why instructional design doesn’t typically work with students, or anyone’s learning for that matter, when you teach with PowerPoint—as well as how you can avoid it. It all begins with a little concept called “cognitive load.”
Cognitive load describes the capacity of our brain’s working memory (or WM) to hold and process new pieces of information. We’ve all got a limited amount of working memory, so when we have to handle information in more than one way, our load gets heavier, and progressively more challenging to manage.
In a classroom, a student’s cognitive load is greatly affected by the “extraneous” nature of information—in other words, the manner by which information is presented to them (Sweller, 2010). Every teacher instinctively knows there are better—and worse—ways to present information.
A study in Australia in the late 1990s (the 1999 Kalyuga study) compared the learning achievement of a group of college students who watched an educator’s presentation involving a visual text element and an audio text element (meaning there were words on a screen while the teacher also talked) with those who only listened to a lecture, minus the pesky PowerPoint slides.
Researchers including John Sweller and Kimberly Leslie contend that it would be easier for students to learn the differences between herbivores and carnivores by closing their eyes and only listening to the teacher. But students who close their eyes during a lecture are likely to to called out for “failing to paying attention.”
Richard Mayer, a brain scientist at UC Santa Barbara and author of the book Multimedia Learning, offers the following prescription: Eliminate textual elements from presentations and instead talk through points, sharing images or graphs with students
a separate Australian investigation by Leslie et al. (2012), suggest that mixing visual cues with auditory explanations (in math and science classrooms, in particular) are essential and effective. In the Leslie study, a group of 4th grade students who knew nothing about magnetism and light learned significantly more when presented with both images and a teacher’s explanation than a separate group which received only auditory explanation.
Limit yourself to one word per slide. If you’re defining words, try putting up the vocabulary word and an associated set of images—then challenge students to deduce the definition.
Honor the “personalization principle,” which essentially says that engaging learners by delivering content in a conversational tone will increase learning. For example, Richard Mayer suggests using lots of “I’s” and “you’s” in your text, as students typically relate better to more informal language.
This webinar for all 2018 LITA Forum presenters was a conversation about creating accessible presentations! Our speaker, Carli Spina, presented and offered guidance on accessibility and design. She explained how to design presentation materials that are accessible, including providing demonstrations of the accessibility features of popular presentation softwares, and how to ensure that your presentation is accessible for all of your audience members.
Carli Spina is an Associate Professor and the Head of Research & Instructional Services at the Fashion Institute of Technology. She holds a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School, an MLIS from Simmons GSLIS, and an M.Ed. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She has extensive experience working, writing, and presenting on topics related to accessibility and Universal Design and has served as a coordinator for services to patrons with disabilities. She was the inaugural chair of LITA’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee and has also served as the leader of the ASCLA Library Services to People with Visual or Physical Disabilities that Prevent Them from Reading Standard Print Interest Group. She regularly teaches courses, workshops, and webinars on topics related to accessibility, Universal Design and technology. You can contact her on Twitter where she is @CarliSpina.
Kelly Hermann, VP, Accessibility Strategy, U of Phoenix
A study that looked at reader engagement across articles that contained charts and infographics vs. articles that were text-only found that those with graphical storytelling, or what I like to call data storytelling, had up to 34 percent more comments and shares and a 300 percent improvement on the depth of scroll down the page.
Using storytelling techniques to present data not only makes it more visually appealing but also enables easy spotting of key trends, seamless results-tracking, and quick goal-monitoring.
Here are things that can help you build a bridge from your current methods to effective data storytelling–
Choose a topic by identifying your target audience, the goal of your visual, what you would like to achieve.
Organize your data by thinking about what you want to convey and then get rid of anything that doesn’t help you tell that story.
Spend time making your visualization look sharp by keeping it simple, using color and interactivity.
A few bonus tips to make your data visualizations really pop–
Don’t use more than two graphs at a time so as not to confuse participants.
Stick with one color per graph; making things multicolored will cause data to look jumbled.
Give context to your concept. Introduce your idea slowly and tell the story of what you want your data to reveal instead of assuming everyone in the room is on the same page.
Try using interactive data storytelling techniques to support your data.
more on digital storytelling in this IMS blog
Do you have a presentation you are proud of and sure it impacts your teaching and your students’ learning? Come and share with us your experience in delivering effective presentations.
When: Oct 19, 2-3PM in Miller Center 205 (Professional Development Room)
Who can attend: everyone from experts to novices
Why attend: 1. we deliver the basics of effective presentations 2. We support your ideas and experience in producing effective presentations 3. We provide on-the-spot clinic to improve your presentations 4. We continue support your improvement of presentations
What to do (plan): 1. Bring your presentation[s] you would like to work on 2. Outline the expertise in presentations you feel most confident about 3. Outline the areas you feel a need for help
How to do (plan): 1. Attend the camp 2. Vote your best medium to receive information and support (e.g. SCSU blog, Facebook page, Twitter hashtag (e.g. #SCSUpresent)
3. 10-15 min to discuss the basics of effective presentation as per the Kahoot and let faculty pitch in with their ideas
4. Rest of the time, break into groups and start helping each other hands-on with our presentations
we can continue with providing information about resources:
Apеster (https://app.apester.com/): can be played asynchronously (yet, restricted in time). Kahoot is a simultaneous game. EdPuzzle also lke Apester can be asynchronous, but like Kahoot requires an account, whereas Apester can be played by anyone.