AN INVESTIGATION INTO ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF USING POWER POINT PRESENTATION IN THE CLASSROOM

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CHAPTER ONE

1.0 INTRODUCTION

1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY

The instructional delivery mode employed by the teacher plays an important role in skills acquisition and meaningful learning. Huge and giant strides have been made in countries such as Hong Kong, Japan, Thailand, Singapore and others achieved in technology, economic empowerment and self-reliance can be attributed to among others, effective teaching and learning. The importance of education and mode of instruction cannot be over stressed in this era of Science, Technology and Mathematics, driven by ICT. Science, Technology and Engineering have much to oer in economic development and provision of modern conveniences to mankind. This is why governments, institutions and managements emphasize the need for a practically oriented technical education curriculum and the need also to provide effective media for teaching technical subjects in Nigerian schools and colleges (Abd-El-Aziz, 2014). Most of Nigerian classrooms from preprimary to tertiary institutions are dominated by chalkboards and marker-boards. The limitations of these types of instructional delivery mode include: ineffectiveness for very large group instruction; inability to allow information storage for future use; inability to accommodate illustrations to support the teaching; health hazard for teachers from chalk particles; it makes learning uninteresting, among other (Aliyu, 2003). To improve student achievement in technology related subjects in Nigeria, it is necessary to have a paradigm shi and join the developed world in embracing constructivist approach to teaching and learning. Such approach should be used in the country’s educational system beginning from the basic school level up to the university. The use of PowerPoint slides for teaching is one of the right directions to achieve such shi (Uz, Orhan, & Bilgiç, 2010).

Power Point is part of the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) program developed by Microso in 1987. It is an application program of presentation bundled in Microso oice (ElIkhan, 2010). It consists of slides allowing the user to present messages (Asogwa, 2011). Information prepared on a computer could be better projected for larger audience using a Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) or DLP projector. PowerPoint presentation could be used in the classroom for supporting student learning by combining computer and projector to display slides for illustrating a lesson. Potentials of Microso PowerPoint include: its ability to do spell check, allowing the user to add, correct, make changes to the lessons, and finally use printout materials for students’ personal use (Teachnology.com, 2007). PowerPoint is a simple program now can be found on approximately 250 million computers worldwide, thirty million PowerPoint presentations take place each a day despite of that PowerPoint has been widely criticized as an ineffective tool for communication and learning. The majority of researches indicated that students love PowerPoint type presentations as a lecturing method (April et al., 2009; Mustafa and Hidayet, 2008). Their preference for PowerPoint lectures in contrast to their beliefs is not accompanied by better academic performance ( Lois, 2014; Russell and Joel, 2006). Interestingly, results from a Nigerian study done by Hassan et al (Abdul-Aziz et al., 2014), opposed this theory and concluded that PowerPoint presentations significantly improves the academic performance of medical students more than conventional lecture methods.

However, the small sample size of the study may reduce the power of his findings. On the other hand, Meo SA et al suggested that integrated (PowerPoint and chalkboard) method of teaching was found more suitable tool for teaching and learning than PowerPoint or chalkboard alone (Meo SA et al., 2013). Much has been written about PowerPoint and its limitations. An information design expert, believes that ‘‘PowerPoint is evil’’ and said ‘‘it is making us more stupid.’’ And he quoted in his book “The Cognitive Style of PowerPoint : PowerPoint has many inherent limitations which may reduce learning outcomes; for example most audience are finished reading the slide even before the speaker begins his talk (Rick, 2013). Disadvantages of PowerPoint may be induced by more than one factor i.e. irrelevant information in slides, neglect of interaction with students and uncontrolled speed in presentations or poor design of slides (Ding and Liu, 2012). Also, the speaker oen seems compelled to turn towards the screen and to talk to the projection rather than to the audience. Adding to that, in PowerPoint presentations there is loss of balance between listening, reading, and writing activities as a three corner of learning tools (Russell and Joel, 2006. A lot of questions need to be answered about PowerPoint presentations in education, Is the use of PowerPoint making us better teachers or is it instead just exposing more and more students to “death by PowerPoint ”?. Are we, concentrating more on “formatting slides – because it’s more fun to do than concentrate on what [they’re] going to say”? Moreover, if using PowerPoint does not produce the intended beneficial eects on learning, what can be done to improve its uses? (Lois, 2014; Rodney and Rickard, 2014)

1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

Part of the difficulty in objectively evaluating the use of PowerPoint in education stems directly from one of its most favorable features, namely the ease of use and the relatively shallow learning-curve required to achieve basic-level usage. This has resulted in, often questionable, practices within educational contexts. It particularly includes poorly thought-out use in lectures. Sta are often reluctant to invest the time required to convert materials to an appropriate PowerPoint format. Those that do convert current materials may not do so in a very acceptable way, simply using PowerPoint as an alternative way to provide text-based notes. Appropriate use of PowerPoint involves using its features to enhance the teaching and learning experience and this is daunting to some who do not wish to spend significant time developing their understanding of the pedagogical opportunities and limitations oered by PowerPoint . Most of those who do decide to develop their use of this technology, however, find that for a relatively short-term investment of time at the start, they receive a long-term benefit in both the quality of their presentations and in the ease of maintaining and updating their teaching. Seen as an investment for the future, using PowerPoint is a very positive activity. There are, of course, several risk factors associated with using the technology that make some reluctant to commit to its use, the main ones being: • Equipment failure: refusal of any component of the system to work as expected. Bulb failure in the projector is rare but possible. • File corruption caused by magnetic or physical damage so that the presentation will not run. • Incompatible media: arriving and finding your files are incompatible with the system available. • Lack of appropriate training in both the program and the technology. This problems however prompt the researcher to study the advantages and disadvantages of power point in a school setting.

AN INVESTIGATION INTO ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF USING POWER POINT PRESENTATION IN THE CLASSROOM