Basic tasks for creating a powerpoint presentation


We have all experienced the pain of a bad PowerPoint presentation. & even though we promise ourselves never to lớn make the same mistakes, we can still fall prey to common thiết kế pitfalls. The good news is that your PowerPoint presentation doesn’t have to be ordinary. By keeping in mind a few guidelines, your classroom presentations can stand above the crowd!

“It is easy to dismiss design – khổng lồ relegate it lớn mere ornament, the prettifying of places & objects to disguise their banality. But that is a serious misunderstanding of what thiết kế is và why it matters.”Daniel Pink

Baddeley and Hitch’s model of working memory.

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One framework that can be useful when making design decisions about your PowerPoint slide thiết kế is Baddeley và Hitch’s mã sản phẩm of working memory.


As illustrated in the diagram above, the Central Executive coordinates the work of three systems by organizing the information we hear, see, và store into working memory.

The Phonological Loop giao dịch with any auditory information. Students in a classroom are potentially listening to lớn a variety of things: the instructor, questions from their peers, sound effects or audio from the PowerPoint presentation, & their own “inner voice.”

The Visuo-Spatial Sketchpad đơn hàng with information we see. This involves such aspects as form, color, size, space between objects, & their movement. For students this would include: the size and màu sắc of fonts, the relationship between images and text on the screen, the motion path of text animation và slide transitions, as well as any hand gestures, facial expressions, or classroom demonstrations made by the instructor.

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The Episodic Buffer integrates the information across these sensory domains và communicates with long-term memory. All of these elements are being deposited into a holding tank called the “episodic buffer.” This buffer has a limited capacity và can become “overloaded” thereby, setting limits on how much information students can take in at once.

Research about student preferences for PowerPoint

Laura Edelman & Kathleen Harring from Muhlenberg College, Allentown, Pennsylvania have developed an approach to PowerPoint kiến thiết using Baddeley & Hitch’s model. During the course of their work, they conducted a survey of students at the college asking what they liked and didn’t like about their professor’s PowerPoint presentations. They discovered the following:

Characteristics students don’t like about professors’ PowerPoint slidesToo many words on a slideClip artMovement (slide transitions or word animations)Templates with too many colorsCharacteristics students lượt thích like about professors’ PowerPoint slidesGraphs increase understanding of contentBulleted lists help them organize ideasPowerPoint can help lớn structure lecturesVerbal explanations of pictures/graphs help more than written clarifications

According to Edelman & Harring, some conclusions from the research at Muhlenberg are that students learn more when:

material is presented in short phrases rather than full paragraphs.the professor talks about the information on the slide rather than having students read it on their own.relevant pictures are used. Irrelevant pictures decrease learning compared khổng lồ PowerPoint slides with no picturethey take notes (if the professor is not talking). But if the professor is lecturing, note-taking và listening decreased learning.they are given the PowerPoint slides before the class.

Advice from Edelman & Harring on leveraging the working memory with PowerPoint:

Leverage the working memory by dividing the information between the visual and auditory modality. Doing this reduces the likelihood of one system becoming overloaded. For instance, spoken words with pictures are better than pictures with text, as integrating an image & narration takes less cognitive effort than integrating an image và text.Minimize the opportunity for distraction by removing any irrelevant material such as music, sound effects, animations, và background images.Use simple cues to direct learners to lớn important points or content. Using text size, bolding, italics, or placing content in a highlighted or shaded text box is all that is required khổng lồ convey the significance of key ideas in your presentation.Don’t put every word you intend khổng lồ speak on your PowerPoint slide. Instead, keep information displayed in short chunks that are easily read và comprehended.

Resources for making better PowerPoint presentations


Presenting khổng lồ Win: The Art of Telling Your Story, by Jerry Weissman, Prentice Hall, 2006

Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design và Delivery, by Garr Reynolds, New Riders Press, 2008

Solving the PowerPoint Predicament: using digital truyền thông media for effective communication, by Tom Bunzel, Que, 2006

The Cognitive Style of power nguồn Point, by Edward R. Tufte, Graphics Pr, 2003

The Visual Slide Revolution: Transforming Overloaded Text Slides into Persuasive Presentations, by Dave Paradi, Communications Skills Press, 2000

Why Most PowerPoint Presentations Suck: And How You Can Make Them Better, by Rick Altman, Harvest Books, 2007

This teaching guide is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.