How PowerPoint Slides Is Making Teaching Method Dull & Students Unintelligent & Why To Avoid It
Marine General James Mattis, Joint Forces commander in Iraq and Afghanistan, is quoted as saying ‘PowerPoint makes us stupid’. This all happen in 2010 the US army who is one of the worlds biggest organization where the first to declare PowerPoint is useless. While James Mattis is not the only one who was against powerpoint but also other senior officers of United States. They somewhat declare war against powerpoint.
But its time to look forward in the education field.
I am a student and I also have many bad experiences with powerpoint. When I listen to a teacher, explaining, reading the ppt at one point it gets very difficult to understand the concept. Secondly, if I lose one point of ppt, it becomes difficult to link with other ppt.
So, there are lots of shortcomings we are facing through ppt. And at the end, the only thing remains is mugging up the entire concept or learn online. Then what is the use of attending college where we find less interaction?
Origin Of Powerpoint: –
Back in 1990 Powerpoint was first introduced by Apple company in Macintosh, the company that designed it was bought by Microsoft. This software was in demand for professional business for presenting the information flow. Powerpoint was handled by corporates, consultant and sales professional to reduce the time of explanation, executive summaries, one-liners, ubiquitous “deliverables” and action plans.
At the initial point PowerPoint was not introduced in academia but later it has inculcated in the education field. The intention was to bring something new and interactive in the education field. These also help to solve the shortcoming from board teaching like time consumption and workload. Powerpoint introduction also helped to ease the teacher’s work of teaching.
It is very difficult to argue with universities to ban the PowerPoint system in education. It is a harsh truth that most of the universities or institute concentrate more of satisfaction of student rather the knowing how they learn.
Taking Popularity: –
Slowly, after 2000 the usage of powerpoint taken into acceleration especially in the field of education. The pressure raised on faculties to deliver more teaching as the syllabus of students increases. As time is less and teaching is more teacher’s around the world started adopting powerpoint methods.
Advantages of PowerPoint Slides: –
The powerpoint slides are used to cover the informative concept. It also helps the presenter to reduce consumption of time and effort for the explanation. Slides help to represent the pictorial graphical form of statistics by representing a pie diagram, graph etc.
1) Statistical And Analytical Diagram: –
Previously, presenter uses to verbally inform the statistical and analytical calculations or he uses to draw. But when Powerpoint was introduced it becomes easy for the presenter to show the stats in pictorial. In also helps to memorize the calculation.
2) Pictorial Representation of Concept: –
Sometimes you can insert the image which could represent the concept for better understanding what you want to explain.
3) Reduce the time and Work Of The Presenter: –
The board work uses to consume lots of time. You something on the board and then explain. Ppt helps you to reduce such practice.
Why Powerpoint is the Least Effective Teaching Method:-
By understanding the above part of the article we found out that the PowerPoint presentation is helping you to avoid time consumption. Helping to explain stuff in a much better way. But if you observe carefully, PowerPoint is helping to get information but it is not helping to understand the concept. And also we are hardly learning something out of that concept.
The teaching method might be wrong in various ways like lack of planning, feeling uninspired on the day, disengaged students, inadequate preparation, a crowd that’s too big, a poorly designed auditorium. In spite of all the above fallback, we include ppt. In today’s education system the above problem is common. But putting powerpoint event make it more worst.
Normally, powerpoint is the least effective teaching method which offers no help to student learning. The course which is designed around slides makes student unintelligent and it is a myth that student can become skilled and knowledgeable.
But have anyone thought how can a student become skilled, knowledgeable and intelligent just by looking at the static screen with short points on it. If a teacher is interactive while teaching then it might be helpful to some extent. But what if a teacher is not much interactive.
According to a survey, more than 60% of teachers are less interactive while teaching. And based on the survey of PowerPoint teaching only satisfies student but it did not help students to increase learning and grades. This is resulting in ineffectiveness of PowerPoint.
According to faculty focus, Sixty-seven percent of the 384 students surveyed in this study reported that all or most of their instructors used PowerPoint, another 23% said that at least half their instructors used it and 95% said that their instructors who used PowerPoint did so in all or most class sessions.
5 PowerPoint Factors That Effects Education and Teaching Methods: –
1) Slide Discourages Thinking And Create Reasonable Expectation: –
Powerpoint does not provide a detail presentation of the concept. Powerpoint also discourage the expectation of student who wants more detail information in it. Sometimes slides also mean some necessary information. While Powerpoint also discourages students from referring books as they find Powerpoint is sufficient.
Powerpoint also create unclear perception regarding topics. Student starts to think this as a simple topic which creates huge gaps between reality and thoughts.
According to Paul Ralph at Business Insider, PowerPoint slides discourage complex thinking. As he said:
It is important to make the student aware about the difficulty of the topic. Break the complex topic into small parts. It is important to put forward some important points which will give an idea of these parts. Try to explain them step by step. As complex topics are quite huge to explain there is a risk of over teaching and explanation. This may lead to fading of concentration and forgetting the stuff. This will create a huge confusion.
To overcome this scenario you can recommend the resource or books to read, This will help them to understand topics in a much precise way.
2) Not Feasible For Complex Learning: –
Slides may offer you some insight of concept but when it comes for a deep analytic complex concept slides can give you hard time to convey your teaching to students. Students can memorize it but cannot understand the concept. And it is impossible to present a deep analytical concept using Powerpoint.
It will be the worsed idea to insert the bulk of the text in powerpoint. This will be very harsh for the student to understand. On the other side, if we include the bulletin point this will also encourage the student to memorize most of the part but they will never understand it.
As I have explained in the first part and second part you can apply that method. Or you can go for some storytelling method which will force the student to imagine it and help to make them understand.
3) Lack of Clarification Leads To Misunderstanding: –
If teacher might trying there best to explain the hard complex problem through ppt, she will be criticized for being unclear. The complex concepts are difficult to interpret and understand. This can lead to serious misunderstanding. A teacher who explains in traditional bulletin way is criticized for not providing proper content.
Example: – New York Times columnist Clive Thompson blames the space shuttle Columbia accident on poor use of PowerPoint.
It is highly admirable for teachers if they able to explain complex topics in a really simple way. But how it is done? The answer lies within you. You need to know your topic thoroughly. Start explaining from the core and basic part of the concept. Build up your concept slowly in a simple manner. Try to think that the students are aged 10 and you need to explain them in a simple manner.
4) Lack Of Imagination And Productivity: –
By looking at the static slide student enable to imagine for better understanding this also affects the understanding of concept for the students. This lead to a boring lecture where student unable grasp the concept and get dull.
PowerPoint is used as a supportive tool for presentation, it enhances your presentation. But teaching and presenting is two different ways of explanation. The presentation is used to overview the concept which is being informed. It will never help to understand the new concept.
While student studying always goes through the new concept in their day-to-day life. PowerPoint should be used to enhance important sections of your presentation. This might be a few bullet points or a graph that is backing up the point you are speaking about. But not the explanation of something which is meant to teach.
Here is a presentation of Jason Dorsey who presented without powerpoint slides.
5) PowerPoint Slides Leads To Lazy Thinking: –
As Powerpoint slide is meant to provide information. But do we ever thought while providing information we are seating and just observing a static slide? We are just getting the information just by seating and watching slides but no one is forcing you to think and understand the concept as everything is readymade coming to you.
In the article written by Arthur Drobin from Psychology Today Says,
PowerPoint isn’t only a problem for audiences who must sit through boring presentations in the dark, but just as significantly for the presenter who is stuck with the information on the slide.
The concept which is taught should not be completely dependent on presentation. The knowledge and experience should also be taken consideration. The knowledge and experience help to understand which part will be difficult to understand and what should I do to make thing more understanding.
The student asks questions and there might be a question which will be out of the box. But your approach to understanding the concept should be thorough.
Also, try to explain things beyond the ppt. These will not only help the student but also help them to think.
How Student Can Become Skillful and Knowledgeable: –
For a student to become knowledgeable and skillful it is important for them to read number article and dozens of books, with practicing problems for there solution.
Researchers have found that problem-based learning is more effective than PowerPoint learning. There are more chances of improving skills and knowledge when student work on confronting realistic, challenging problems. The predominantly supports can also be alternative methods.
According to Andrew Smith in his article, he mentions the lecturer, Thomas Baldwin. He explained how Mr. Baldwin’s lecture has become one of the best lectures he has ever attended. He also mentioned Mr. Baldwin haven’t used powerpoint slides. He explained it through the interaction of his voice, body gesture and writing points on the board.
By taking above example teachers can help a student become more knowledgeable and skillful. By avoiding over-reliance on the powerpoint presentation a teacher can become more interactive. And by practicing on voice, gesture it will help them to make better teaching environment to the student.
PowerPoint Slides: –
As I have discussed the powerpoint Slides above and most of the points are against powerpoint. You might be wondering then why powerpoint in this section. Well, according to Copenhagen Business School they have banned powerpoint and Facebook usage in the campus. As they say,
Here we are in sync with the US armed forces, where Brigadier-General Herbert McMaster banned it because it was regarded as a poor tool for decision-making. We couldn’t agree more, although we do allow lecturers to use it to show images and videos as well as quotes from primary authors.
But as this article is not one-side opinion article there are some good points about the powerpoints. According to this article, it is been said that powerpoint can encourage passivity but powerpoint with well-designed presentation can be graphically impressive. It also helps the student to collect notes and enable short time studies.
But question lies do they improve interaction? Do they promote critical thinking? Possibly, but often they make having discussions more difficult.
The lights are partially dimmed and the seats arranged so that everyone focuses on the screen. Those aren’t features that foster the vibrant exchange of ideas.
Animation Videos: –
According to survey teacher use powerpoint slides to ease there teaching. But including animation videos or any kind of interactive features will be very helpful for students to understand the concept and memorized it thoroughly. How? Well, powerpoint videos are still and people get bored when they see or interact with some static thing around them.
With including movement of animation and by adding some interactive teaching skills will not only help the student but also help them to be more creative.
The backboard teaching is one of the best technique to teach students. Writing point on the blackboard allow the student to write the point teachers writes on the board and also helps them to collect the notes for them.
Blackboard teaching also let the teachers be more interactive and engaging. Teachers try there level best to keep there lecture more engaging because they don’t have any other options. On contrary, in the powerpoint slide teacher stands in one place explains whatever there is in slides and move on. This is hilarious.
PowerPoint is a worthy and supportive tool — when used in the right way. The intention of using PowerPoint should be to enhance your information distribution, not to make it more unclear.
Most of the time PowerPoint is used in the corporate meeting because it helps to give very good analytical insight. Which tells PowerPoints are used in those concepts which are already known to the audience and you need to revise it.
But when the concepts are new PowerPoint kills creativity and decision making. It also makes teacher lazy which ultimately converts in a boring lecture.
So, we should stop overly reliant on the PowerPoint slides. And use it where it should be used. Not everywhere and always.