it later.