Slide 1 - Welcome to the UW SON

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Slide 1 - Welcome to the UW SON

  1. 1. The Current Controversy Over PowerPoint Cliff Solomon
  2. 2. Presentation Outline <ul><li>Brief Description of PowerPoint </li></ul><ul><li>Recent Criticisms </li></ul><ul><li>Student Comments </li></ul><ul><li>Your Experiences </li></ul><ul><li>Recent Responses </li></ul><ul><li>For More Information </li></ul>
  3. 3. Brief Description of PowerPoint <ul><li>Predecessors include overhead presentations and working with Genigraphics </li></ul><ul><li>1987: PowerPoint 1 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Originally names “Presenter” and designed by Forethought of Sunnyvale, CA </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ran on a Macintosh and was only in black and white </li></ul></ul><ul><li>1988: Microsoft buys Forethought </li></ul><ul><li>1990: Windows version released. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Competitors included Harvard Graphics and Lotus Freelance. </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Original Problems <ul><li>Buggy </li></ul><ul><li>Poor support of fonts </li></ul><ul><li>Changes to outline did not affect slides and vice versa. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Current Status <ul><li>Now the dominant presentation tool. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ With more than 300 million users worldwide, according to a Microsoft spokesperson, with a share of the presentation software market that said to top 95% and with an increasing number of grade school students indoctrinated every day into the PowerPoint way - chopping up complex ideas and information into bite-sized nuggets of a few words, and then further pureeing those nuggets into bullet items of even fewer words - PowerPoint seems poised for world domination.” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Why is it so popular? </li></ul>
  6. 6. Recent Criticism New Yorker, “Absolute PowerPoint”
  7. 7. New Yorker Comments <ul><li>Critical of auto-content wizard </li></ul><ul><li>Misuse of bulleted lists </li></ul><ul><li>“Because PowerPoint can be an impressive antidote to fear—converting public-speaking dread into movie making pleasure—there seems to be not great impulse to fight this influence, as you might fight the unrelenting animated paperclip in Microsoft Word” </li></ul>
  8. 8. Recent Criticism—Edward Tufte <ul><li>Professor at Yale University </li></ul><ul><li>Renowned expert on how to present information in an effective manner </li></ul>
  9. 9. Napoleon’s March-C. J. Minard
  10. 10. Recent Criticism—Edward Tufte <ul><li>2003—The Cognitive Style of PowerPoint </li></ul>
  11. 11. “ PowerPoint chart junk: smarmy, chaotic, incoherent”
  12. 12. Tufte Suggests <ul><li>Stay away from Content Wizards and Slide Templates. </li></ul><ul><li>Use printed materials. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>PowerPoint does not provide the information density necessary for many talks. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>This is especially true when using bullets. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stay away from PowerPoint Chart. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Use as an adjunct to the presentation and not the presentation itself. </li></ul><ul><li>Do not use builds! </li></ul>
  13. 13. Other Critical Articles <ul><li>Sept. 2003 Wired Magazine “PowerPoint Is Evil”—Edward Tufte </li></ul><ul><li>Jan. 2003 SiliconValley.com “Is PowerPoint the Devil?”--Julia Keller </li></ul><ul><li>Aug. 2003 “PowerPoint shot with its own bullets”—Peter Norvig </li></ul>
  14. 14. Students Comments <ul><li>PowerPoint Enhances Student Learning </li></ul><ul><ul><li>When the lecture notes are available in a timely manner </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>When slides are not overcrowded </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Because slides are sometimes more legible than handwritten overheads </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Because they help identify the lecture’s main points </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Students Comments <ul><li>PowerPoint Detracts from Student Learning </li></ul><ul><ul><li>When notes are not available in time to print before class </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>When the slides are overcrowded and confusing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>When professors read directly from the slides </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>When professors do not take the time to draw diagrams and explain the processes involved. </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Recent Responses <ul><li>March 2004 “Does PowerPoint make you Stupid?”—Tad Simons </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Good summary of Tufte’s comments and rebuttal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Describes disconnect between what Tufte has previously and his current “tirade” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Builds and layering can be educational useful. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tufte misses the fact that PowerPoint presentations can be emotionally effective. </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Recent Responses <ul><li>The Cognitive Load of PowerPoint: an Interview with Richard E. Mayer </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Too often, speakers are interested in presenting information only and are not interested in the cognitive processing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Important to separate media and methods. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Media refer to the delivery systems for communication. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Methods refers to the instructional design. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Mayer <ul><li>Dual-channels: people have separate information channels for visual material and verbal material. </li></ul><ul><li>Limited capacity: people can pay attention to only a few pieces of information in each channel at a time. </li></ul><ul><li>Active Processing: people understand the presented material when they pay attention to the relevant material, organize it into a coherent mental structure and integrate it with their prior knowledge. </li></ul>
  19. 19. Mayer’s Suggestions <ul><li>Make use of dual-channel structure of learning </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A graph should have labels </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Minimize the chance of overloading the cognitive system </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Eliminate extraneous material, such as 3-dimensionality and cute but irrelevant clip art. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Design the presentation to promote active learning by guiding the processes of selecting, organizing and integrating information. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use arrows, outlines, and concrete examples such as video. </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. My Thoughts <ul><li>Tufte is dealing hyperbole. </li></ul><ul><li>Tufte has not taken the time to properly evaluate PowerPoint as an educational tool. </li></ul><ul><li>He is correct when it comes to the low “information density” provided by PowerPoint. </li></ul><ul><li>He is also correct about the linear nature of powerpoint. </li></ul><ul><li>Builds can be effective. </li></ul>
  21. 21. For More Information <ul><li>The Cognitive Style of PowerPoint by Edward Tufte Available for sale through Tufte’s web site http://www.edwardtufte.com/tufte/ </li></ul><ul><li>Absolute PowerPoint by Ian Parker, The New Yorker, May 28, 2001 Available through University Libraries Electronic Journals </li></ul><ul><li>The Cognitive Load of PowerPoint: Q& A With Richard E. Mayer by Cliff Atkinson http://www.marketingprofs.com/4/atkinson10.asp (free membership required) </li></ul><ul><li>Does PowerPoint Make You Stupid? By Tad Simons http://www.presentations.com/presentations/delivery/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1000482464 </li></ul><ul><li>PowerPoint Is Evil by Edward Tufte http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/11.09/pp2.html </li></ul><ul><li>Nine Ways to Reduce Cognitive Load in Multimedia Learning by Richard Mayer & Roxana Moreno. Educational Psychologist, 18 (1), 43-52 Available through University Libraries Electronic Journals </li></ul><ul><li>Edward Tufte’s “The Cognitive Style of PowerPoint” presented in the form of a PowerPoint presentation. By Aaron Swartz. http://www.aaronsw.com/weblog/000931 </li></ul><ul><li>The Gettysburg Address as PowerPoint http://www.norvig.com/Gettysburg/ </li></ul>

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