Wednesday, April 04, 2007

NewsFlash: PowerPoint Bad For Learning

Found via SlashDot, an article in today's Sydney Morning Herald "Research points the finger at PowerPoint."

The article cites new research from the University of New South Wales (home of John Sweller, "founding father" of Cognitive Load Theory).

Some key nuggets from the Sydney Herald article:

It is more difficult to process information if it is coming at you in the
written and spoken form at the same time.

"The use of the PowerPoint presentation has been a disaster," Professor Sweller
said. "It should be ditched."

"It is effective to speak to a diagram, because it presents information in a different form. But it is not effective to speak the same words that are written, because it is putting too much load on the mind and decreases your ability to understand what is being presented."

And how many e-Learning courses have you created with on-screen text bullets timed to narrative audio? Raise your hand. Me too. You know -- appeal to multiple learning styles; address the needs of both auditory and visual learners....

If the on-screen text is just a blurb that relates to the audio is that any different? I'm thinking about Karl Kapp's recent post Design: Bullets Be Gone. Or should we just end this practice completely?

1 comment:

Clive Shepherd said...

Great post Camy. See my response at