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The Misuse of PowerPoint in Learning


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With several online articles addressing the downside of PowerPoint use, this was the week of PowerPoint bashing. Is it just coincidence or is this the beginning of a trend?

Articulate Arguments About The Misuse of PowerPoint in Learning

The following three articles had very articulate arguments about the misuse of PowerPoint in learning.

  1. PowerPointless Digital slideshows are the scourge of higher education.”This article had a huge number of page views last week, 20,000 shares on Facebook and 3,000 shares on Twitter. Clearly the writer, Rebecca Schuman, struck a chord with many individuals making quite a few interesting points about PowerPoint in the higher education classroom that those who saw it online agreed with:“The slideshow is probably created with the best intentions, to bring life and creativity into a boring aspect of the world. However, the "exciting" innovation gets overused and abused, turning the very milieu it aimed to enliven into a stultifying morass of homogeneity. To put it in other words, "PowerPoint became the Comic Sans of instructional tools. A presentation is the opening move of a conversation, not THE entire conversation. Only Problem is this almost never happens.
  2. Does PowerPoint Increase Retention?”Today, PowerPoint is used even in churches as part of delivering a sermon. But now, preachers are beginning to wonder if it’s the right way of presenting “the word”.Although using a PowerPoint is sometimes an advantage for the speaker, it doesn’t necessarily help the listener retain the presented information. It’s been proven through studies that retention during a presentation is between 10-30%, and it doesn’t increase when using slides.“When we focus on slides, it takes away from our ability to listen to the speaker. If we must use slides, then we need to limit the content, using few words and more images, seeking to support instead of compete with what we are saying orally.
  3. Are you still using PowerPoint? Really?This week easygenerator released the first web version of its authoring solution. In this case too, easygenerator’s press release was very clear in acknowledging that PowerPoint isn’t suitable for online learning. PowerPoint doesn’t engage the learner and learning retention is very low. Easygenerator CEO Kasper Spiro lashed out about PowerPoint as a learning tool: “PowerPoint was never designed for eLearning. We have all experienced “death by PowerPoint” presentations. More importantly, learning retention from PowerPoint is low. Easygenerator Starter Plan allows authors to create measurable, personalized and high quality eLearning courses at a fraction of the typical cost. Best of all, no technical or instructional design skills are needed .“