Ditch PowerPoint!

Here’s another report on the value (or not) of PowerPoint (Sydney Morning Herald, 4April2007).

This report (although I haven’t been able to find the original document  being referred to) is based on research from Professor John Sweller – Faculty of Education, UNSW and his work on Cognitive Load Theory (CLT).

"The use of the PowerPoint presentation has been a disaster," Professor Sweller said. "It should be ditched."

"It is effective to speak to a diagram, because it presents information in a different form. But it is not effective to speak the same words that are written, because it is putting too much load on the mind and decreases your ability to understand what is being presented."

CLT claims that the brain will process and retain more information "…if it is digested in either its verbal or written form, but not both at the same time."

The SMH article also raises the issue of teaching methods and working memory…. you can read more about that at the CLT site… the main point of this article has to be… death to PowerPoint!

(I have a presentation due for a conference shortly – and there is a requirement for PowerPoint slides to be provided 60 days in advance – and a guideline for how to create engaging PowerPoint presentations… I’m tempted to just send through a blank template… and tell them I’ll fill them in later… or not!) 😉

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