AN INVESTIGATION INTO ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF USING POWERPOINT PRESENTATION IN THE CLASSROOM ( EDUCATION PROJECT TOPICS AND MATERIALS)
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 offer 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 pre-primary 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 shift 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 shift (Uz, Orhan, &Bilgiç, 2010). PowerPoint is part of the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) program developed by Microsoft in 1987.
It is an application program of presentation bundled in Microsoft office (El-Ikhan, 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 Microsoft 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.