[Itech] Fwd: Improve Your PowerPoint Design with One Simple Rule
franklit at ohio.edu
Mon Nov 11 10:09:22 EST 2013
If you insist on using PPT...then here are some tips!
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From: Faculty Focus <ezine at facultyfocusemail.com>
Date: Mon, Nov 11, 2013 at 9:03 AM
Subject: Improve Your PowerPoint Design with One Simple Rule
To: franklit at ohio.edu
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*November 11, 2013*
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Improve Your PowerPoint Design with One Simple
By John Orlando, PhD
We've all heard the expressions "Death by PowerPoint" and
"PowerPoint-induced coma." I think we'd all agree that most of PowerPoints
stink. Yet after sitting through presentation after presentation that bore
us to tears, we turn around and subject our students and colleagues to the
same torture that we find so excruciating. Why?
The good news is that 90% of the problem can be solved by following one
simple rule: *No bullet points*.
Reread the rule again (and again, and again) to make sure that it sinks in.
Bullet points are the primary source of Death by PowerPoint. Bullet points
are basically ugly wallpaper thrown up behind the presenter that end up
distracting and confusing the audience. The audience is getting a message
in two competing channels running at different speeds, voice, and visual.
It's a bit like listening to a song being played at two speeds at once. The
audience member is forced to ask themselves: Do I listen to the presenter
(which is running at one speed), or read the bullet points (which I read at
a different speed)?
Research <http://www.uky.edu/~gmswan3/544/9_ways_to_reduce_CL.pdf> (Mayer &
Moreno) has demonstrated that running a competing text channel with a voice
channel actually lowers retention by sending two incongruent messages to
the viewer. The audience member is literally trying to focus on two
different things at once, and ultimately loses the whole message.
Presenters would be better off using no visuals at all and simply speaking
to their audience. There's a reason why State of the Union addresses do not
The ultimate source of the error is the belief that the purpose of
PowerPoint is to project your notes. We once used 3 x 5 cards for our
notes. When PowerPoint came along we assumed that we should now project
those notes to our audience. But this is wrong. Your notes are for you, not
*The Real Purpose of Visuals*
The real purpose of visuals is to amplify your message with complementary
imagery. For example, say you're talking about something that often
confuses students. Don't just repeat the words coming out of your mouth on
the screen. Instead, project an image of a confused student in order to
focus your audience's attention on your message with an emotional driver.
The image does not compete with your audience's attention, but rather helps
draw it together by providing a visual cue to enhance thinking.
*Online and Face-to-Face*
Shifting to visuals will not only enhance your live presentations, but also
your online content. More and more we're seeing videos in online courses.
These videos are typically recorded narration with imagery layered on top,
and they are an excellent way to improve student interest and retention.
To create such a presentation, start by recording the narration (narration
determines pacing) and then add the imagery to illustrate concepts.
Audacity is a free download that is perfect for recording and editing
audio. Make sure to use a quality headset microphone, rather than a
free-standing microphone, which generally produces poor quality (unless
it's an expensive studio microphone). The imagery can then be added with
Windows Live Movie Maker or iMovie.
Another option is to drop your images into a PowerPoint deck, and advance
the deck while you speak, recording the screen and your voice with
screencasting software like Jing. The drawback is that Jing only provides
five minutes of recording time, so you will need to purchase Camtasia
Studio for longer presentations. But Camtasia Studio allows for really
elegant transitions that will greatly enhance your presentations, so it
might be worth the purchase.
*A Few More Simple Rules*
- *One image per slide:* The reason why TED talks are so good is that
they work with the presenters to ensure that their visuals are good. You
will notice no bullet points. You will also notice one image per slide.
- *No clip art or stock photos:* Avoid using clip art and those
contrived stock images of business people looking at the camera. Keep it
real, or use retro images for a cool touch.
- *Add audience surveys:* Want to really keep your audience's attention?
Include a live poll every 15 minutes or so with a tool like Poll
Everywhere <http://www.polleverywhere.com/> for face-to-face events.
Video polling requires more complex software, so you might instead ask
students to pause and reflect at various points in a video, and perhaps
have them write down their thoughts on a worksheet as they go along.
There is a simple secret to getting good at anything: Find someone else who
is good at it and do what they do. Here are three sources that will
transform your PowerPoint slides into powerful teaching devices:
- Lawrence Lessig TED
Watch how Lessig uses visuals in the brilliant talk about our remix culture
(an interesting topic in itself).
- Life After Death by PowerPoint <http://youtu.be/lpvgfmEU2Ck>: Watch
this hilarious 5 minute video on the things that drive people crazy with
- You S[tink] at
An informative and funny Slide Share presentation on the five mistakes to
avoid when designing a PowerPoint presentation.
Mayer, R. and Moreno, R. (2003). Nine ways to reduce cognitive load in
multimedia learning. *Educational Psychologist*, 38(1) 43-52.
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Why Students Cheat and What We Can Do About
Cheating doesn't happen because of who shows up on your roster. Cheating
happens because there are opportunities and incentives to do so.
When you alter your course design and teaching approach to minimize those
opportunities and incentives, you will minimize cheating as well.
Led by James M. Lang, PhD, director of the Center for Teaching Excellence
at Assumption College and author of *Cheating Lessons: Learning from
Academic Dishonesty*, *Why Students Cheat and What We Can Do About
show you that you can:
- Promote mastery learning by offering students a greater amount of
choice and control over how they demonstrate their learning
- Use frequent low-stakes assessments to promote rehearsal and retention
of course material, which builds deeper, long-term understanding of the
- Use grounded assessments that ask students to connect course material
to their local campus and community
After participating in this seminar, you will be able to:
- Reframe academic dishonesty as a teaching and learning problem instead
of a student behavior problem
- Use specific strategies presented in the seminar to construct an
assessment system designed to promote mastery learning and reduce cheating
- Redesign courses so that they foster intrinsic motivation and reduce
the incentive to cheat
- Adopt frequent, low-stakes assessments that will create deeper
learning and increase student self-efficacy, thereby reducing the incentive
Ultimately, you will finish with a new view of academic dishonesty and
will go back to your courses with several concrete, actionable steps that
will help you create learning environments that naturally discourage
cheating and encourage learning.
Registration is now open and includes access to the live event on December
12, a copy of the recorded seminar on CD, 30-days of on-demand access,
transcripts, supplemental materials, facilitator's guide, and handouts
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Learn what steps you can take to promote academic integrity among your
students. Register for *Why Students Cheat and What We Can Do About
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© Copyright 2013
*"A teacher affects eternity; [she]he can never tell where the influence
stops." - Henry Adams*Dr. Teresa Franklin
Professor, Instructional Technology
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The Gladys W. and David H. Patton College of Education
Ohio University, Athens, OH 45701
also: franklinteresa at gmail.com
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