Improving the Quality of Teaching and Learning through the Power of PowerPoint

by Syahrul Nizam Junaini

I still remember the first time I presented my tutorial using OHP slides way back in 2001, I was a tutor then. During that time it was a rare occasion for us to see PowerPoint slides being presented through LCD projector at lecture halls, seminar rooms and classes.However, recent advancement of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has made electronic presentations the norm in the university environment.

As a result, most lecturers have excitedly embraced this technology. Some of them have developed greater amount of Microsoft PowerPoint expertise. As a university lecturer, PowerPoint presentations have become an essential part of teaching and learning activity. On the other hand, the true ‘power’ of PowerPoint has not much been explored to improve the teaching process.

The purpose of this article is to share some simple tips to powering up your PowerPoint presentation.

Why PowerPoint?

Generally, the results of several published studies highlight the benefits of PowerPoint on student performance. Studies have continuously point out that students in general believed that the use of PowerPoint assists their learning.

For instance, Craig and Amernic (2006) indicate that students like to be taught using PowerPoint because they think that it is entertaining, enhance clarity, and most importantly, aid recall of subject matter. According to Apperson et al. (2006) students responded more favourably toward the classes taught with the use of PowerPoint.

Furthermore, your students might be more motivated to attend your lectures when presentation graphics were used in your PowerPoint. One of my colleagues in the faculty uses not only static image, he also uses embedded related funny videos in his PowerPoint slides!

However, please bear in mind that PowerPoint is not a sacred effective instructional apparatus revealed from heaven. It works best and most valued when used as a stimulus for explanation and elaboration, as well as discussion in classrooms.

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