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Advantages and Disadvantages of PowerPoint: A Comprehensive Guide

Explore the Advantages and Disadvantages of PowerPoint in our latest blog. Discover how this popular presentation tool can enhance communication and engagement while also exploring potential pitfalls. Gain insights on harnessing its power for effective presentations and navigating its limitations for more impactful business and educational content.

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The average salary of a PowerPoint expert in the UK is £40,000 GBP per year, according to Talent.com . In this blog, you will get to know about the Advantages and Disadvantages of PowerPoint. Let's dive in deeper to learn how it can impact your presentations!  

Table of Contents        

1) Advantages of PowerPoint  

2) Visual appeal and aesthetic design  

    a) Easy to use and accessible  

    b) Efficient information organisation  

    c) Disadvantages of PowerPoint  

3) Conclusion       

Advantages of PowerPoint   

PowerPoint is a powerful software tool developed by Microsoft that enables users to create visually appealing and engaging presentations. It offers various functionalities and features that make it a popular choice for individuals and professionals who want to convey information effectively. Here, we will explore the Advantages of PowerPoint and how it can enhance your presentations. Let's dive into the benefits it offers:  

Visual appeal and aesthetic design   

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Easy to use and accessible   

PowerPoint is known for its user-friendly interface, making it accessible to users of any level. Its intuitive design and straightforward navigation enable users to create presentations quickly and efficiently. Moreover, PowerPoint is compatible with various operating systems, ensuring broad accessibility across different devices.  

Efficient information organisation   

One of the significant Advantages of PowerPoint is its capability to organise information effectively. With features like bullet points, numbered lists, and hierarchical structures, you can present your ideas in a logical and organised manner. This helps your audience understand and retain the information more easily.  

Enhanced audience engagement   

PowerPoint offers various features to enhance audience engagement during presentations. Animations, transitions, and multimedia elements can make your slides dynamic and captivating. Additionally, interactive features like hyperlinks and embedded videos can encourage audience participation, making your presentation more memorable.  

Time-saving and convenience   

Advantages and Disadvantages of PowerPoint: Time-saving and convenience features

These templates offer professionally designed layouts and graphics, allowing you to focus on the content rather than spending hours on design. Furthermore, PowerPoint's autosave feature automatically saves your work, providing convenience and peace of mind. 

Versatility and compatibility   

PowerPoint's versatility is another key advantage that sets it apart as a presentation tool. It offers broad features and compatibility options that make it highly adaptable to different content formats and sharing platforms.  

a) Support for various media formats:  

PowerPoint provides support for a diverse range of media formats, allowing you to incorporate different types of content into your presentations. You can seamlessly integrate images, videos, audio clips, and charts, enhancing your slides' visual appeal and interactivity. You can create engaging and immersive presentations that resonate with your audience by leveraging these multimedia elements.   

The ability to incorporate various media formats in PowerPoint allows you to leverage different modes of communication. Visual elements, such as images and charts, can help illustrate complex concepts or data, making them more understandable and memorable. Videos and audio clips, on the other hand, can add a dynamic and interactive element to your presentation, allowing you to deliver information in a more engaging and captivating way.  

Elevate your presentations to a whole new level with our Microsoft PowerPoint Masterclass. Sign up now!  

b) File conversion and sharing options:  

Powerpoint Presentations can be easily converted to different file formats, offering flexibility in sharing and distribution. Whether you need to share your presentation with colleagues, clients, or a wider audience, PowerPoint enables you to save your slides in formats such as PDFs, video files, or even images. This versatility ensures that your presentation can be accessed and viewed on various devices and platforms, making it convenient for your audience to engage with your content.  

Converting your presentation to PDF format can be particularly useful when you want to share a finalised version of your slides while preserving the formatting and layout. PDF files are widely compatible, allowing anyone to view them using a PDF reader without the need for specific presentation software.  

In addition to PDF, Powerpoint Presentations can also be saved as video files. This format is ideal for situations where you want to share your presentation online, embed it on a website, or upload it to video-sharing platforms. By converting your presentation to a video, you can ensure a consistent playback experience across different devices and platforms.  

Furthermore, Powerpoint Presentations can be easily shared through various online platforms and cloud storage services. Whether you choose to use email, file-sharing platforms, or cloud storage solutions like OneDrive or Google Drive, PowerPoint's compatibility allows you to collaborate with others and share your presentations effortlessly.  

Collaboration and sharing options   

Collaboration is made easy with PowerPoint's sharing and collaboration features. Multiple users can work on a presentation at the same time, making it ideal for team projects or group presentations. With cloud storage and sharing platforms, such as OneDrive or SharePoint, you can share your Powerpoint Presentations with others, enabling seamless collaboration and feedback exchange.  

Professionalism and credibility   

PowerPoint's professional look and vibes contribute to the overall credibility of your presentation. The polished design and layout options help create a sense of professionalism, which can enhance your message's impact. By using PowerPoint, you can convey your ideas with authority and leave a lasting impression on your audience.  

Multimedia integration   

Incorporating multimedia elements is a breeze with PowerPoint. You can easily insert images, videos, audio clips, and animations into your slides, making your presentation more dynamic and engaging. Visual and auditory aids can significantly enhance the audience's understanding and retention of information.  

Presenter support and notes   

PowerPoint offers several features to support presenters during their delivery. The presenter view provides a helpful tool for managing your presentation, displaying speaker notes, and previewing upcoming slides. You can also add speaker notes to individual slides, ensuring that you don't miss any crucial points during your presentation.  

Discover the full potential of Microsoft Office 365 and revolutionise your productivity with our Microsoft Office 365 Masterclass. Sign up now!  

Disadvantages of PowerPoint   

Advantages and Disadvantages of PowerPoint: Time-saving and convenience features

Overreliance on visuals   

While visuals can enhance a presentation, overreliance on them can be a disadvantage. When too much emphasis is placed on visuals, the audience may become distracted or miss essential information. It's crucial to strike a balance between visuals and textual content to ensure the message is effectively conveyed.  

Potential for information overload   

Powerpoint Presentations have the potential to overwhelm the audience with excessive information. Presenters may feel compelled to include every detail on the slides, leading to information overload. It's important to prioritise key points and keep the content concise and focused to prevent overwhelming the audience.  

Lack of interactivity   

PowerPoint is primarily a one-way communication tool, limiting interactivity during presentations. While you can incorporate interactive elements, such as hyperlinks or quizzes, the level of interaction is often limited. This can hinder audience engagement and participation, particularly in scenarios that require active involvement.  

Limited customisation options   

While PowerPoint provides various design templates, the customisation options may be limited compared to dedicated design software. Presenters seeking highly customised and unique designs may find PowerPoint's options somewhat restrictive. However, for most presentations, the available templates and customisation features are sufficient.  

Technical glitches and compatibility issues   

Technical glitches and compatibility issues can occasionally occur when using PowerPoint. File corruption, formatting inconsistencies, or software compatibility problems can disrupt the smooth delivery of your presentation. It's crucial to test your presentation on the actual equipment or platform to minimise the risk of technical difficulties.  

Dependency on the presenter   

Powerpoint Presentations often rely heavily on the presenter's ability to deliver the content effectively. A presenter who lacks public speaking skills or fails to engage the audience may negatively impact the overall effectiveness of the presentation. Developing strong presentation skills and practising delivering your presentation is important to ensure a successful outcome.    

Not suitable for all presentation types   

While PowerPoint is a versatile tool, it may not be the best choice for all presentation types. For instance, highly technical or data-heavy presentations may require more specialised software or tools that offer advanced data visualisation capabilities. It's important to assess the specific requirements of your presentation and choose the appropriate tool accordingly.  

Accessibility challenges   

Powerpoint Presentations may pose accessibility challenges for individuals with disabilities. Issues such as small font sizes, lack of alt text for images, or inadequate colour contrast can make it difficult for visually impaired or hearing-impaired individuals to fully engage with the content. It's important to follow accessibility guidelines and make accommodations to ensure inclusivity.  

Copyright and intellectual property concerns   

When using images, videos, or other media in Powerpoint Presentations, it's essential to respect copyright and intellectual property rights. Failure to obtain proper permissions or give proper attribution can lead to legal issues. It's crucial to use licensed or royalty-free media or obtain explicit permission from copyright holders before including them in your presentations.  

Risk of boring and monotonous presentations   

Powerpoint Presentations have earned a reputation for being boring and monotonous if not designed and delivered effectively. The reliance on bullet points and text-heavy slides can result in a lack of variety and engagement. It's important to employ storytelling techniques, incorporate multimedia elements, and vary the presentation format to keep the audience interested and attentive.  

Conclusion       

We hope you read this blog and understand the Advantages and Disadvantages of PowerPoint. PowerPoint's versatility and compatibility make it a powerful presentation tool. With support for various media formats and easy file conversion, it allows users to create engaging presentations and share them seamlessly. PowerPoint is a valuable resource for effective communication and impactful presentations.  

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17 Advantages And Disadvantages Of PowerPoint

disadvantages of powerpoint presentation in teaching

PowerPoint is a versatile and user-friendly multimedia presentation program compatible with most devices. It lets you make and share limitless presentations with ease. However, it comes with a fair share of disadvantages, like the complex features and tools, issues with performance on less powerful computers, and its price.

1. Available for All Major Operating Systems

2. abundant features, 3. widely accepted, 4. lots of themes and templates, 5. versatile interface, 6. relatively easy to use, 7. support various formats, 8. smooth integration with other office programs, 9. support add-in, 10. compare documents, 11. relatively easy to collaborate, 12. available mobile version, 13. password protection, 14. lack of innovation, 15. a bit complex to learn, 16. some performance issues on weak systems, 17. it’s relatively expensive, advantages and disadvantages of powerpoint – at a glance.

  • PowerPoint is available on Windows, macOS, iOS, Android , and the web.
  • PowerPoint has a rich set of features , including templates and themes.
  • Even for beginners, PowerPoint is relatively easy to use .
  • PowerPoint enables customization through a wide range of add-ins .
  • PowerPoint simplifies collaboration with others by allowing easy sharing and editing of presentations.
  • PowerPoint has limited innovation over its three-decade history, potentially making presentations feel dated.
  • Learning to use PowerPoint’s features and tools can be complex for some users.
  • PowerPoint may have performance issues on less powerful computers.
  • Compared to alternatives, PowerPoint can be relatively pricey if purchased outright.

Advantages Of PowerPoint

Microsoft PowerPoint is an excellent tool for presentations and more. Here are some of its key advantages:

PowerPoint is available for both Windows and macOS , as well as for mobile devices running iOS and Android. This makes it a convenient tool for creating presentations, regardless of what type of device you are using. You can also use PowerPoint for the Web in a web browser, making it even more accessible. Not a lot of presentation software offers such flexibility.

PowerPoint is the most feature-rich presentation software out there. It has everything you need to create a professional-looking presentation, including built-in templates, themes, and much more. Other presentation software simply cannot compete with PowerPoint in this regard.

PowerPoint is the most widely used presentation software, and it’s the industry standard tool for preparing presentations. People are generally familiar with how PowerPoint works, which makes it easy to use when giving presentations. It is also the most compatible presentation software , meaning that it can be opened and viewed on just about any device.

PowerPoint comes with a variety of built-in themes and templates that you can use to make your presentation look more professional. If you’re not a design expert, these templates can be a lifesaver. With just a few clicks, you can make your presentation look great without spending hours on design.

The interface of PowerPoint is also quite versatile. You can easily access all the needed features by using the toolbar options. Its interface is also customizable , so you can change it to suit your needs better.

PowerPoint is relatively easy to use , even if you’ve never used it before. Of course, it takes some time to learn all the features and how to use them effectively. However, you should be able to start creating basic presentations without much trouble.

You can open and edit presentations saved in various formats with PowerPoint. Some of the supported formats include pptx, ppt, gif, mp4, jpeg , and more. This is a convenient feature if you need to import or export presentations in variable programs. Other presentation software supports only a limited number of formats.

PowerPoint also integrates smoothly with other Microsoft Office programs, such as Word and Excel. This makes it easy to create presentations that include data from other Office programs. Moreover, PowerPoint files are supported by most online storage services, such as Google Drive and Dropbox, for seamless sharing.

PowerPoint also supports add-ins , which are small programs that add additional features to the software. There are a large number of add-ins available for PowerPoint that you can use to customize your presentations further.

The Review feature in PowerPoint allows you to compare two presentations side-by-side . This is a handy feature if you need to spot the differences between two versions of a presentation. It’s especially useful when you want to review the changes to your presentation made by someone else.

PowerPoint makes it relatively easy to collaborate with others on a presentation. You can easily share your presentation with others and allow them to view it or make changes by sharing a link. This is a convenient feature if you are working on a team project.

PowerPoint is also available in a mobile version , which allows you to create and edit presentations on the go. You can download the PowerPoint app for free from the App Store or Google Play to use on iOS or Android devices. This is a handy feature if you need to make last-minute changes to your presentation.

One of the features of the PowerPoint software that most users find useful is the password protection feature. This allows you to set a password for your presentation so that only those who know the password can open and view it. Most other presentation software does not include this component.

Disadvantages of PowerPoint

Now that we’ve looked at the advantages of PowerPoint, let’s take a look at some of its disadvantages:

It’s been around three decades since PowerPoint was first released, and in that time, it hasn’t seen a whole lot of innovation. This lack of innovation can make it feel dated compared to some of the newer presentation software options on the market. Some users find PowerPoint slides boring, as there is not much scope to create creative or interactive presentations.

The features and tools of PowerPoint can be a bit complex to learn , especially if you’ve never used the software before. It can take some time to get a grasp on how to use all the features effectively. And if you want to create more complex presentations, it may take even longer.

PowerPoint can also have some performance issues, especially on weak systems. The software can be a bit resource-intensive, so it may run slowly on older computers . Additionally, large or complex presentations may take longer to load and may not run as smoothly as you’d like.

If you want to purchase PowerPoint outright, it’s relatively expensive compared to some of the other presentation software options on the market. Google Slides offers many of the same features as PowerPoint, but it’s free to use.

PowerPoint is a widely used presentation software that is available for all major operating systems. It offers a large number of features and is widely accepted.  However, it can be a bit complex to learn and is relatively expensive. Despite these disadvantages, PowerPoint is still a popular choice for creating presentations.

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Art of Presentations

9 Disadvantages of Using PowerPoint Presentations!

By: Author Shrot Katewa

9 Disadvantages of Using PowerPoint Presentations!

If you frequently have to prepare and deliver presentations you normally want to use software that is suitable for the topics you’ll be covering. The software should also allow you to shape the presentation into a style you are comfortable with.

PowerPoint might have been recommended to you but now you are wondering whether a presenting tool with such a lot of features as PowerPoint is not perhaps giving just as many issues.

The biggest drawback of PowerPoint is that it has many features and requires adequate training to use them properly. If not used correctly, it can affect the reputation of the presenter. Other disadvantages include files don’t save automatically, and PowerPoint is not free to use.

In the end, you have to decide whether you can live with these disadvantages when you compare them to the advantages. In this article, we list for your convenience 9 of the most important disadvantages of PowerPoint.

Also Read – Advantages of Using Microsoft PowerPoint!

1. Text-heavy slides

disadvantages of powerpoint presentation in teaching

Text-heavy slides give too much information with too much text. This makes the slide boring and the audience will lose interest in the whole presentation.

Many PowerPoint presentations are unsuccessful because the presenter or compiler of the slideshow has tried to put as much content as possible in text form on the slide. A good slide should ideally only have the headings and sub-headings of what the presenter is conveying to the audience.

And if more information in text form is necessary to make it easier for the audience to follow the presenter and comprehend the content, the text should be well organized.

The use of columns or blocks and even different colors will make the slide much more interesting. Unfortunately, the slides of many PowerPoint presentations are not well-designed. 

Compilers of presentations are sometimes in a hurry and just add all the content they‘ve found on the slide without actually designing the slide. They don’t discriminate between really needed content and content that can confuse the audience.

Research has found that text-heavy slides are often used when the presenter just wants to read the information from the slides to the audience, instead of using the PowerPoint slides as a tool to emphasize certain aspects.

2. Too many features can get overwhelming

The PowerPoint developers have over time put more and more features into the software to theoretically make it possible for the compilers of presentations to complete the task without using any other tools or software.  But too many features can confuse the user.

This can cause you to spend a lot of time compiling your presentation, as you first want to look at the available features for every aspect you use and figure out how it works. 

It is overwhelming to have to pick the right feature for literary every aspect of the presentation. This is often the reason provided by users when asked why they don’t use PowerPoint. They prefer software packages with lesser choices but which are easier and simpler to use.

3. Most features usually remain unexplored

Because of the overwhelming effect of the large number of features offered by PowerPoint, most compilers of presentations using PowerPoint simplifies the process when they use it for the first time.

They search for features they understand and which seem easy to use. They then tend to stick to these features and don’t explore other features.  

Many of the slide designing features are for example not fully explored by compilers. Generally, a compiler will search for templates to use and when they have found a few they like, they are not interested in looking for more or designing their own.

PowerPoint users have indicated in surveys that a feature like the adding of video snippets into the presentation is for instance an example of features that usually remain unexplored.    

4. Can affect reputation if not used correctly

The presenter or compiler of the presentation might be trusting PowerPoint to always automatically create well-designed presentations. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.

The result can be a presentation with uninteresting and poorly designed slides.  And sometimes the presenter is a very good speaker but an inexperienced PowerPoint user. The combination of a poorly designed presentation with an inexperienced PowerPoint user can affect the reputation of the speaker.

Thus, the bottom line is that a good speaker has to ensure that every slide in the presentation is interesting and conveys just enough information to keep the audience focused.

The presenter should also use the presentation without reading from the screen. Eye contact with the audience is necessary to keep them focused.

5. Real-time collaboration is not the best

Real-time collaboration allows you to work with some of your other colleagues on the same presentation at the same time! This can for example be done with Google Slides. It is a great feature that is especially helpful when working from distant locations or working from home!

Must Read – PowerPoint vs Google Slides: Which Presentation Application Should You Use?

Unfortunately, only the PowerPoint in Office 365 has this real-time feature . If you use any other version of PowerPoint you will not be able to have real-time collaboration.

6. Requires downloading

Another disadvantage of PowerPoint is that you can’t run the application on the cloud as you can do with Google Slides for instance. The Office 365 PowerPoint software is the one exception.

You have to download the PowerPoint software onto your device to be able to use it.

7. Files are not automatically saved

One of the most frustrating things when compiling a presentation is to lose some of the already created slides because they haven’t been saved.  The ideal is that the software saves continuously as you are creating the presentation.

With PowerPoint (except for Office 365) you have to save manually. To ensure that work is not lost, you have to keep on pressing Ctrl+S from time to time. (Ctrl+S is the shortcut for saving a PowerPoint file.)

User reviews indicate that this is also one of the disadvantages that let presentation compilers move away from PowerPoint. In practice, you often just forget to save files manually and unsaved work can easily be lost.    

8. Files often too large to mail

 PowerPoint presentations can quickly become very large. Although you sometimes only want to mail a few files or slides, it often happens that you have to mail the whole presentation. When it exceeds the 10 MB or 25 MB file size it becomes difficult and sometimes impossible to mail.

9. A variety of errors can occur

Although the many features of PowerPoint might be an advantage for some users, the possibility of errors is very high when there are such a large number of features built into a program.  Presentations with fewer features normally develop fewer errors.

PowerPoint online support groups are full of questions. All these questions are an indication that users constantly encounter issues or don’t understand how the features work.  If you look at the answers on these forums it becomes clear that in some instances nobody actually has the correct answer.

Compared to other presentation applications there are much more errors when you use PowerPoint. 

Credit to Nakaridore (on Freepik) for the featured image of this article (further edited)

Does PowerPoint Improve Student Learning?

The Rationality of Science

PowerPoint is used in countless classrooms. For many teachers and instructors, PowerPoint is a staple in their programs. Electronic presentation software—most notably PowerPoint—has had a big impact on education. I use PowerPoint and other strategies when teaching. There are advocates and critics of PowerPoint. With the use of PowerPoint being so prevalent, it is important to consider what qualities make it a strong educational tool. Informal and formal surveys indicate most students report that they prefer PowerPoint to more traditional classroom lectures that include whiteboard methods, overhead transparencies, handouts, and writing on the chalkboard. Does the preference for PowerPoint mean teachers should rely mostly on PowerPoint for teaching? Does the use of PowerPoint have a positive impact on student learning?

We can ask instructors their opinions on electronic presentation software and come up with a range of answers. The answers can be used to form questions and help in guiding future research. However, the answers shouldn’t be categorized as evidence. The instructors are all subject to conscious and unconscious biases. There are many uncontrolled factors occurring during the learning process, so attributing an outcome to a single factor is problematic. Let’s look at what science says about PowerPoint and learning.

The Science Says

A meta-analysis (which combines the results of similar studies) of forty-eight studies was conducted to determine if students learn more when taught the same information using PowerPoint compared to a more traditional instruction (Baker et al. 2018). Results showed that on average, there was no difference in students’ learning based on the type of instruction they received. However, K-12 students’ learning increased with PowerPoint instruction, but this effect did not occur for college students. The researchers concluded focus shouldn’t be on strictly comparing the absence or presence of PowerPoint but should be focused on how instructors can use features of PowerPoint to improve student learning.  

Some researchers suggest that using PowerPoint can affect subjective student perceptions of learning; they may report they learned more even when testing shows they didn’t. Apperson et al. (2006) collected data from college students in ten different classes across four academic areas. Courses were taught using the chalkboard and transparencies one semester and the same course using PowerPoint the following semester. The same textbook, exams, and lecture materials were presented for both semesters. Students taking PowerPoint courses are more likely to report better focus on course content, report the instructor did a good job at keeping their attention and that PowerPoint improves student learning. Overall, they rated the instructor more positively and were likely to say they would take another course from the same instructor. Students felt that the class was better and more beneficial overall, but there was no significant difference in average grades between those taking PowerPoint and non-PowerPoint classes.

In another study, researchers compared learning between psychology students in classes using either overhead transparencies or PowerPoint (Susskind 2008) The instructor taught one class using a traditional lecture format that included overhead transparencies; the other class was taught using computerized PowerPoint. Researchers found no difference in exam scores based on whether the information was presented on overhead transparencies or PowerPoint. However, students preferred the PowerPoint class; they reported the instructor was more effective, that they took better notes, and the material was easier to understand. It is common for students to feel like they have learned more and enjoy the course more when using PowerPoint even if their grades do not reflect this.

In another study, three methods of instruction in addition to lecture were compared: chalkboard and lecture, overhead transparencies and lecture, presentation software and lecture (Beets and Lobinger 2001). The same content was presented in each course and presented by the same instructor. The results indicated no significant difference in quiz or exam scores. However, in a survey conducted at the end of the course, students reported they preferred the presentation software. Most research shows nonsignificant differences in learning between those being exposed to PowerPoint and those using more traditional methods. However, there is some research showing slight differences in scores between students who are taught with PowerPoint versus other methods of teaching.

In one study, researchers examined the effect of using different visual and auditory features of the software presentation on student learning. Students were exposed to overhead transparencies, PowerPoint slides containing only text, and PowerPoint slides that included pictures, sound effects, and variations in text characteristics (Bartsch and Cobern 2003). The results indicated there was no difference between transparency and text-only PowerPoints, but students scored about 10 percent lower on quizzes assessing content presented with the elaborate PowerPoint slides. The findings from this study bring up an important topic not often discussed: PowerPoints vary in their design, and this variation can have effects on learning. Some PowerPoints may be designed in a manner that leads students to focus too much on graphics or other features that may take away from a focus on the main points.

Some studies have found positive effects associated with PowerPoint instruction. Erwin and Rieppi (2000) studied college students distributed over two sections each of abnormal psychology, statistics, and a development course. In one section of each course an instructor used PowerPoint and in the other section the instructor used non-PowerPoint (various modes with no restrictions on which technology was used were also taught). PowerPoint sections scored higher on the exams for all three classes. Critics point out this study consisted of methodology flaws: there was no standardization of content in the courses, course were taught by six different instructors who developed their own content, teachers were aware of the varying conditions (which could influence expectancy effects), and the PowerPoint sections included an interactive component that was not included with the non-PowerPoint sections. Any of these uncontrolled factors could influence the outcome. Other studies have also found small PowerPoint effects (positive impact of PowerPoint versus other modes), but critics are fast to point out the effects are usually small and the research methods are generally flawed.

Science says there is little difference between learning outcomes in those receiving PowerPoint instruction and those receiving other types of instruction. There is research showing positive and negative outcomes as a result of being exposed to PowerPoint. PowerPoints can be used alongside other modes of teaching.

PowerPoint Design

In general, students prefer PowerPoints to other modes of teaching, and they feel as if they are learning more; a positive experience for students is important. Positive experiences can lead to positive expectations, which can benefit students.

It is important to distinguish good from bad PowerPoints. Although standard rules for what makes a good PowerPoint or bad PowerPoint are lacking, there are some general guidelines that are recommended. Slides that contain key information should stand out; they could be bold or consist of a different font or a different graphic. Slides shouldn’t consist of too much information; bullet points work but the information doesn’t necessarily have to be presented as bullet points (information should be easy to read and not excessive). PowerPoints should present information that can relate to what the learner already knows; this allows strong memory connections.

How can learners make the best use of PowerPoint? If you have access to PowerPoint, review the PowerPoint ahead of time. A lot of instructors place the PowerPoints online, so printing the slides and bringing them to class is recommended. A big advantage of having a hard copy of the slides is you can take additional notes; you don’t have to spend all your time writing what is on the slides.

Research on the effectiveness of PowerPoint should continue to compare PowerPoint to different teaching strategies. Researchers should strive to develop standard guidelines for designing effective PowerPoints. Current research doesn’t often distinguish between good and bad design, and these differences are important to developing models that can maximize the benefits of PowerPoint.    

Apperson, J.M., et al. 2006. The impact of presentation graphics on students’ experience in the classroom. Computers and Education 47: 116–128.  

Baker, J.P. et al. 2018. Does teaching with PowerPoint increase students’ learning? A meta-analysis. Computers & Education 126: 376–387.

Bartsch, R.A., and K.M. Cobern. 2003. Effectiveness of PowerPoint presentations in lectures. Computers & Education 41: 77–86.   

Beets, S.D., and P.G. Lobinger. 2001. Pedagogical techniques: Student performance and preferences. Journal of Education for Business 76: 231–235.   

Erwin, T.D., and R. Rieppi. 2000. Comparing multimedia and traditional approaches in undergraduate psychology classes. Teaching of Psychology 26: 58–61.

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PowerPoint Presentation Technology and the Dynamics of Teaching

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  • Published: 02 August 2006
  • Volume 31 , pages 147–160, ( 2006 )

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  • Russell J. Craig 1 &
  • Joel H. Amernic 2  

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This article presents a wide-ranging analysis of the use of PowerPoint technology in higher education. It addresses four overlapping issues. Has PowerPoint led to more effective learning? What impact has PowerPoint had on the dynamics of classrooms? What are some important aspects of the culture that accompanies PowerPoint? How has PowerPoint affected orality, visuality and literacy? The purpose of our article is to stimulate beneficial conversations about a prevalent educational software technology.

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This article focuses on PowerPoint, a powerful and ubiquitous communications technology and aid to teaching and business presentations. In 2002, it was estimated that more than 400 million copies of PowerPoint were in circulation and that “somewhere between 20 and 30 million PowerPoint-based presentations are given around the globe each day” (Simons, 2005 ). Those numbers seem likely to have grown exponentially since then. Indeed, Parker ( 2001 ) alleged that to “appear at a meeting without PowerPoint would be unwelcome and vaguely pretentious, like wearing no shoes” (pdf version, p. 2). Further, the use of PowerPoint is so widespread in higher education institutions that for a faculty member to refrain from using PowerPoint is “sometimes seen as a mark of seniority and privilege, like egg on one’s tie” (Parker, 2001 , p. 6, citing a conversation with Stanford University Professor Clifford Nass).

PowerPoint has a dubious reputation. It has been described as “the Viagra of the spoken word ... [and] a wonder pill for flabby lectures” (van Jole, 2000 ); and as something that “... turns clear thinking adults into addled-headed boobs” (Shwom & Keller, 2003 , p. 3). But, if PowerPoint is a drug, Tufte ( 2003a ) argued it ought to be subject to a worldwide product recall, for it had “frequent, serious side effects: it induced stupidity, turned everyone into bores, wasted time, and downgraded the quality and credibility of communication” (para. 1).

PowerPoint technology has become a punching bag that Parker ( 2001 ) alleged has turned its users “into bullet-point dandies” (p. 1). It has been criticized for elevating form over content (Tufte, 2003a , b ); assigned part of the cause for “a general decline in public speaking” (Nunberg, 1999 , p. 330); denounced by academics and by CEOs ... for causing detrimental effects on “dialogue, interaction, and thoughtful consideration of ideas” (Cyphert, 2004 , p. 80); bemoaned as a facilitator of presentations that are “often tediously long and more annoying than Microsoft’s animated paperclip” (Goldkorn, 2004 , para. 4); and accused of “replacing clear thought with unnecessary animations, serious ideas with ten-word bullet points, substance with tacky, confusing style” (Coursey, 2003 , para. 2). Although PowerPoint promises much in terms of delivering content efficiently and offering attractive and dynamic presentations, some critics, such as Stewart ( 2001 ), allege that a frequent outcome is a vacuous monotony.

The preceding critical characterizations of PowerPoint might give the misleading impression that we are about to engage in a harangue of the type: “PowerPoint bad ... non-PowerPoint good.” However, such is not the case. We simply want to go beyond the content of the usual clichéd fare of literature on PowerPoint. This is preponderantly of three major types. First, is the literature which provides technical advice on how to prepare PowerPoint presentations (e.g., Coursey, 2003 ; Jones, 2003 ; Shwom & Keller, 2003 ). Second, is literature which outlines the advantages and disadvantages of PowerPoint. Much of this is in the form of PowerPoint presentations that are accessible through keyword search using Google , such as Bostock ( 2005 )—although some appears in scholarly journals such as Jones ( 2003 ). Third, is literature which takes a titillating swipe at the ostensible evils of PowerPoint or provides an unapologetically jaundiced account of its unsurpassable virtues (e.g., Nunberg, 1999 ; Stewart, 2001 ).

It is our intent to delve more deeply into four matters that deserve reflecting upon by educators and business seminar presenters. We seek to highlight some subtle but important issues that accompany the PowerPoint phenomenon. In doing so, we invoke a wide range of scholarly literature drawn from a variety of disciplines and an array of business periodicals and website newsletters. We address four overlapping issues. First, we review scholarly literature that examines the effectiveness of PowerPoint. Second, we explore how PowerPoint presentations affect the dynamics of pedagogical settings and the general relationship between presenter and presentees. Third, we analyse important aspects of the culture that attaches to PowerPoint technology. Finally, we explore PowerPoint-related issues of visuality, orality and literacy.

This article does not offer a broadly conceived exploration of McLuhan's thesis that “the medium is the message” (McLuhan & Fiore, 1967 ). We do not dwell upon Innis's ( 1991 ) ideas regarding the social nature of new technologies or upon semiotics in order to conceive PowerPoint as another dominating, socially forceful technological mediator of teaching. Although we do not focus on cataloguing how to design more effective PowerPoint slides, we draw attention to the failure of many PowerPoint presenters to ignore fundamental rhetorical principles; and we offer some advice on that matter. We do not engage in what Shwom and Keller ( 2003 ) referred to as “victimology”; that is, to make “PowerPoint the villain that oppresses its users, and almost by default absolve the presenter from taking any personal responsibility for providing significant content and communicating that content clearly” (p.15).

In the past three decades there has been a decisive shift in the media that have been used to communicate messages in educational settings. We have gone from the era of “chalk-and-talk” and occasional flip-charts to overhead transparencies and to PowerPoint slides. And, consistent with Warnick ( 2002 ), we feel it is important to recognize that any “new forms of communicating call for new ways of thinking about communication processes” (p. 264). However, it is important, as well, that we do not become “zealous ... one-eyed prophets who see only what new technologies can do and are incapable of imagining what they will undo ” [italics in original] and that we offer “a dissenting voice ... to moderate the din made by the enthusiastic [technophile] multitudes” (Postman, 1993 , p. 5).

In a sense, we are somewhat akin to Postman's “technological resistance fighter [who] maintains an epistemological and psychic distance from any technology, so that it always appears somewhat strange, never inevitable, never natural” (Postman, 1993 , pp.183–185). We are mindful of the implicit, perhaps largely unnoticed, alteration in “human attention-structures” (Lanham, 1993 ) that pervasive new technologies such as PowerPoint (and its allied information technology and Internet paraphernalia) bring with them. And, of course, as academics we are alert to our obligation to be “disturbers of the peace” (Passmore, 1967 , p. 203) and to “be somewhat reflexive about [our] use of tools, and thus not sound like Microsoft advertising executives” (Rose, 2004 , p. 797).

Our discussion is directed to providing a much-needed tempering of the widespread enthusiasm and excitement for PowerPoint while avoiding a seemingly reflexive anti-technology reaction. We seek to engender a clearer appreciation of whether PowerPoint is a beneficial and efficient educational medium by heightening awareness that the technology of PowerPoint is not an “unparalleled conduit of pedagogically related excellence” and that we need an alternative “‘attention structure’ that does not reify” PowerPoint (Amernic & Craig, 1999 , p. 437).

Is PowerPoint Effective?

In this section we review the limited empirical evidence on whether or not PowerPoint presentations are effective in enriching student learning. However, we refrain from consideration of such core ideas as critical thinking (Nelson, 1994 ), the university's role in the communication of imagination (Whitehead, 1957/[1929] , p. 97), and learning paradigms for undergraduate education (Barr & Tagg, 1995 ). It seems important to review the effectiveness of PowerPoint given its widespread and largely uncritical acceptance, particularly in higher education institutions. This is because, conceivably, PowerPoint might simply lead to a professor's “improvement and/or modernization of their performance in the classroom” (Szabo & Hastings, 2000 , p. 176) without any significant effects on student learning.

Given the widespread adoption of PowerPoint, the small number of authoritative studies of its effectiveness ( n < 20) is surprising. Generally, the available studies lack substance and internal and external validity and adopt rather constrained characterizations of the concept effectiveness . Most have been conducted in the United Kingdom and the U.S. and involve one-site, cross-sectional analyses of small classes that have been taught by the principal researcher (see, for example, Bartsch & Cobern, 2003 ; and the studies reviewed by Szabo & Hastings, 2000 , pp. 176–177). Typically, studies are conducted of classes that have been partitioned into two groups—one taught using lectures and PowerPoint and the other taught using lectures and overhead transparencies. Student attitude responses are gathered usually by means of in-class questionnaire survey methods and need to be scrutinized carefully for unintended bias.

Other studies are based simply on selective reporting of student anecdotes. Some have a self-indulgent quality of “ Hey, look at me, I’m an innovator, and my students like what I am doing .” Others are superficial recollections of instructor experience in using PowerPoint (e.g., Parks, 1999 ). Many studies of student attitudes were conducted before PowerPoint became an ingrained, almost compulsory feature of university lectures. It would not be surprising if many reported results were influenced by a now defunct “novelty factor.” With the passage of time and with heightened exposure to PowerPoint, our recent conversations with students suggest they are now more likely to respond to PowerPoint with an air of resigned, nonchalant ennui.

In the main, the results reported in scholarly journal articles indicate that students like to be taught using PowerPoint (perhaps because of its novelty and the availability of printed handouts of PowerPoint slides) and think that PowerPoint presentations are entertaining, enhance clarity, and aid recall of subject matter. There is little consistent evidence, however, to show that teaching with PowerPoint leads to significantly better learning and significantly better grades than teaching by more conventional methods. A majority of studies shows that use of PowerPoint is not associated with a significant improvement in student grades. For example, Rankin and Hoaas ( 2001 ) examined the effect of PowerPoint presentations on student grades in four classes of students in an introductory economics course taught by one instructor, at one institution, in two semesters. “Each semester one group of students was taught using PowerPoint slides and the other taught without slides to serve as a control group ...[but there was] ...no significant effect in terms of student performance” (p. 113). Results such as this seem curious in view of the speed and conviction with which PowerPoint has been embraced by educators.

Some other empirical studies are more generous, but are unpublished and unreviewed (e.g., Evans, 1998 ), or have significant methodological problems (e.g., Harknett & Cobane, 1997 ), or have untested assumptions (e.g., Lowry, 1999 ). Generally, the results of these studies point to the benefits of PowerPoint on student performance. For example, Lowry ( 1999 ) concluded that classes taught using PowerPoint “achieved better grades than the traditional-lecture cohort (51.8 and 51.9 versus 43.5%) ... and students exposed to PowerPoint lecturing had a positive attitude towards the method” (pp. 20–21).

Bartsch and Cobern ( 2003 , p. 78) provided the following good review of empirical evidence regarding the effectiveness of PowerPoint and computer presentations:

Overall research indicates that students prefer PowerPoint type presentations from transparencies (Cassady, 1998 ; Perry & Perry, 1998 ; Susskind & Gurien, 1999 ; West, 1997 ). Unfortunately, information on whether computer presentations improve student performance is much less clear. Several studies point to the idea that graphics improve student recall (ChanLin, 1998 , 2000 ; Lowry, 1999 ; Szabo & Hastings, 2000 , Exp. 2). However, many courses that adopted multimedia presentations have not shown a corresponding increase in student performance (Stoloff, 1995 ; Susskind & Gurien, 1999 ; Szabo & Hastings, 2000 . Exp. 1 and 3; West, 1997 ). In fact, one study demonstrated a decrease in student performance when the instructor switched from transparencies to PowerPoint (Bartlett, Cheng, & Strough, 2000 ).

In the study by Szabo and Hastings ( 2000 ), over 90% of students said that PowerPoint “is more attention capturing than the traditional method of lecturing,” and 85% found “PowerPoint lectures are more interesting than traditional lectures” (p. 179). They concluded that:

PowerPoint lectures, at least in some circumstances, mainly add to the entertainment rather than to the education of the students ... Apart from possible benefits on recall, no significant advantages to PowerPoint lecturing were found ... students like PowerPoint as a lecturing method. Their preference for PowerPoint lectures, in contrast to their beliefs, is not accompanied by better academic performance (p. 186).

Although students found PowerPoint entertaining, Szabo and Hastings ( 2000 ) noted aptly that “the challenge in the new millennium is not to entertain students ... but to improve or to facilitate learning” (p. 187). Such an improvement will not come easily if Parker ( 2001 ) is to be believed. He contended that presenters are concentrating more on “formatting slides—because it’s more fun to do than concentrate on what [they're] going to say” (Parker, 2001 , p. 5). A major challenge facing educators will be to convert the generally positive disposition of students to PowerPoint into significantly better learning and performance.

The Dynamics of the Pedagogical Setting

It is important to reflect upon the epistemology of our pedagogy. We live in a pedagogic realm in which the lecture has been regarded as “an accomplishment—bringing together a very particular constellation of speaker, space, technology, audience and attention” (Crang, 2003 , p. 242). In the lecture setting, the social roles, expectations, and power relations at play merit our reflection. The encompassing “performative aspects” of PowerPoint and how they “lend authority to the speaker” (Driver, 2003 , p. 229) are deserving of reflection too.

Accordingly, we now explore three aspects of the interaction between PowerPoint technology and its “spaces and audiences” (Driver, 2003 , p. 229)—first, whether or not PowerPoint serves as a crutch for many presenters, and second, whether or not it has a bad effect on the message by becoming “a tool to separate the presenter from the audience and the message” (Coursey, 2003 , para. 5). Third, we also explore the thesis that the visuality of PowerPoint presentations (which should enrich the message) is becoming THE message and that less of an audience's attention is being applied to a speaker's discussion of relevant content (DuFrene & Lehman, 2004 , p. 84).

There are divergent views about whether the teacher or presenter using PowerPoint is still the main actor and a Socratic-type figure in a learning play. One view is that “PowerPoint is teacher-centred. It puts the instructor at the center of the action” (Creed, 1997 ). As such, (s)he is a narrator tasked with framing the message or performance, both literally and perceptually. Opposed to this, is the view that the use of PowerPoint has reduced the role of the presenter to that of a stagehand (Blokzijl & Naeff, 2004 ) in which (s)he has been “effaced” by the visuality of the PowerPoint slide show (Crang, 2003 , p. 243). Consistent with this view, the role of the lecturer or presenter has changed: (s)he is a necessary, but annoying distraction, providing Muzak accompaniment to the lecture by means of an often “disembodied voice” (Crang, 2003 , p. 243). Indeed, Nunberg ( 1999 , p. 330) drew attention to the argument that the presenter is no longer needed because PowerPoint slides “have begun to take on a life of their own, as if they no longer needed talking heads to speak for them.” In this vein, Tufte ( 2003a ) argued that “rather than supplementing a presentation, [PowerPoint] has become a substitute for it” (p. 3).

Our view is that whether a PowerPoint presenter is the centre of attention or more of a stagehand will be a function of the communication ability of the presenter. Good presenters will most likely still be the centre of attention, using PowerPoint appropriately as a valuable communication aid to buttress their rhetoric. Poor presenters, such as nervous freshman students making their first assessable class presentation, will most likely be stagehands, with PowerPoint used as a dominating prop and their visual presence barely discernible.

What are the implications of interposing a PowerPoint presentation between an instructor and students? When we taught without PowerPoint or led a case discussion without PowerPoint or acted Socratic-like without PowerPoint, our relationship with students was unmediated and more human, more direct, less pre-meditated and less structured. The pedagogy involved depended on the particular situation, the process of interchange, the verbal and nonverbal communication, the repartee, the facial expressions, and the multitude of things that unfold during unmediated human relationships and dialogue. These are all “immediacy behaviours” which include such non-verbal actions as “eye contact, smiling, movement, adopting relaxed body positions, vocal expressiveness” and have been found to have a positive effect on student learning (see Hartnett, Römcke, & Yap, 2003 , p. 315). But when we subcontract our teaching to PowerPoint presentations, often we cannot see the faces of students. The ambient light is often low, and the focus of students is on the PowerPoint screen. It is not as easy to engage in effective “immediacy behaviours” with students, person-to-person, and to interest them vitally in the pursuit of knowledge.

Are educators at risk of falling into Freire's ( 1993 ) “banking education” trap by implicitly regarding education as an activity in which students simply withdraw dollops of something called “knowledge” in much the same way that money is withdrawn from a bank account? As a community of educators and students, are we acquiescing to an unthinking acceptance of PowerPoint's imposition of a conduit metaphor to frame (educational) communication in a way in which “language transfers thought to others” using words as a conduit (Reddy, 1993 , p. 167)? However, note that Reddy ( 1993 ) also cautioned that considering communication as a conduit metaphor “is leading us down a technological and social blind alley. That blind alley is mass communications systems coupled with mass neglect of the internal, human systems responsible for nine-tenths of the work in communicating” (p. 188). In this article we do not pursue the possible connection between the widespread deployment of PowerPoint in education and the implicit framing of educational communication by the conduit metaphor, but, at least according to Reddy, this merits further study.

What do we do if an unplanned, yet fruitful, discussion demands that a PowerPoint presentation be stopped dead in its tracks? Can we allow conversation and discussion to meander down a road with no known ultimate destination? Is it possible to ever discontinue a PowerPoint presentation or, in the best tradition of the theatre, must the “show go on?” Must a pre-planned schedule be followed rigidly because of an unwritten convention of PowerPoint that “no matter what, get through all the slides.” Or perhaps, even more chillingly, has the PowerPoint slideshow become the curriculum?

Rhetorical Elements

Teachers, public speakers, and business seminar presenters are rhetoricians, engaged in acts of persuasion: they seek to persuade or to educate, and to use PowerPoint as a visual aid to make “the logical structure of an argument more transparent” (Parker, 2001 , citing Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor of psychology, Steven Pinker, p. 6). Yet the knowledge most have of how to use PowerPoint effectively extends little beyond the general guidelines for using visual aids that have been outlined by Berko, Wolvin and Ray ( 1997 ) and Andrews and Baird ( 2000 ). Few lecturers or business seminar presenters seem adept at melding their verbal oratory with “visuality as an element of rhetorical invention” (Cyphert, 2004 , p. 81). And, as pointed out by Parker ( 2001 ), “instead of human contact” PowerPoint gives us a “human display ... we present to each other, instead of discussing” (p. 5, italics added). We exacerbate this problem by committing the “sin of triple delivery, where precisely the same text is seen on the screen, spoken aloud, and printed on the handout in front of you” (Parker, 2001 , p. 5).

There is a strong argument that the problems of PowerPoint arise from the contempt of many presenters for fundamental rhetorical principles and from their failure to ask such questions: “What does my audience need to know? What point am I trying to make? How do I make that point clearly, thoroughly, transparently? And is the organization of information effective for making my point clear and understandable?” (Shwom & Keller, 2003 , p. 4). Those who overlook these principles deserve “banishing into the wilderness of incoherence [because they] often lose their way in a thicket of points and sub-points [and compel a reader to] work too hard to decipher meaning” (Shwom & Keller, 2003 , pp. 4–5). One key rhetorical principle was proposed by Shwom and Keller ( 2003 ) for following by PowerPoint authors:

On each bullet point slide ... address only one main idea: a single discrete category with sub-items consistently related to that category. Do not use bullet points to present a sequence of ideas. In other words, use bullets to present inductive reasoning, not deductive reasoning (p. 8).

Additionally, many PowerPoint presenters fail to appreciate how rhetorical culture has been changed by PowerPoint communication. According to Cyphert ( 2005 ):

The whole notion of having a linear outline is actually a holdover from some pretty traditional—some would say archaic or even xenophobic—rhetorical presumptions. The sad thing is that PowerPoint offers tremendous tools for a speaker, but very, very few get past those dad-gummed bullet points. (response to question 10).

The linearity of PowerPoint and its pesky bullet points hold the prospect of seeming “too slow and boring to students used to MTV, instant messaging and MP3s” (Delaney, 2005 , p. R4, citing Tom Wilson, a technology-integration specialist at Hopkins High School, Minnetonka, Minnesota). Indeed, it suggests that Reddy's ( 1993 ) conduit metaphor has been given new breath by PowerPoint and is alive and well.

The metaphors that are associated with the use of PowerPoint merit reflection because the stance educators adopt with regard to the advantages and disadvantages of PowerPoint probably reflect the metaphors that imperceptibly fashion their attitudes. In assessing the way to use PowerPoint, it is important for educators to contemplate the fundamental metaphors that define their approach to teaching. We can identify four major metaphors that influence the way faculty members conceive teaching, by drawing on Fox ( 1983 ) and Lucas ( 2002 ). These are described in Amernic and Craig ( 2004 , p. 357) as:

the transfer conception: knowledge is a commodity to be transferred from one vessel to another, a concept consistent with Reddy's conduit metaphor ( 1993 );

the shaping conception: teaching is usually directed to developing the minds of students;

the travelling conception: the teacher leads students into new territory and, in doing so, gains new perspectives, too; and

the growing conception: the teacher is a nurturer.

Most users of PowerPoint appear to conceive their goals as educators to involve merely a one-way transmission of knowledge, rather than to promote the construction of knowledge and the analysis and synthesis of knowledge (Ramsden, 1992 ). This transfer, transportation, or conduit model of communication seems to fashion thinking by educators about PowerPoint: they conceive PowerPoint presentations as moving meaning across space in a way in which “the delivery, as opposed to the formulation of meaning” (Angus, 1998 , p. 21) is regarded as most important.

A major pedagogical issue with PowerPoint presentations is that receivers are “passively engaged” rather than “actively engaged.” Jones ( 2003 ) discussed the danger of making PowerPoint presentations available to students. Such practice is said to encourage “students to sit passively through the session since they may perceive they have ‘got the notes’” (p. 5). Tufte ( 2003b ) outlined the problems involved very strongly. They are summarized by Simons ( 2005 ) as follows:

It [PowerPoint] locks presenters into a linear, slide-by-slide format that discourages free association and creative thinking. It imposes artificial and potentially misleading hierarchies on information ... breaks information and data into fragments, making it more difficult to see the logical relationships between different sets of data. It encourages over-simplification by asking presenters to summarize key concepts in as few words as possible—e.g., bullet points—which can lead to gross generalizations, imprecise logic, superficial reasoning and, quite often, misleading conclusions. It imposes an authoritarian presenter/audience relationship rather than facilitating a give-and-take exchange of ideas and information. (p.5)

Some might argue that Tufte's case is exaggerated, that PowerPoint presentations can be paused for “contemplative effect, and they can serve as a springboard for conversation” (Cyphert, 2005 , question 13). Nonetheless, many PowerPoint presenters seem to embrace the transfer conception of education, in preference to the shaping, travelling, and growing conceptions. “If everyone has set their remarks in stone ahead of time (all using the same templates) then there is little room for comments of one to build upon another, or for a new idea to arise collaboratively ... Homogeneity is great for milk, but not for ideas” (Norvig, 2003 , p. 344). Educators using PowerPoint should give greater emphasis to working as partners with students, in designing learning activities with them, so that they encourage students to identify new ways of thinking for themselves. Most importantly, therefore, educators should reflect upon the explicit and implicit metaphors that help form the foundation of the cognitive world that is drawn upon in their use of PowerPoint.

PowerPoint Culture

In this section we examine three aspects of the “PowerPoint culture” in contemporary higher education institutions: power and ideology, cognition and psychology, and production influences.

Power and Ideology

What is the power of PowerPoint? This is an important question. The extent to which a PowerPoint presenter is in a position of power is often underestimated. Rose ( 2003 , p. 218, 2004 ) outlined five reasons why, in displaying slides, an academic has the potential to be a “powerful producer of knowledge.”

First, classes are given in spaces, such as lecture halls, that “encourage the practice of attention ... and in which attention is demanded” (Rose, 2003 , p. 218). We see this in the strong social convention governing audiences at PowerPoint presentations—to focus attention forward at the video screen and be quiet. Second, the display of slides is a powerful activity. Slides are often shown embedded in a luminescent square of light, surrounded by darkness. This seems to disallow any discussion of their truth status—and it privileges them by imposing a well-demarcated frame. Third, there is also a redirecting of the traditional flow of discourse in the lecture: the speaker “often seems compelled to turn towards the screen and to talk to the projection rather than to the audience” (Rose 2003 , p. 215). Fourth, slides “usually work to bestow authority on their expositor ... [who] mediates between the audience and the image by explaining it to them, and the apparent truth of the [slide] produces a truth-effect in the [expositor's] words as well” (Rose, 2003 , p. 216). Fifth, PowerPoint presentations “are not shown or seen the same way regardless of where they are screened; the way the [presenter] presents—and their audience views—images differently depend[s] on the location of their display ... [and] the speech and gestures” of the presenter (Rose, 2003 , p. 217).

An important aspect is the “visual uniformity” of PowerPoint. This may have ideological associations with the culture of its corporate creator, Microsoft—for example, in the subtle cognitive impacts of the aesthetic layout judgments made in default settings (Matless, 2003 ).

Cognition and Psychology

Ideally, lecturers should employ the most effective means to convey their message to students. But research into the effects and effectiveness of PowerPoint technology is rather poor. We are hampered, for example, by an underdeveloped understanding of the level of persuasiveness and psychological impact of PowerPoint as a new visual technology.

A lecture, like a court trial, ought to be regarded as a “search for truth and as a rhetorical contest” (Feigenson & Dunn, 2003 , p. 111). Consequently, there is a strong need for empirical research to address how various PowerPoint presentations have facilitative or prejudicial effects on audiences and how those audiences explain the perceptual, cognitive and emotional reasons for such effects (Feigenson & Dunn, 2003 , pp. 111–112). Currently, PowerPoint presenters have only a rudimentary appreciation of the conditions under which the visual technology they are using helps them to achieve their rhetorical aims.

However, research should focus not just on the visual technology involved. We need to understand also our audience's “perceptual, cognitive, and emotional capabilities, expectations, and habits” and to explore the relationships between audience and “visual technology” and “manipulations of that technology” in a better fashion (Feigenson & Dunn, 2003 , p. 112). In this vein a visual social semiotics approach, involving a study of signs, would help us to understand “how text and images work together to make meaning together for readers/users ... [and to] better understand the rhetorical, meaning-making potential” of PowerPoint presentations and imagery and make them more effective (Harrison, 2003 , p. 47). All this underscores the potential cognitive risks for both PowerPoint presenters and PowerPoint presentees. The cognitive world of both educators and students changes, perhaps radically, when PowerPoint becomes the default mode of discourse. We should at least attempt to become aware of the possibilities, both good and not-so-good, that this raises.

Production Influences

PowerPoint can be very subverting. Lecturers seem to spend disproportionate amounts of time mesmerized in tinkering with how to present their lecture—agonizing over the choice of design template, color scheme, page layout, and mode of slide transition. That is, they become engrossed in performing the production activities associated with the Microsoft PowerPoint software application rather than concentrate on how they will participate in “uniting the young and the old in the imaginative consideration of learning” (Whitehead, 1957/[1929] , p. 93). We need to be alert to the possibility that this production labour effort will interplay with the increasingly hyperactive and mediated demands on university faculty time (e.g., via email and the Internet) to preclude any semblance of a reflective academic life.

Orality, Visuality and Literacy

PowerPoint should be recognized as a new communication medium that is fundamentally changing the nature and dynamic of how we teach. For over four hundred years, as Postman ( 1993 ) noted, teaching settings have been characterized by a fine balance between two forms of learning: orality and the printed word . According to Postman ( 1993 ) orality fostered “gregariousness” and stressed “group learning, cooperation, and a sense of social responsibility”; and the printed word fostered “introspection and isolation” and stressed “individualized learning, competition, and personal autonomy” (p.17). Nonetheless, while teachers have tended to emphasize the visuality of print, they “have allowed orality its place in the classroom, and have therefore achieved a kind of pedagogical peace between these two forms of learning, so that what is valuable in each can be maximized” (Postman, 1993 , p. 17). What PowerPoint seems to have done is to disturb this pedagogical peace.

Orality, or at least, student-generated orality, seems to have been downgraded by the uni-directional nature of the discourse which accompanies most PowerPoint presentations. That discourse often has the hallmarks of a voice-over accompaniment to a visual display, usually of graphically enhanced printed words. The instructor risks being relegated from a centre stage role, to that of an incidental stagehand.

The use of projection to enhance the visuality of teaching has a long tradition in some disciplines: instructors in geography and art history have used 35 mm slides for about 100 years (Rose, 2003 , 2004 ). But the visual learning widely believed to be enhanced by PowerPoint seems to assume a false homogeneity: that PowerPoint is an appropriate, effective and amenable aid to learning, irrespective of discipline, learning objectives, and type of learner. For example, the visuality of PowerPoint seems much less likely to be amenable in teaching people to converse in foreign languages.

The form of learning we are gravitating to with PowerPoint is one of televisuality. This may be quite appropriate in the early 21st century. Young students of the “tech-savvy Play Station 2 generation” (Delaney, 2005 , p. R4) will be acculturated to such a mode. Many, if not most, will have been raised in homes bristling with the technology of television, interactive video games, DVD players, computers, and cell phones. The brevity and prevalence of PowerPoint's bullet points, abbreviations, and acronyms will resonate sympathetically with them, as they are likely to be voracious users of cell phone text messaging. Indeed, they would probably even find such use GR8 THK U. (This is commonly used Special Messaging Service [SMS] text for “Great, thank you.”) But this all comes at a price—the downgrading of orality and print.

There is also a profound impact on literacy. PowerPoint slides are often devoid of paragraphs, pronouns, punctuation, conjunctions, auxiliary verbs and articles. The obligation to form full sentences has become optional and the spelling of polysyllabic words has become a lost art in a sea of PowerPoint-induced abbreviations. (A similar criticism could be made of the use of overhead transparency slides. But we contend that the effect is much more pronounced with PowerPoint.) “The world is condensed into a few upbeat slides, with seven or so words on a line, seven lines on a slide” (Parker, 2001 , p. 2); and it is “a world where any complex thought must be broken into seven-word chunks, with colorful blobs between them” (Norvig, 2003 , p. 343). The use of language is imprecise and deserving of banishment into a “wilderness of incoherence,” for it causes audiences to “often lose their way in a thicket of points and sub-points” in “lists gone amuck” (Shwom & Keller, 2003 , pp. 4–5).

Parker ( 2001 , p. 6, citing Nass) argued that PowerPoint “empowers the provider of simple content ... but risks squeezing out the provider of process—that is to say, the rhetorician, the storyteller, the poet, the person whose thoughts cannot be arranged in the shape of a [PowerPoint] slide.” Parker ( 2001 ) recounted a telling anecdotal confession by Professor Nass about the capacity of PowerPoint to influence curriculum choices:

I hate to admit this but I actually removed a book from my syllabus last year because I couldn't figure out how to PowerPoint it. It's a lovely book called ‘Interface Culture,’ by Steven Johnson, but it's very discursive; the charm of it is the throwaways. When I read this book, I thought, my head's filled with ideas, and now I've got to write out exactly what those ideas are, and they're not neat. [Parker then observes that Nass] couldn't get the book into bullet points; every time he put something down, he realized that it wasn't quite right. Eventually, he abandoned the attempt, and instead of a lecture, he gave his students a recommendation. He told them it was a good book, urged them to read it, and moved on to the next bullet point (p. 6).

PowerPoint also effects how we expose students to a curriculum. Norvig ( 2003 ) argued that PowerPoint “makes it harder to have an open exchange between presenter and audience, to convey ideas that do not neatly fit into outline format” (p. 344). And Creed ( 1997 , Classroom assessment) makes several apposite points: first, “You may get less feedback from the class because your eyes and theirs are on the screen rather than looking at each other;” second, students don't have a chance to synthesize what they've heard; and third, the emphasis is on the quality of your presentation rather than your students' learning. Indeed, because of the facility for PowerPoint to be distributed in handout form at the commencement of classes and for PowerPoint presentations to be placed on the Web, students no longer need to listen carefully in class. Indeed, if lecturers simply read their PowerPoint presentations, there seems little point in them attending lectures at all.

All users of PowerPoint should respond to Postman's ( 1993 ) call and pause to reflect about any new technology, such as PowerPoint, and how it affects, however imperceptibly, their engagement with what and how they teach. They should engage in conversations and critique of new technologies, rather than to accept them blithely and unquestioningly.

As a society we should be mindful that PowerPoint, in concert with allied computer and Internet-based technology, is having a profound effect on higher education. PowerPoint is not merely a benign means of facilitating what educators have always done. Rather, it is changing much (perhaps most) of how we engage with our students and the disciplines which we profess. We should be curious as to why this is so. We should be eager to understand the assumptions and metaphors that subtly infuse PowerPoint. We should also be more aware of the culture, customs, and behaviour that are dragged along with PowerPoint and how they affect the way we think about our students, our audiences, ourselves, and our disciplines.

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received his B.Sc., and M.B.A. from the University of Toronto, where he is a Professor in the Rotman School of Management.

Both authors are long-term collaborators with common research interests in management education, the accountability discourse of CEOs, and various aspects of corporate accounting and financial reporting, including the use of accounting data in employment relations.

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Craig, R.J., Amernic, J.H. PowerPoint Presentation Technology and the Dynamics of Teaching. Innov High Educ 31 , 147–160 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10755-006-9017-5

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The advantages and disadvantages of powerpoint.

  • Disadvantages

1. PowerPoint— Advantage or Disadvantage for the Presenter?

PowerPoint is the most popular presentation software. It is regarded by many as the most useful and accessible way to create and present visual aids to the audience.

On the other hand, others believe it has created its own mind-set which forces presenters to spend countless hours thinking in PowerPoint and developing slides. A political party has even formed to ban PowerPoint in Switzerland. Depending on one's perspective, it seems that many advantages could easily be viewed as disadvantages.

When used correctly, PowerPoint is a helpful program for creating an engaging presentation.

Look over the list below to see where you stand— with or against PowerPoint.

term to know PowerPoint An electronic slide presentation created and presented using the program (verb) to communicate to (an audience) by electronic slides.

1a. Advantages

Quick and easy: The basic features are easy to master and can make you appear to be organized, even if you are not.

Simple bullet points : It can reduce complicated messages to simple bullet points. Bullet points are a good basis for a presentation and remind the speaker of main points and the organization of the message.

Easy to create a colorful, attractive design: Using the standard templates and themes, you can create something visually appealing, even if you do not have much knowledge of basic graphic design principles.

Easy to modify: When compared to other visual aids such as charts, posters, or objects, it is easy to modify.

Easily re-order presentation: with a simple drag and drop or using key strokes, you can move slides to re-order the presentation.

Finally, PowerPoint is integrated with other products that allow you to include parts of documents, spread sheets, and graphics.

Audience size: PowerPoint slides are generally easier to see by a large audience when projected than other visual aids.

Easy to present: You can easily advance the slides in the presentation one after another with a simple key stroke while still maintaining eye contact with the audience.

No need for handouts: They look good visually and can be easily read if you have a projector and screen that is large enough for the entire room.

term to know Bullet Points Bulleted items – known as bullet points – may be short phrases, single sentences, or of paragraph length; used to introduce items in a list.

1b. Disadvantages

Design power pointless: Gives the illusion of content and coherence, when in fact there is really not much substance or connection between the different points on the slides.

PowerPoint excess: Some speakers create presentations so they have slides to present rather than outlining, organizing, and focusing on the message.

Replaces planning and preparation: PowerPoint is a convenient prop for poor speakers, as it can reduce complicated messages to simple bullet points and elevates style over substance.

Oversimplification of topic: The linear nature of PowerPoint forces the presenter to reduce complex subjects to a set of bullet items that are too weak to support decision-making or show the complexity of an issue.

Feature abundance: While the basic features are easy to use and apply, a speaker can get carried away and try to use all the features at once rather than simply supporting a message. Too many flying letters, animations, and sound effects without seeing much original thought or analysis can be a real issue. In many cases, the medium shoves the message aside.

Basic equipment required: You will need to have a computer and projection equipment in place to display the slides to the audience.

Focus on medium, not message: Too many people forget that they are making a presentation first and that PowerPoint is just a tool.

Source: Boundless. "The Advantages and Disadvantages of PowerPoint." Boundless Communications Boundless, 17 Mar. 2017. Retrieved 3 Jun. 2017 from https://www.boundless.com/communications/textbooks/boundless-communications-textbook/preparing-and-using-visual-aids-16/using-powerpoint-and-alternatives-successfully-85/the-advantages-and-disadvantages-of-powerpoint-323-5654/

Bulleted items – known as bullet points – may be short phrases, single sentences, or of paragraph length; used to introduce items in a list.

An electronic slide presentation created and presented using the program (verb) to communicate to (an audience) by electronic slides.

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Pros and Cons of Using PowerPoint in the Classroom

There is a lot of buzz around schools using PowerPoint in the classroom to teach their students. The presentation software of choice is usually PowerPoint. It is the most widely accepted presentation software after all.

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Should You Jump on The Bandwagon of Using PowerPoint in the Classroom?

Everything has its Pros and Cons. What are the Pros and Cons of using PowerPoint in the classroom?

You can use this knowledge to decide what to teach using PowerPoint and what to teach without using PowerPoint. Lets get started with some of the biggest Pros and Cons of using PowerPoint in the classroom.

Pro: Great For Introducing New Topics

Using PowerPoint can make the topic look a lot more interesting to the students. That is why it is a very useful tool when introducing a new topic.

Pro: Use of Custom Multimedia is Possible

You can include illustrations, images, even audio and video to the presentation to help the students get a nice introduction and overview of any new topic. It can also be used for specific lessons or the whole course.

Pro:   Use of Custom Animation is Possible

Simple custom animations can be used to move things on the screen and reveal more of an image or data as you talk more about it.

Pro: The Slides Can Be Shared With All Students Easily

The school’s LMS can be used to provide students with the slides. The files can also be uploaded to a file hosting website.

This way, the students will be able to access the slides and study from them on pretty much any phone, tablet, or computer device connected to the internet. They won’t need to print or photocopy anything. However, the slides can be printed if needed.

Con: Using A Lot of Text Can Make Using PowerPoint Less Useful

If you like using a lot of text in your classroom Presentations, then its better to just use a textbook or printed notes instead.

Con: Using The Wrong Font and Colors Makes Things Hard To Read

This one is really important. Because, sometimes people make presentations that are really hard to read. Make sure that this does not happen to you. Read the instructions included in this link .

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Advantages and Disadvantages of Using PowerPoint for Presentations

Advantages and Disadvantages of Using PowerPoint for Presentations

If you want to make visually captivating and professional-looking presentations, understanding PowerPoint and the benefits of PowerPoint is vital for you. Microsoft PowerPoint is a popular presentation tool used by students and professionals daily. 

Using PowerPoint has made communicating complex ideas and data easier and more engaging, thanks to its user-friendly interface and customizable presentation templates . While there are many benefits of powerpoint, it also has some drawbacks. This article examines what PowerPoint presentations offer and what they don’t. If you are still determining whether it is the right tool for your next presentation, we will help you decide.

What is Microsoft PowerPoint and How Does It Help Create Presentations?

Microsoft PowerPoint is a part of the Microsoft Office Suite developed by Microsoft Corporation. It is a widely used tool for making slideshows or presentations, including images, video, text, animation, and other multimedia elements. Users can use PowerPoint to effectively present their ideas and data to a broad audience in a simple and easy-to-understand manner.  It also helps in creating presentations real quick! So, let us see how it helps with the same: 

  • Visual Appeal : Visual appeal is one of the main benefits of PowerPoint. Incorporating PowerPoint graphics , images, and multimedia elements facilitates the creation of visually appealing and engaging presentations in PowerPoint.
  • Customization : One of the many benefits of PowerPoint presentations is the freedom to customize the template. It offers various customizable templates with different designs, tools, and effects that help the users or presenters to tailor their slides or presentations to the subject matter and audience.
  • Multimedia Integration : To improve the quality and impact of the presentation, users can integrate multimedia elements in PowerPoint, like high-quality videos, audio, animations., etc.
  • Audience Engagement : PowerPoint provides various tools and features, such as interactive polls and quizzes, to engage the audience and promote participation during the presentation.
  • Accessibility : Accessibility is one of the advantages of PowerPoint that allows users to create presentations accessible to a broad audience, including those with hearing or visual impairments, through features such as closed captions and alternative text descriptions.

What Are The Top 10 Benefits Of Using PowerPoint For Presentation?

The benefits of using PowerPoint are not limited only to efficiently conveying ideas in a meeting, college or school presentations. Apart from students and business professionals, people in the creative field also use PowerPoint to create mood boards or to ideate any creative project. So, if you are wondering what are the benefits of using Microsoft PowerPoint then keep on reading: 

Offers Excellent Data Visualization

  • Great Audience Engagement 

Create Visually Stunning Slides Quickly

Multiple interactive features, gives accessibility to different features, has various designs, and you can even create yours, highly collaborative tool.

  • PowerPoint Presentations Can Be Saved In Various Platforms
  • Helps To Communicate With The Audience Professionally

Offers Consistency To Each Slide

Great audience interaction.

disadvantages of powerpoint presentation in teaching

PowerPoint Presentation Can Be Saved In Various Formats

Helps communicate with the audience professionally.

Now that we have discussed the advantages of Microsoft PowerPoint, let us jump onto seeing some of its disadvantages.

What Are The Disadvantages Of Using PowerPoint For Presentation?

Apart from the various benefits of Microsoft PowerPoint, it also has some disadvantages. Let us see some of the drawbacks of using PowerPoint for presentations: 

  • Over-Reliance on Slides

Information Overload

  • Files are not saved automatically
  • Lack of originality
  • Most features usually remain unexplored

Over Reliance on Slides

Files are not saved automatically, lack of originality, most features usually remain unexplored, when should i use powerpoint to create presentations.

Due to the diverse benefits of Microsoft PowerPoint, there are various instances when a user can use PowerPoint for Presentations. For example, when a user wants to present complex information or wants to include visual aids to support the information or wants to present to an audience that is not physically present or intends to propose an idea in a business meeting or conference. Here is a table showing how different professionals can use PowerPoint: 

Final Thoughts

Presenting visually appealing and engaging presentations can be achieved with PowerPoint. In addition to offering a wide range of design tools and features, it offers several communication tools that help presenters effectively communicate their ideas to a wide audience. 

However, apart from the benefits of a PowerPoint presentation, it’s imperative to remember that it also has disadvantages. The disadvantages include the potential for information overload, lack of originality, and the risk of disengaging the audience if not used appropriately. 

When choosing PowerPoint for a presentation, the decision should be based on the presentation’s goals and needs. In addition, the audience and the presenter should have their preferences taken into consideration.

Can I rely solely on PowerPoint to deliver an effective presentation?

How can i avoid information overload in my powerpoint presentation, can i use powerpoint presentations for remote presentations or online meetings, is it necessary to use templates for my powerpoint presentations, how can i ensure my powerpoint presentations are accessible to all audiences.

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Disadvantages & Advantages of a Powerpoint Presentation

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Part of the Microsoft Office suite, PowerPoint is used to create presentations for personal, professional and educational use. The software comes with numerous advantages when it comes to making engaging presentations, collaborating and sharing information. Even better, little training is needed to get started. Despite these advantages, you should consider concerns such as cost, possible technical problems, and the potential for ineffective presentations. Understanding all the PowerPoint presentation pros and cons can help you use this software more effectively.

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PowerPoint presentations feature slides where you can put text, images, videos, audio, tables of data and mathematical formulas. You have control over placing and formatting the content and can annotate slides, make custom drawings, and record narration that goes along with the presentation. The software comes with a variety of animations and transitions and gives users control over whether they want to use an automated slideshow or present the slides manually.

Advantages of PowerPoint Presentations

When considering making a PowerPoint presentation, consider the benefits that using the software can offer:

  • Flexible uses : Individuals, businesses and educators often use PowerPoint presentations to share information in slideshows, but the uses go far beyond that. For example, you can use PowerPoint to create graphics such as banners, brochures, charts and logos for a business. Other uses include calendars, photo albums and collages, invitations, screen recordings, brainstorming maps and resumes.
  • Engaging presentations : PowerPoint gives you the tools to make engaging presentations that go beyond only text and images to include videos, narration and animations. When used correctly, such presentations help teachers and trainers keep their learners interested and appeal to multiple learning styles.
  • Detailed customization : PowerPoint gives you full control over your slides' appearance so that you can align content, add annotations, use lists and highlight important information visually. You can also control the slide size to fit your needs.
  • Suitable for beginners : While training helps with using PowerPoint's advanced features, beginners can quickly get started thanks to the program's huge selection of templates. These templates come with a variety of backgrounds, layouts and themes. You can search by project types such as resumes, posters or charts.
  • Easy sharing and collaboration : Microsoft Office comes with tools that let you share your PowerPoint presentation to the cloud where others can view and work on it with you easily.

Disadvantages of PowerPoint Presentations

While PowerPoint can offer many benefits for personal, educational or professional use, keep in mind these disadvantages of PowerPoint presentations:

  • May not always engage users : Although you can make engaging PowerPoint presentations that use multimedia effectively, not all presentations end up that way. Sometimes, the presentations hinder learning when the slides contain distracting elements or contain only text and narration that viewers tune out.
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  • v.29(4); 2019 Dec

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The Impact of Supplementing PowerPoint with Detailed Notes and Explanatory Videos on Student Attendance and Performance in a Physiology Module in Medicine

Mohammed h. abdulla.

1 Department of Physiology, School of Medicine, Western Gateway Building, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland

Eleanor O’Sullivan

2 Department of Oral Surgery, Cork University Dental School and Hospital, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland

PowerPoint is widely used in higher education with reported advantages on student learning. The aim of this study was to examine the impact of detailed notes and videos as a supplement to PowerPoint slides on student attendance and performance. First-year medical students’ opinion on whether the supplementary material assisted their learning of Physiology in addition to demographics was collected in a survey. Attendance was similar for participants who used notes and videos to those who did not, for male vs. female and for participants from biomedical vs. non-biomedical backgrounds. However, within the non-biomedical cohort, attendance of male respondents was significantly higher (95 ± 3 vs. 81 ± 6%, P  < 0.05), although both groups used notes and videos. Similarly, attendance of female participants of biomedical background was higher ( P  < 0.05) than female participants of non-biomedical background ( biomedical vs. non-biomedical : 94 ± 3 vs. 81 ± 6%) even though both cohorts used notes and videos. Providing notes and videos had no adverse impact on attendance (90 ± 2%, 8 lectures) and tended to enhance exam scores for low-performing students in the class when compared with those of previous years’ cohorts ( 2018 vs. 2017 and 2016 : 61 ± 5% vs. 55 ± 6% and 47 ± 8%, respectively). There was an increase in the immediate gain of knowledge following watching/listening to videos ( after vs. before : 65 ± 3% vs. 48 ± 3%). The survey revealed a positive student perception of supplementary material mainly because they felt it reduced the time required to search for relevant information.

Introduction

PowerPoint is a widely used teaching tool in higher education for many years now. One of the benefits of this technology is its potential to enhance students’ engagement and empower effective learning [ 1 – 3 ]. Moreover, this technology helps students to organise their notes if they use it as a starting point to expand their knowledge from assigned textbooks. However, many students use PowerPoint as their sole study source even though all learning objectives might not have been covered in a lecture. Moreover, due to time constraints, teachers tend to list the important points in the lecture as bullet points and leave students to take notes. However, it is reported that most students are poor note takers, typically recording less than 50% of critical points in a lecture [ 4 ]. One possible solution to this issue is to provide supplementary material with each lecture. This material expands on the information provided in the lecture rather than just reiterating the lecture content. Previous research indicated that this approach improved students’ learning experience by enhancing their immediate recall and academic performance [ 5 – 7 ].

In addition to PowerPoint presentations, students can be provided with supplementary notes that expand on what is mentioned in the slides. Previous studies indicated that students who were provided with detailed notes, i.e. notes that contain main ideas in addition to supporting details, performed better in their exams than students who reviewed their own notes [ 8 – 10 ]. Moreover, Kobayashi [ 11 ] showed that low-performing students gained greater benefits from this approach compared with higher performance students. The effect of explanatory notes on students’ learning of Physiology in medicine and their attitude towards using them as a learning and review material was examined in the present study.

Similarly, supplementary videos that explain important concepts can be introduced as a complementary learning tool to PowerPoint slides. Indeed, videos add visual and auditory elements that cannot be found in the text notes. They can enhance student understanding of main concepts when more time is needed to explain these concepts than is available during a lecture. Indeed, these videos can also act as an effective revision tool at exam time [ 5 ]. The videos can be interactive by introducing pre- and post-video quizzes. A recent study indicated that students who used interactive videos with instructor’s explanations scored higher in the post-video test compared with a pre-video test [ 12 ]. Similarly, the use of conceptual videos was found to enhance students’ understanding of calculus in a previous study by Swedberg [ 13 ].

Information about the effect of supplementary notes and explanatory videos on medical students’ learning of Physiology is lacking in the literature. The aim of this study was to examine students’ attitude and behaviour towards the use of supplementary notes and videos in addition to PowerPoint slides in a programme that is known to be limited in time. We hypothesise that this approach assists students’ learning by providing detailed explanations of the main concepts in the form of text or as an interactive video.

Research Questions

The focus of the study was on two questions regarding the use of supplementary notes and pre-recorded videos in conjunction with PowerPoint slides:

  • Does the use of supplementary notes and videos enhance understanding of core concepts and therefore improve exam scores?
  • What is the students’ attitude towards the use of supplementary notes and videos as a learning and revision tool?

Participants and Setting

This study involved first-year graduate entry to medicine students in UCC in Fundamentals in Medicine II (module code GM1002). The study was conducted over a 9-week period from January to March 2018. The graduate entry to medicine class ( n  = 82) includes students of different ages (21–35 years), region of origin (European, EU; and non-European, non-EU) and undergraduate degree backgrounds (biomedical and non-biomedical). The EU students are mainly from Ireland while the non-EU students are from Africa, Asia, Middle East and North America. This study was approved by the Social Research Ethics Committee (SREC) in UCC (Log 2018-028). Teaching comprised a series of 8 traditional lectures of approximately 50 min long, delivered by one instructor in the Department of Physiology in UCC. For this module, lecture attendance was encouraged, but not compulsory; students were not required to sign a daily attendance register.

Lecture material, including PowerPoint slides, written notes and videos, was made available to students ahead of the actual lecture time with a comprehensive list of learning objectives. The PowerPoint slides were constructed with a focus on main points without using too much text, using figures and diagrams when relevant. Further details on important points on the slides and explanations of any figures and diagrams were inserted at the bottom of each slide (supplementary notes) using the PowerPoint space allocated for notes, i.e. the notes pane. In addition, clinical scenarios and interactive questions related to the main concept on the slide were included.

Explanatory videos were recorded by the instructor ahead of lectures using Quick time player on a MacBook Pro, using the PowerPoint slides as a background. PowerPoint provides a pen option whereby the pointer can be changed into a pen or a highlighter to write, draw on the slides or highlight important points. Videos were utilised for two particular concepts in cardiovascular Physiology that required detailed explanation, i.e. electrocardiography (ECG) and electrical and mechanical events during the cardiac cycle. Students’ feedback from previous years indicated that students frequently struggle with these concepts in this module. The videos, which averaged approximately 27 min, were uploaded to blackboard. Blackboard is a web-based server software platform to which module material can be uploaded for student use. Links to these videos were embedded in between pre- and post-video tests for self-assessment using blackboard quiz options.

Quantitative Assessment of the Effect of Supplementary Videos/Notes on Student Learning

As mentioned above, pre- and post-video tests were utilised to examine students’ performance before and after watching explanatory videos. This approach was intended to provide a higher level of interaction compared with a passive approach of only watching/listening to the videos [ 14 ]. In this study, six multiple-choice questions (MCQ) were provided to allow students to assess their understanding of a concept followed by a video explaining that concept. After viewing the video, the students completed a post-test comprised of identical questions to the pre-test but randomised in order. Once the test was finished, blackboard provided students with an exit report summarising their test score and giving detailed feedback on why a given answer should be selected. Data from two videos were analysed and used in the present study.

Quantitative assessment of students’ performance in the final exam following the use of explanatory notes was also studied. Eleven MCQs were chosen from the 2017 and 2018 end of module and end of year exams based on whether the question content was related ( n  = 5 MCQs) or not ( n  = 6 MCQs) to the explanatory notes attached to PowerPoint slides. The responses were compared with the identical questions in 2016 where no explanatory notes were given. The MCQs related to explanatory notes aimed to assess three of the Bloom’s taxonomy categories, namely:

  • Knowledge recall (i.e. provided nearly verbatim in the notes pane). There was only one MCQ under this category.
  • Comprehension (i.e. provided, but not verbatim, in the notes pane). There were 2 MCQs under this category.
  • Application (i.e. not provided in the notes pane and required students to solve a new problem using information they had to comprehend from the notes pane). There were 2 MCQs under this category.

To minimize the effect of having different students over the years with varied academic ability on any possible change in performance, student performance on identical MCQ questions across the same study period from the Pharmacology content in this module was analysed. The Pharmacology part was taught consistently to the same cohort of students and in parallel to Physiology but without the use of the intervention used in this study.

Students’ Self-Reported Perception of Learning

A survey with both Likert-type and non-Likert type questions was utilised at the end of the module to examine students’ perception of supplementary notes and pre-recorded videos and their perceived effectiveness on students’ learning of core concepts in cardiovascular Physiology lectures, utilising Google Forms ( https://www.google.com/forms/about ) web-based survey options. The survey questionnaire took approximately 10 min to complete and participation was voluntary and anonymous. Also, failure to participate in the survey did not result in any negative consequences for the student and no extra credits were offered for its completion. Participants were asked to consent the use of the survey data as part of a research project. The survey link was sent to students via students’ university email and they were given 4 weeks to complete the questionnaire. A total of 68 (83%) participants completed the survey.

The first part of the survey consisted of demographic questions on gender, age, nationality and undergraduate background. Students also reported their attendance to the 8 cardiovascular Physiology lectures in this module. The second part included attitudinal questions regarding the usefulness or otherwise of the supplementary notes and pre-recorded videos to students’ learning using a Likert scale ranging from very useful/strongly agree (5) to not useful at all/strongly disagree (1). This was followed by checkbox-type questions exploring why students thought the supplementary notes were useful or otherwise to their learning of Physiology in this module. In order to arrange the responses into particular themes, students were provided with a list of suggested answers but were also given a free text option if their reason for the use or otherwise of notes/videos is not included in the list. There were two checkbox questions in the survey regarding notes, the first one was “Why do you think the supplementary notes attached to the PowerPoint slides were useful (Please select all that apply from the list below)” while the second one was “Why do you think the supplementary notes attached to the PowerPoint slides were NOT useful (Please select all that apply from the list below)”.

Students’ response regarding the use of explanatory videos was obtained using a short answer text question to respond to the statement “Please insert any comments you have about your usage of explanatory blackboard videos”. In addition, students’ explanations for lack of use of these videos were obtained by asking students to pick the most relevant answer for this question “Please indicate the reason(s) for lack of usage of supplementary blackboard videos (Select all that apply from the list below)” from a suggested list of answers. Finally, the survey ended with open text question inviting general comments about students’ perception of supplementary notes/videos in this module.

Statistical Analysis

The informational and attitudinal survey questions were analysed by gender, region of origin and biomedical background using chi-square contingency analysis using GraphPad Prism (GraphPad v6 Software Inc., San Diego, CA, USA). Similarly, the self-reported attendance in this module was compared between female and male subgroups of either EU and non-EU, biomedical and non-biomedical degree or < 25 and 25–35 years participants using parametric and non-parametric data analysis using unpaired student’s t test and Mann Whitney test respectively. Students’ performance in the pre- and post-video tests was compared using a paired student’s t test. To compare students’ performance in exams over 3 years (2016, 2017 and 2018) and between questions related/not related to supplementary PowerPoint notes, a repeated measure two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used. Data are expressed as mean ± standard error of the mean (S.E.M.) with significance at P  < 0.05.

The Effects of Demographic Variables on Students’ Attendance

Demographic information as well as self-reported lecture attendance is presented in Table ​ Table1. 1 . The 82 students in the GM1002 class were comprised of 45 (55%) females and 37 (45%) males. A total of 68 students (83% of the class) participated in the survey of which 37 (54%) were females and 31 (46%) were males. The age of survey participants was almost equally divided between those aged < 25 years or 25–35 years. Non-EU students showed a higher participation rate than EU students (54 vs. 46%). According to the survey, there were fewer students from non-biomedical compared with biomedical degree background (43 vs. 57%). The attendance in this part of the module was not recorded by the lecturer and therefore the attendance data were solely self-reported. The survey showed an average attendance of almost 90% of cardiovascular Physiology lectures in this module with similar attendance rates reported by female and male participants and among students aged < 25 years compared with 25–35 years. Analysis of attendance by gender and age category showed a tendency for higher attendance by male participant of < 25 years old compared with females of that category (92 ± 4 vs. 82 ± 6%, n.s.). Conversely, females aged 25–35 years tended to have higher attendance rates than male participants of that age category. While the overall attendance of biomedical and non-biomedical participants was similar, male non-biomedical degree students had a significantly higher attendance rate than female non-biomedical degree students (95 ± 3 vs. 81 ± 6%; P  < 0.05). Furthermore, attendance of female participants of biomedical background was higher ( P  < 0.05) than the attendance of fellow female participants of non-biomedical background (94 ± 3 vs. 81 ± 6%). The attendance was not adversely impacted by providing supplementary videos and detailed notes. Analysis of self-reported attendance showed similar attendance of users and non-users of supplementary videos (90 ± 2 vs. 84 ± 6%).

Self-reported demographic data of survey participants and answers to attitudinal question regarding the usefulness or otherwise of supplementary notes/videos. A Likert scale was used to rank usefulness of the supplementary notes or degree of agreement that explanatory videos assisted students’ understanding of core concepts. Usefulness rank was set as 5 for very useful, 4 for useful, 3 for neutral, 2 for not useful and 1 for not useful at all. Agreement rank was set as 5 for strongly agree, 4 for agree, 3 for neither agree nor disagree, 2 for disagree and 1 for strongly disagree. * P  < 0.05 non-biomedical vs. biomedical participants, # P < 0.05 female vs. male participants

Self-reported information about frequency of viewing/listening to explanatory videos in the different age, gender, nationality and undergraduate degree groups is shown in Table ​ Table1. 1 . There was a similar number of participants in the male vs. female, < 25 vs. 25–35 years and EU vs. non-EU categories who watched or listened to pre-recorded videos. However, there was a higher number ( P  < 0.05) of students of non-biomedical background who watched or listened to videos compared with their biomedical peers (93 vs. 72%).

The Effects of Demographic Variables on Self-Reported Perception of Supplementary Videos/Notes

The response to attitudinal questions regarding the utilisation of supplementary videos/notes is presented in Table ​ Table1. 1 . Two Likert scale questions were analysed from the survey questions. The first was “Viewing the supplementary videos helped me to better understand the material presented in the lecture” while the second question was “How useful did you find the supplementary notes attached to the PowerPoint slides in learning cardiovascular Physiology concepts in this module”. There was a similar attitude regarding the use of videos/notes in this part of the module by the different age, gender, nationality and undergraduate background groups. The data showed that most of the students (91%, average response 4.3/5) indicated that explanatory videos/notes helped them to develop a better understanding of the key concepts in this part of the module and were useful to students’ learning.

The Effect of Supplementary Videos/Notes on Students’ Performance

Figure ​ Figure1 1 illustrates the impact of explanatory PowerPoint notes on the students’ performance. As no explanatory notes were provided in 2016, it was used for comparison with student performance in 2017 and 2018 where notes were provided. To examine any possible effect of explanatory notes on different academic performers, the class was divided into thirds based on students’ overall mark in end of module and end of year exams. As demonstrated in Fig. ​ Fig.1, 1 , there was no significant difference in the overall student performance in 2017 and 2018 compared with 2016 for all questions directly related to the explanatory notes provided with PowerPoint slides or in questions not related to explanatory notes. However, the lower third students’ performance in identical questions in 2017 and 2018 showed a trend towards a higher performance in notes-related questions by almost 17% and 29% respectively compared with the performance in 2016. In order to exclude the effect of having different students’ academic level between the 3 years, a parallel analysis of students’ performance in 14 identical Pharmacology MCQs across the same period was used as shown in Fig.  2 . Students had similar academic performance in 2017 and 2018 compared with 2016. Likewise, the performance of the lower third students in this exam did not show any significant changes in 2017 (50 ± 4%) or 2018 (50 ± 5%) compared with 2016 (57 ± 4%).

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Student performance in the end of module exam over 3 years (2016, 2017 and 2018). The upper panel demonstrates the performance for all students in this module over the 3 years. The middle and lower panels present the performance of upper and lower thirds of the class in this exam respectively. It should be noted that no supplementary notes were used in teaching this module in 2016

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Student performance in a parallel end of year Pharmacology exam across 3 years (2016, 2017 and 2018). The same cohort of students were studied and identical items were utilised across the years

The effect of supplementary videos on students’ performance is presented in Fig.  3a . The average performance of all students who used these videos in the post-video test was increased by more than 30% ( P  < 0.05) compared with the pre-video test. This significantly enhanced performance was seen for both upper and lower third performers in this class. However, the highest gain of more than 40% ( P  < 0.05) was seen for the upper third performers compared with 24% ( P  < 0.05) for the lower third performers in these tests. The usefulness of supplementary videos pre- and post-tests was further demonstrated by students’ attitudinal response to the question “How useful did you find the pre-/post-video test (e.g. before and after the Wiggers’ diagram or ECG vectors video)”. The results indicated that more than 70% of respondents ( n  = 55) to this question indicated that pre- and post-video test is either “Very useful” or “Useful” to them. Over 25% of the students gave a “Neutral” response while 4% felt that the pre-/post-video test was “Not useful” (Fig. ​ (Fig.3b 3b ).

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Student performance ( a ) and attitude ( b ) in using the pre- and post-video tests. a Students’ performance data were collected from two pre-recorded explanatory videos with test questions that are MCQ style. A total of 11 questions were analysed from the two videos for 49 participants. * P  < 0.05 post- vs. pre-test. b Students’ attitude regarding the pre- and post-video tests. A Likert style survey question about the usefulness of pre- and post-video tests was analysed for 55 (81%) responses. Students responded to the question “How useful did you find the pre-/post-video test”

Student Opinion on the Use of Supplementary Videos/Notes

Analysis of responses to the open-ended (23 responses, 34%) and checkbox (62 responses, 91%) questions regarding the use of supplementary videos and notes respectively is presented in Fig.  4 . Students felt the videos aided learning by (i) consolidating learning from the lectures and assisting knowledge retention (41%), (ii) providing a visual element to learning (27%), (iii) being a repository review resource (18%), (iv) allowing pause and replay (9%) and (v) reducing the time required to search for information online (5%) (Fig. ​ (Fig.4a 4a ).

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Students’ comments on the use of supplementary videos ( a ) and notes ( b ). a Students responded to the open text question “Please insert any comments you have about your usage of supplementary videos” by listing their opinion regarding supplementary videos use in this part of the module (22 responses). b Student responded to the question “Please indicate the reason(s) for lack of usage of videos” by selecting all that that apply from a list. c Students responded to the question “Why do you think the supplementary notes attached to the PowerPoint slides were useful” by selecting from a list of suggested answers (62 responses). It should be noted that students were allowed to select more than one answer for the second question and this explains why there is a total of 147 responses in the bar chart of this question

Thirteen students (19%) indicated that they had not used the pre-recorded videos in this study. According to these students, they did not use videos in this module because (i) the concepts illustrated in the videos were explained in lectures (72%), (ii) time is limited in this module (17%), (iii) viewing/listening to videos is not their favourite learning style (15%), (iv) they did not know they were there (8%) and (v) the videos contained too much information/too long (8%) (Fig. ​ (Fig.4b 4b ).

When asked why they think the supplementary notes attached to the PowerPoint slides were useful, almost 77% of the responses to this question was that it is because they lessen the need to look for relevant information from external sources. The second most common reason given (60%) was that these notes are an available review resource at times of exam preparation. The next important reason for the usefulness of notes according to 55% of the responses was that these notes provided more detailed explanation of the slides than could be covered during a lecture. Furthermore, around 45% of the responses agreed that these notes were useful because they lessen the need to take notes during the lecture (Fig. ​ (Fig.4c). 4c ). Finally, there were few comments using “others” option with one student commented “Really good (notes) for providing context to students from a non-science background”, another said “If anything was missed when listening to the lecturer, the supplemental notes could cover myself” while a third student commented “… Good learning aids for concepts I maybe didn’t fully grasp at the time of the lecture”. Finally, there was one response in this survey who indicated lack of use of supplementary notes due to limited time to go through supplementary material in this course.

In this article, we showed that providing supplementary notes and videos along with PowerPoint slides assisted students’ understanding of cardiovascular Physiology in a medical programme and did not affect lecture attendance. This study revealed that the use of explanatory notes enhanced exam performance especially for low-performing students. Similarly, the use of conceptual videos in this module enhanced students’ immediate gain of knowledge as shown by enhanced performance in post-video test compared with pre-video test. Students valued the utilisation of supplementary videos and notes as a learning and revision tool in this module. The main reason that the supplementary videos were helpful, as per students’ feedback, is that the videos consolidated their learning from the lectures and helped their retention of knowledge. On the other hand, students thought that notes were useful mainly because they lessen the need to look for relevant information from external sources within the limited time available to study in this programme.

The Effects of Demographic Variables on Students’ Attendance and Perception of Videos/Notes

The survey results are representative of the class as 83% participated in the survey and the gender distribution of participants was similar to the overall class gender distribution. The attendance of students during the period of the study was examined to identify any differences related to the varied gender, age, nationality and undergraduate degree background. It should be noted that full attendance is required in this module and it is checked sporadically but not routinely. The self-reported attendance data showed no significant differences in attendance of the demographic groups. Interestingly, the data showed that female students from a non-biomedical background had poorer attendance compared with male non-biomedical students or to their female biomedical counterparts. Ellaway et al. [ 15 ] examined the impact of combining students of biomedical degree background with non-biomedical degree background. They highlighted the challenges imposed on non-science students both socially and academically and suggested that support should be provided to those students. It is possible that lower attendance of this subgroup is related to these challenges.

The present study demonstrated that providing students with detailed notes and supplementary videos did not impact upon their lecture attendance. The average attendance in the cardiovascular Physiology part of the GM1002 module was as high as 90%. The finding that attendance of this cohort of students was not affected by having detailed notes and explanatory videos available before the lectures is in line with previous reports [ 16 , 17 ].

The Effect of Supplementary Notes on Students’ Performance

PowerPoint is widely utilised in today’s higher education teaching but there is an ongoing question as to whether students should be provided with notes. Looking at data from this study as well as the literature [ 18 – 20 ], the authors are in favour of using supplementary notes at least in time-pressured medical programmes such as the graduate entry to medicine. Students in the accelerated programmes are under pressure to develop as much foundational knowledge as they can, while a reasonable number of them are from non-biological background. However, the authors are aware of the potential implications of this approach on students’ independent learning strategies and the possibility that it might detract from the goal of preparing them to become independent life-long learners. However, this programme is well enriched with several avenues for self-directed learning and problem-based exercises that are completely driven by students themselves.

Furthermore, the type of notes could vary between detailed notes and those that have main points only [ 20 , 21 ]. It is suggested that students provided with detailed notes can achieve higher recall of information and test performance than students provided with no notes [ 8 ]. Students usually take notes during lectures to ensure they do not miss important information and utilise these notes as a study source when preparing for exams. However, a previous study showed that students do miss critical points in this process [ 22 ]. Therefore, the present study examined the impact of providing detailed notes attached to each concept description in PowerPoint slides on student learning of Physiology in the graduate entry to medicine programme. The notes were provided with almost every slide of the PowerPoint presentation of lectures in this study. Although this study utilised limited number of MCQs to study performance, it compared identical MCQs across years. These MCQs were sought to assess three Bloom’s taxonomy categories, namely, knowledge recall, comprehension and application. The final exam scores of the lower third performers in the class were enhanced by almost 30% in 2018 compared with 2016 in questions related to supplementary notes, particularly those under Bloom’s application category. This indicates that enhancement in performance of this cohort was not simply due to recall of rote learning of answers provided. In addition, the authors are not aware of any extracurricular activities for students in this course. As such, there appears to be no external factor that would have detracted from Physiology learning in 2016. The finding of improved performance of this cohort was supported by a previous study showing that low-performing students gained greater benefits from detailed notes compared with high-performing students [ 11 ].

The overall class performance was only marginally enhanced after introducing detailed notes. This indicates that providing detailed notes was not the only factor in determining exam performance in this class. One important determining factor for usefulness of supplementary notes is the time at which these notes are used during the course as students use notes differently depending on the time of the year as shown by a previous study [ 23 ]. Grabe and Christopherson [ 23 ] found that the students’ use of the supplementary notes peaked during the time when the corresponding unit of content was being presented in the class and was less towards the exam time.

The detailed notes were received positively by students according to the survey feedback. One student mentioned “I like to use the notes under the slides for study as they condense the relevant information” while another student commented “I do like having the notes underneath the slides so I don't have to worry about taking notes and can focus on listening in class instead”. There was also another comment “I love the supplementary notes and think that the slide structure is easy to understand (great pictures with few, but relevant, explanations)”. Interestingly, one student pointed out that these notes were useful to students of a non-biological background “Having a non-science background, the additional notes/videos etc. really help to make the content more accessible and easier to understand”. The notes in this study served as a repository for learning and revising the key concepts at exam time, particularly if students miss valuable information during the lecture. It should be noted that one student indicated a lack of use of supplementary notes due to limited time in this module.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Providing Detailed Supplementary Notes

This study suggests that detailed notes serve as an important learning and revision tool for students. However, this intervention may also have a number of potential disadvantages, namely (i) it possibly promotes passive learning [ 24 ], and (ii) may encourage students’ absence from lectures [ 21 ]. However, students in this study were not discouraged from taking their own notes but were given supplementary notes as a repository. In addition, these notes included explanations of diagrams and figures on the PowerPoint slides to save students the time needed to search for explanations of these diagrams and figures. Furthermore, students’ attendance was not adversely affected by having these explanatory notes. This is in agreement with a previous study which indicated that students’ attendance can be improved by providing lecture notes before the lecture time [ 25 ]. Students’ self-reported attendance in the present study showed a very good attendance rate despite the provision of detailed notes and supplementary videos before lectures. It can be suggested, based on the attendance profile of students in this course [ 16 ], that a negative impact of providing detailed notes on attendance is unlikely.

The Effect of Supplementary Videos on Students’ Performance

The present study demonstrated an enhanced short-term gain of knowledge on the basis of performance in post- vs. pre-video test. Literature on the use of videos has demonstrated beneficial results on students’ learning in biology courses [ 5 , 26 – 28 ]. A blended mode similar to the one utilised in this study using videos in addition to traditional face-to-face lectures offered positive outcomes and enhanced students’ learning experience [ 28 ]. The videos in this study were made interactive through the pre- and post-video tests. Moreover, students can control their watching/listening experience by speeding up or slowing down and by stopping and replaying these videos when needed. In addition, the pen option on PowerPoint was used to highlight important points. In a previous study [ 14 ], interactive videos were showed to be satisfactorily received by students and were more effective in improving students’ performance than non-interactive videos. Finally, the present study showed that supplementary videos did not inversely impact students’ attendance; this is in line with a recent study in a biology course [ 29 ].

When students were asked why they felt videos were useful, they mentioned learning consolidation and enhanced retention of knowledge which was in line with quantitative data from post- vs. pre-video test results. The second reason given by students was that these videos add a visual element to learning. Some students focused on the benefits of videos as a review resource while others found these videos useful due to their interactive nature and because they save time searching for explanatory videos online. These views are in line with previous reports on the use of videos in teaching [ 5 , 30 ]. That said, 19% of respondents in this study said they did not use the videos. The most common reason for the lack of use was that students thought the videos simply explained concepts that are already covered in the lecture. Some students felt that time pressures in this module made it difficult to utilise supplementary resources besides PowerPoint slides.

Student feedback from the survey questionnaire showed that most of the students valued the videos and felt that the videos improved their understanding of core concepts in this part of the module. For example, one student commented “It was difficult to fully understand everything just by looking at the PowerPoint slides - however the video was able to help with this” while another student mentioned “If I needed to go back and understand a concept better, it would be easily accessible on blackboard” . A student also responded, “Thank you for taking the time to make sure we understood the material, providing additional resources (videos) and allowing us time to identify gaps in our knowledge”.

The research findings and questions that emerged from this study have implications for Physiology teaching in the medical programmes. The first observation is that students from a non-biological background utilised supplementary videos more than students from a biological background. This points to the importance of supplementary material in supporting students from non-biological background during their preclinical years. It is worth noting that the provision of videos in addition to detailed notes did not adversely impact on students’ attendance. Moreover, students’ attitude towards the use of this approach was overwhelmingly favourable. The feedback from the questionnaire showed a positive attitude by students towards the use of detailed notes and explanatory videos in addition to PowerPoint presentation.

Limitations and Future Research

A number of limitations to this study must be acknowledged. Firstly, there was no control group (i.e. students not provided with notes/videos) for direct comparison of performance. That said, every effort was made to maintain consistency across the years by utilising exactly the same questions and comparing performance of content outside Physiology for the same cohort of students. The Pharmacology content used for comparison was taught consistently across the 3 years without the intervention used in Physiology. Secondly, the present study did not examine the effect of providing detailed notes and explanatory videos on students’ note-taking practices or the impact of supplementary notes and videos on classroom interaction. However, classroom observation showed that this student cohort had higher level of engagement in interactive classroom exercises during lectures, tutorials and practical sessions throughout the module. Thirdly, the present study only examined one part of the module in one programme in medicine, i.e. the graduate entry programme. This may limit generalizability of any results from this study to that particular programme. Future research should address the impact of note access in a different medical programme to see if these results can be reproduced.

Conclusions

This study supports the provision of detailed explanatory notes and videos in addition to PowerPoint lecture slides. We demonstrated that students’ attendance in this first-year medical degree course was not adversely impacted by making these additional resources available before lectures. In terms of academic performance, the supplementary notes seemed to be particularly useful to the low-performing students in this cohort more than highly achieving students. Videos on another hand were useful for short-term recall of information. Finally, students in this class liked the use of supplementary notes/videos and found them useful to their learning of cardiovascular Physiology as part of this programme.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

This study was approved by the Social Research Ethics Committee (SREC) in UCC (Log 2018-028).

Consent was required before taking part in the survey (Supplementary material). Participation in the survey was voluntary and anonymous.

Publisher’s Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

FPPT

Disadvantages Of Teaching With PPT (PowerPoint)

Because of the usefulness and versatility, PowerPoint has gained popularity and become a top brand of various presentation programs for institutions, individuals and organizations. It is indeed useful in making a presentation a successful one. In fact, this amazing presentation tool has a lot of advantages but like any other institutional tool, this software has some disadvantages that teachers and students must know and understand before making any investment of resources and money.

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Complete knowledge of various disadvantages of teaching with PPT (PowerPoint) will surely help teachers and students in making a wise decision whether they should use this presentation tool or not. Let us now discuss a few common disadvantages.

  • It is vital to know that if you are planning to give poetry recitations, commencement speeches or technical reports than PowerPoint is not the correct option to choose for your presentation because these types of presentations need in-depth information or details.
  • No doubt Power Point is a useful software but it also lacks flexibility. By making use of this program, you can format, create and edit items, however you would not be able to change anything from within the content that you are using or the format during your presentation.
  • Since, PowerPoint presentation tool gives you the liberty to use various graphics, animations, background pictures and visuals so it could possibly distract your audience and leave your audience unsatisfied. But because the primary purpose of giving a presentation is to take out the major details and message in front of the students, so you must know what to use and how much.
  • Although we have been talking about PowerPoint Presentation’s usefulness but again it also may affect the value of your actual report. Possibilities are that there could be a few students who may get lazy while you are giving presentation and they read text of your report as it is mentioned in the slides. Your audience may lose interest in what you are saying as slides are just the source to add some value into your presentation but it is a presenter who has to bring all the important information about the subject in front of the students.
  • You must be aware that a successful PowerPoint presentation has various requirements such as computer, electricity, speakers and some other so whether you are planning of giving presentation for a small, medium or large audience, you must note that breakdown in any of these sources may ruin your presentation completely.
  • Presentation slides contain too much details or information because of this reason the students may get confused about the actual message that has to be conveyed. They would lack the ability to understand what a teacher wants to say. To save your presentation and the hard work you have put in your presentation, you must put only the major information to retain the interest of your audience.

Read our article on: Different Presentation Techniques for Diverse Audiences .

Consider all the advantages and disadvantage of using power point presentation program and then make a good decision for your next presentation. Also see our compilation of the Best Presentation Software And Tools .

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disadvantages of powerpoint presentation in teaching

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  1. Full article: The use and abuse of PowerPoint in Teaching and Learning

    Abstract. The use of PowerPoint for teaching presentations has considerable potential for encouraging more professional presentations. This paper reviews the advantages and disadvantages associated with its use in a teaching and learning context and suggests some guidelines and pedagogical strategies that need to be considered where it is to be used.

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    Disadvantages of PowerPoint . While PowerPoint is a widely used and effective presentation tool, it is not without its drawbacks. Understanding the potential Disadvantages of PowerPoint is essential for creating engaging and impactful presentations. In this section, we will explore the limitations and challenges that PowerPoint may present.

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    2. Abundant Features. PowerPoint is the most feature-rich presentation software out there. It has everything you need to create a professional-looking presentation, including built-in templates, themes, and much more. Other presentation software simply cannot compete with PowerPoint in this regard. 3.

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    User reviews indicate that this is also one of the disadvantages that let presentation compilers move away from PowerPoint. In practice, you often just forget to save files manually and unsaved work can easily be lost. 8. Files often too large to mail. PowerPoint presentations can quickly become very large.

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    PowerPoint or a slide deck is an educational norm. Teachers can communicate quickly and educate large groups of people using a set structure. The format works particularly well when instructors need to show images or videos in medical school coursework. PowerPoint is frequently used to convey the mechanisms of disease and teach case studies.

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    Electronic presentation software—most notably PowerPoint—has had a big impact on education. I use PowerPoint and other strategies when teaching. There are advocates and critics of PowerPoint. With the use of PowerPoint being so prevalent, it is important to consider what qualities make it a strong educational tool.

  8. The use and abuse of PowerPoint in Teaching and Learning ...

    The use of PowerPoint for teaching presentations has considerable potential for encouraging more professional presentations. This paper reviews the advantages and disadvantages associated with its ...

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    presentations. as p made it easier for the teachers to keep the students Index Terms interested in class.- PowerPoint, education, presentation, outline, visual aid, reachability, effective slides. good as long as it is relevant to the subject, is of good INTRODUCTION PowerPoint is a part of the MS Office Suite released

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    Pro: The Slides Can Be Shared With All Students Easily. The school's LMS can be used to provide students with the slides. The files can also be uploaded to a file hosting website. This way, the students will be able to access the slides and study from them on pretty much any phone, tablet, or computer device connected to the internet.

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    Let's see some cons: Lot of slides and lot of text can make presentations really boring. Sometimes PowerPoint can't be opened in the classroom computer, especially if you save the PPT in an old format. Overuse can bore learners and diminish PowerPoint's effectiveness. The resolution may not be the appropriate. A successful presentation ...

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    references. Before using the software, you should understand the PowerPoint presentation pros and cons. The pros include flexibility, customization, collaboration and engagement. Downsides include technical issues, potential costs and the possibility that users may tune out less engaging presentations.

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    It is also wise to consider advantages and disadvantages to the teacher when investigating the effectiveness of a new teaching method. In addition to the time needed to become familiar with creating computerized multimedia presentations, the effort needed to create and maintain multimedia presentations once the instructor is familiar with the ...

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    This work summarizes its advantages as producing better visual effects, high efficiency in information transfer, precise and systemic knowledge structure, and strategies to avoid disadvantages of PowerPoint. PowerPoint is now widely used in lectures to science students in most colleges of China. We summarize its advantages as producing better visual effects, high efficiency in information ...

  19. PDF The use and abuse of PowerPoint in Teaching and Learning in the Life

    The use of PowerPoint for teaching presentations has considerable potential for encouraging more professional presentations. This paper reviews the advantages and disadvantages associated with its use in a teaching and learning context and suggests some guidelines and pedagogical strategies that need to be considered where it is to be used.

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    Disadvantages Of Teaching With PPT (PowerPoint) Because of the usefulness and versatility, PowerPoint has gained popularity and become a top brand of various presentation programs for institutions, individuals and organizations. It is indeed useful in making a presentation a successful one. In fact, this amazing presentation tool has a lot of ...