Moving Past The Evils Of Powerpoint TIE 2005
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  • Gettysburg
  • In brief, Tufte only suggests: 1. “A better metaphor for presentations is good teaching . Teachers seek to explain something with credibility, which is what many presentations are trying to do. The core ideas of teaching – explanation, reasoning, finding things out, questioning, content, evidence, credible authority not patronizing authoritarianism – are contrary to the hierarchical market-pitch approach.” (p. 13) 2. “The way to make big improvements in a presentation is to get better content.” (p. 24) 3. “At a minimum, a presentation format should do no harm to content.” (p. 24) 4. “Use PP as a projector for showing low-resolution color images, graphics, and videos that cannot be reproduced as printed handouts at a presentation.” (p. 24) 5. “Printed materials, which should largely replace PP, bring information transfer rates in presentations up to that of everyday material in newspapers, magazines, books, and internet screens.” (p. 24)
  • 1. Extremely Low Resolution of PowerPoint “ PP slides projected up on the wall are very low resolution – compared to paper, 35mm slides, and the immensely greater capacities of the human eye-brain system. Impoverished space leads to over-generalizations, imprecise statements, slogans, lightweight evidence, abrupt and thinly-argued claims.” (p. 4) 2. Bullet Outlines Dilute Thought “ Impoverished resolution coerces slide-makers into using the compressed language of presentations – the bullet list of brief phrases.” (p. 5) 3. High-Resolution Visual Channels Are Compromised by PowerPoint “ Yet, in a strange reversal, nearly all PowerPoint slides that accompany talks have much lower rates of information transmission than the talk itself. Too often the images are content-free clip art, the statistical graphics don’t show data, and the text is grossly impoverished.” (p. 12) 4. Metaphors for Presentation “ This history is revealing, for the metaphor the PP cognitive style is the software corporation itself . That is, a big bureaucracy engaged in computer programming (deeply hierarchical, nested, highly structured, relentlessly sequential, one-shortline- at-a-time) and in marketing (fast pace, misdirection, advocacy not analysis, slogan thinking, branding, exaggerated claims, marketplace ethics). To describe a software house is to describe the PowerPoint cognitive style .” (p. 13) Dancing with the Devil by Gall and Lohr - 2 5. PowerPoint and Statistical Evidence “ Everything is wrong with these smarmy, incoherent graphs: uncomparative, thin data-density, chartjunk, encoded legends, meaningless color, logotype branding, indifferent to content and evidence. Chartjunk is a clear sign of statistical stupidity; use these designs in your presentation, and your audience will quickly and correctly conclude that you don’t know much about data and evidence.” (p. 16) 6. Creeping PowerPoint: PP Slide Formats for Paper Reports and Computer Screens “ The PP slide format has probably the worst signal/noise ratio of any known method of communication on paper or computer screen. Extending PowerPoint to embrace paper and internet screens pollutes those display methods.” (p. 22) 7. Sequentiality of the Slide Format “ The slide serves up a small chunk of promptly vanishing information in a restless one-way sequence. It is not a contemplative analytical method; it is like television, or a movie with frequent random jump cuts.” (p. 23) It is important to note that Tufte does not number nor “bullet list”
  • http://www.coe.unco.edu/LindaLohr/c4/index.htm
  • Guidelines for Better PowerPoint 1. Use unifying concepts or metaphors to anchor content. In the absence of an established literacy, unifying concepts or metaphors provide a convenient schema for understanding. If made explicit, they are more easily identified and discarded when no longer necessary. Unifying concepts may be visual (such as a concept map) or textual (such as a story or case). They may be intrinsic to the content (such as an accepted taxonomy) or extrinsic (such as mnemonics and other “artificial” cues). 2. Focus on structure and relationships. Slides present content in isolated chunks making even “slide-to-slide” connections less explicit. Emphasizing structure and relationships explicitly requires higher-level thinking. Whereas the previous guideline suggests explicit whole-to-part relationships, this guideline suggests part-to-part relationships. When learners are engaged in concept mapping, they are experimenting with the existence and nature of part-to-part relationships in their understanding. 3. Use multiple representations. In psychology, the most sound concepts are those that can be measured by more than one method. Multiple representations overcome the inherent limitations of any one method of presentation and allow for useful comparisons. These representations may be modally different (narrative versus visual) or conceptually different (the perspective of a teacher versus the perspective of a student). Presenting multiple resources digitally or combining digital with non-digital resources provokes the learner to consider different perspectives. Dancing with the Devil by Gall and Lohr - 4 4. Make context explicit. Abstractions have limited practicality. Context-free media (i.e. clipart) at best merely distracts, at worst leads to misconceptions. Digital resources (graphics, audio, video) have tremendous potential for exploring context. The absence of context is trivia, rote learning with no understanding. Use resources of known and explicit context. 5. Make the actor(s) in and author(s) of resources explicit. An important part of context is the authority and biases of resource actors and authors. Making them explicit aids in critical inquiry. Primary sources are highly valued, due to the close connection between author and experience. Secondary resources are also valuable, but it may be more difficult to establish context and authorship. 6. Continually, point out the limits of particular resources. The map is not the territory. This does not mean that maps are useless, but rather one should never forget that a map is merely a map. Using more than one map helps make this explicit. However, don’t replace the bias of maps with the bias of experience (the territory is not the map). Even actual experience is limited. Individual experience is uniquely individual, and the vividness of individual experience can bias one against alternative views or interpretations. 7. Avoid absolutes. Absolutes are the result of over-simplification and lack of context and can easily become a hindrance to learning. The limited text resolution of PowerPoint can lead to abbreviated thinking and slogan-based presentation. Supplement PowerPoint with rich text descriptions in print or online media. In some cases, no text would be better than oversimplified text. Simplify, but simplify with purpose. Training wheels are okay when the learner can see life beyond training wheels. 8. Avoid either-or presentations. Black and white thinking provides a false economy. Rarely can true learning be expressed in simple dichotomies or even the popular sense of a “spectrum” of response. As with the previous guideline, PowerPoint can only support extremely simplified text-based comparisons (such as pros and cons, advantages and disadvantages, etc.). Compare and contrast is an exercise, not a reality. Use narratives to more fully argue hypothetical positions or use visuals that don’t limit one to overly constrained arguments. Dancing with the Devil by Gall and Lohr - 5 9. Provoke recipients to question assumptions and question questions. Making assumptions explicit and providing provocative questions is a start. However, questioning assumptions and expanding on a set of questions are important meta-behaviors. This is not to be confused with endless relativism. One can always “take a stand.” Life-long learners are always questioning and then changing as appropriate. The digital realm is endlessly “update-able.” However, it is not naturally conducive to showing the development and change that is so easy to implement. 10. You can dance with the Devil, but never let the Devil lead! Every medium has its weaknesses or built-in biases. The simplest solution, using a wide range of media, merely replaces one Devil with a host of demons (and likely confusion on the part of the learner). The best approach is to use media selectively, but not minimally, and always take the lead in making informed choices. References Gall, J.E. (2003). The map is not the territory: A constructivist application of general semantics to the design of educational texts. Association for Educational Communications & Technology (AECT) 2003 Conference Proceedings, Anaheim, CA, October 22-26, 2003. Lohr, L.L. (2003). Creating graphics for learning and performance: Lessons in visual literacy. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill Prentice Hall. Mayer, R.E. (2002). The Promise of educational psychology: Teaching for meaningful learning, Vol. II. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill Prentice Hall. Mayer, R.E. (2001). Multimedia learning. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press. Tufte, E.R. (2003). The cognitive style of PowerPoint. Cheshire, CO: Graphics Press. The presenters highly encourage you to purchase Dr. Tufte’s The Cognitive Style of PowerPoint (available at http://www.edwardtufte.com) and Dr. Lohr’s Creating Graphics for Learning and Performance (available at http://www.amazon.com).
  • Guidelines for Better PowerPoint 1. Use unifying concepts or metaphors to anchor content. In the absence of an established literacy, unifying concepts or metaphors provide a convenient schema for understanding. If made explicit, they are more easily identified and discarded when no longer necessary. Unifying concepts may be visual (such as a concept map) or textual (such as a story or case). They may be intrinsic to the content (such as an accepted taxonomy) or extrinsic (such as mnemonics and other “artificial” cues). 2. Focus on structure and relationships. Slides present content in isolated chunks making even “slide-to-slide” connections less explicit. Emphasizing structure and relationships explicitly requires higher-level thinking. Whereas the previous guideline suggests explicit whole-to-part relationships, this guideline suggests part-to-part relationships. When learners are engaged in concept mapping, they are experimenting with the existence and nature of part-to-part relationships in their understanding. 3. Use multiple representations. In psychology, the most sound concepts are those that can be measured by more than one method. Multiple representations overcome the inherent limitations of any one method of presentation and allow for useful comparisons. These representations may be modally different (narrative versus visual) or conceptually different (the perspective of a teacher versus the perspective of a student). Presenting multiple resources digitally or combining digital with non-digital resources provokes the learner to consider different perspectives. Dancing with the Devil by Gall and Lohr - 4 4. Make context explicit. Abstractions have limited practicality. Context-free media (i.e. clipart) at best merely distracts, at worst leads to misconceptions. Digital resources (graphics, audio, video) have tremendous potential for exploring context. The absence of context is trivia, rote learning with no understanding. Use resources of known and explicit context. 5. Make the actor(s) in and author(s) of resources explicit. An important part of context is the authority and biases of resource actors and authors. Making them explicit aids in critical inquiry. Primary sources are highly valued, due to the close connection between author and experience. Secondary resources are also valuable, but it may be more difficult to establish context and authorship. 6. Continually, point out the limits of particular resources. The map is not the territory. This does not mean that maps are useless, but rather one should never forget that a map is merely a map. Using more than one map helps make this explicit. However, don’t replace the bias of maps with the bias of experience (the territory is not the map). Even actual experience is limited. Individual experience is uniquely individual, and the vividness of individual experience can bias one against alternative views or interpretations. 7. Avoid absolutes. Absolutes are the result of over-simplification and lack of context and can easily become a hindrance to learning. The limited text resolution of PowerPoint can lead to abbreviated thinking and slogan-based presentation. Supplement PowerPoint with rich text descriptions in print or online media. In some cases, no text would be better than oversimplified text. Simplify, but simplify with purpose. Training wheels are okay when the learner can see life beyond training wheels. 8. Avoid either-or presentations. Black and white thinking provides a false economy. Rarely can true learning be expressed in simple dichotomies or even the popular sense of a “spectrum” of response. As with the previous guideline, PowerPoint can only support extremely simplified text-based comparisons (such as pros and cons, advantages and disadvantages, etc.). Compare and contrast is an exercise, not a reality. Use narratives to more fully argue hypothetical positions or use visuals that don’t limit one to overly constrained arguments. Dancing with the Devil by Gall and Lohr - 5 9. Provoke recipients to question assumptions and question questions. Making assumptions explicit and providing provocative questions is a start. However, questioning assumptions and expanding on a set of questions are important meta-behaviors. This is not to be confused with endless relativism. One can always “take a stand.” Life-long learners are always questioning and then changing as appropriate. The digital realm is endlessly “update-able.” However, it is not naturally conducive to showing the development and change that is so easy to implement. 10. You can dance with the Devil, but never let the Devil lead! Every medium has its weaknesses or built-in biases. The simplest solution, using a wide range of media, merely replaces one Devil with a host of demons (and likely confusion on the part of the learner). The best approach is to use media selectively, but not minimally, and always take the lead in making informed choices. References Gall, J.E. (2003). The map is not the territory: A constructivist application of general semantics to the design of educational texts. Association for Educational Communications & Technology (AECT) 2003 Conference Proceedings, Anaheim, CA, October 22-26, 2003. Lohr, L.L. (2003). Creating graphics for learning and performance: Lessons in visual literacy. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill Prentice Hall. Mayer, R.E. (2002). The Promise of educational psychology: Teaching for meaningful learning, Vol. II. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill Prentice Hall. Mayer, R.E. (2001). Multimedia learning. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press. Tufte, E.R. (2003). The cognitive style of PowerPoint. Cheshire, CO: Graphics Press. The presenters highly encourage you to purchase Dr. Tufte’s The Cognitive Style of PowerPoint (available at http://www.edwardtufte.com) and Dr. Lohr’s Creating Graphics for Learning and Performance (available at http://www.amazon.com).

Transcript

  • 1.
    • Moving Past the Evils of PowerPoint:
    • Lessons in Visual Literacy
    • TIE 2005
    • Patrick R. Lowenthal
  • 2. Moving Past the Evils of PowerPoint
    • Learning Objectives:
    • You will be able to describe some of the issues surrounding the use of PowerPoint
    • You will have a list of strategies that you can use to improve the use of PowerPoint in your classroom
    • ______________________________
  • 3. Moving Past the Evils of PowerPoint
    • Critiques of Tufte
    • Focused on presentations—not learning
    • Blames tool
    • Over-emphasis on content
    • Does not offer solutions or strategies to improve
    • ______________________________________
    • ______________________________________
  • 4. Moving Past the Evils of PowerPoint
    • Edward Tufte’s critique of PowerPoint:
    • Low resolution and Bullet outlines dilute thought
    • Deeply hierarchical and linear structure
    • Fragments narrative and data
    • Encourages preoccupation with format, not content
    • Conspicuous decoration and phluff
    • Makes everything a sales pitch
  • 5. Moving Past the Evils of PowerPoint
    • Additional Critiques of PowerPoint
    • Teacher centered
    • Technology centered
    • _______________________________________
    • _______________________________________
  • 6. Moving Past the Evils of PowerPoint
    • Four typical ways to use PowerPoint
    • For presentations
    • To teach a class
    • As computer-based learning
    • Student products
  • 7. Moving Past the Evils of PowerPoint Strategies to improve PowerPoint #1 Sound Instructional Design #2 Visual Literacy
  • 8. Moving Past the Evils of PowerPoint Visual Literacy: “ Visual literacy is … the ability to understand and use images, including the ability to think, learn, and express oneself in terms of images” Roberts Braden
  • 9. Moving Past the Evils of PowerPoint CARP: Contrast Good Bad
  • 10. Moving Past the Evils of PowerPoint CARP: Alignment Good Today I went to the store to buy an apple for my grandmother. Bad Today I went to the store to buy an apple for my grandmother.
  • 11. Moving Past the Evils of PowerPoint CARP: Repetition & Proximity Good Introduction xkdkdkdkdkd Body kdkdkdkd Conclusion kdkdkdkd Bad Introduction xkdkdkdkdkd Body kdkdkdkd
  • 12. Moving Past the Evils of PowerPoint Typography matters Good Today I went to the store to buy an apple for my grandmother Bad TODAY I WENT TO THE STORE TO BUY AN APPLE FOR MY GRANDMOTHER
  • 13. Moving Past the Evils of PowerPoint Typography matters Good Today I went to the store to buy an apple for my grandmother Bad TODAY I WENT TO THE STORE TO BUY AN APPLE FOR MY GRANDMOTHER
  • 14. Moving Past the Evils of PowerPoint Font Matters Good Font Bad FONT
  • 15. Moving Past the Evils of PowerPoint Linda Lohr Activity: Use typography to express the words: Collaboration Alienation Synergy Bossiness Use typography to express the words: Anger Discord Harmony Joy
  • 16. Moving Past the Evils of PowerPoint Non-linguistic Representations: Good Bad
  • 17. Moving Past the Evils of PowerPoint
    • Other Strategies and Recommendations:
    • Twelve Commandments of PowerPoint
    • James Gall & Linda Lohr
  • 18. Moving Past the Evils of PowerPoint
    • Some other recommended Guidelines:
    • PowerPoint should support your learning objectives and instructional strategies
    • Avoid PowerPoint templates
    • Avoid using more than one level of bullets
    • Less is better: less words & less slides
    • Avoid distracting clip art or unrelated images
    • Avoid distracting slide transitions
    • Use CARP to improve design
    • Avoid using all CAPS
    • Leverage the multimedia: visual & audio when appropriately
    • Don’t let PowerPoint control your teaching
  • 19. Moving Past the Evils of PowerPoint Digital Stories