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LearningStylesandPowerPoint

Anewandexcitingapproach
by ole Lauridsen, Aarhus school of business, university of Aarhus, denmark
Contents
Power Point in practice 1
Learning Styles 5
Whichelements? 7
Analyticversusglobalinformationprocessing 7
Sensorymodalitiesandstructure 8
The PowerPoint presentation 10
Analyticandglobalinformationprocessing 11
Tipsandtricks 13
Sensorymodalities 13
Design of presentation and slides 14
Fonts(fontandfontsize) 15
Colors 15
Colorsandattention 16
Morecolortipsandtricks 18
PowerPoint as exercise materials 20
Learning styles and PowerPoint: A new and exciting approach
About why PowerPoint is better - in fact, much better than
blackboardandchalkortransparencies.Andabouthowtodesign
anduseaPowerPointpresentationinthebestwaypossible.
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PowerPointisapresentationprogramthatoffersawealthofopportunities.
Butapresentationisneverbetterthanthepersonwhohasdesignedit.Andmostpeoplehave
seenmemorableexamplesofhowitshouldNOTbedone.
Thegoodnewsisthatitisactuallynotdiffculttoputtogetherapresentationsothatitworks,
thatis,sothattheaudienceactuallylearnssomething.
Thereisasetofsimplerulestobefollowed.AndthoserulesarebasedonLearningStyles.
OnthefollowingpagesyouwillfndthebasicideasoftheLearningStylesModeldevelopedby
twoUSresearchers,Dr.RitaDunnandDr.KennethDunn.Afterthatfollowsthegroundrules
fordesigningasuccessfulPowerPointpresentation.
PowerPointinpractice
LearningStyles(LS)canbedefnedasthewayeachpersonbeginsto
Concentrateonnewanddiffcultinformation;
Processthisinformation;
Internalizeandretainthisinformationand
Usethisinformation.
AllofitissomethingthatwewouldliketoachievewithourPowerPointpresentations.
Inotherwords,wecanbeneftfromtakingLearningStylesintoconsiderationwhenwedesignour
presentations,butwhatdowemeanbyLearningStyles?
TheDunn&DunnLearningStylesModeloperateswith20elementsthatarefundamentaltoour
learning. The model is aligned with the learning systems of the brain, and it comprises all age
groups.Ithasbeenthoroughlyresearchedandhasalreadyprovenitsstrength.
Youcanlearnmoreatwww.learningstyles.netandalsofndlinkstoLStestsforallagegroups.
LearningStyles
' 4
WhiCh eLements?
WecannotgointodetailwiththeDunn&DunnLearningStylesModelhere.Insteadwewillfocus
ontheelementsthatareespeciallyimportantwhenwearetodesignPowerPointpresentations,that
is,theelementsthatwecanincludedirectlyinthedesignofthepresentationandinthepresenta-
tionitself.
ObviouslyitisnotpossibletoproducepresentationsthataccommodateeachindividualpersonsLS
profleindetail.However,byfollowingtheguidelinesbelow,wecanreachaverywideaudience.
Themostimportantelementsinthisconnectionare
Analyticversusglobalinformationprocessing
Sensorymodalities
Needforstructure
AnALytiC versus gLobAL informAtion ProCessing
Somepeoplelearnbestwhentheyhavenewanddiffcultinformationpresentedstepbystepina
logicalsequence;theyarecalledanalytics.
Others(mostpeople)learnbestwhentheyhavenewanddiffcultinformationpresentedinlarge
chunkswhichtheycantheninvestigatefurtherthemselves;theyarecalledglobals.
Finally,thereisasmallgroupofpeoplewhodonotpreferonewayratherthantheother;theycan
approachnewanddiffcultinformationbothanalyticallyandglobally.
6
sensory modALities
TheDunn&Dunnmodelcomprisesfoursensorymodalities:
the auditive: Youlearnbylistening.
the visual: Youlearnbyseeingtext(reading)orbyseeingrealormentalpictures.
the tactual: Youlearnbyusingyourhandsandfeet.
the kinesthetic: Youlearnbyusingyourwholebodyand/
orbyinvolvingyourselfasaperson.

struCture
Withrespecttothestructureofnewanddiffcultinformation,somepeopleneedsupport;they
prefertohaveafrmstructureprovidedforthem.
Othersprefertocreatethatstructurethemselves;theyrejecthavingastructurecreatedforthem.
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How to integrate Learning Styles in the PowerPoint presentation

It is important to remember that any PowerPoint presentation consists of three elements, and that
theseelementsshouldbeconsideredawholethatcannotbedivided:
Theslidesonthescreen
Thehandout,i.e.theprintedversionoftheslides
(Choose:File>Print.ChooseHandoutsintheprintdialogbox).
Thelivepresentation
Inconnectionwiththeslidesandthehandout,wemustconsiderlayout,andinconnectionwiththe
livepresentation,wemustconsiderourperformance.
Butfrstofall,andwithoutanyconnectiontoLearningStyles,
do not ever just read the text written on the slide. if you do that, the presentation will
be what we call a snoozer.
you should use the text on the slide as a springboard for what you say.
ThePowerPointpresentation
11 10
AnALytiC And gLobAL informAtion ProCessing
Bothwaysofprocessinginformationareaccommodatedintheininterchangebetweentheslideson
thescreenandthehandout:
The analytic learner

Apresentationinwhichinformationispresentedstepbystepbeneftstheanalyticlearner.
Therefore,youshouldusebulletpointsandanimations,e.g.FlyinwithdirectionFromleft;
asageneralrule,donotusedifferentanimationsinthesameslide.
Teachtheanalyticlearnerhowtousethehandouttocreateanoverviewoftheinformation
thathasbeenpresentedattheendofthelivepresentation.
Pauseforacoupleofsecondsbeforeyoumoveontothenextslideinyourpresentation;it
givestheanalyticlearnerachancetocollecthis/herthoughts.
The global learner

Thegloballearnershouldlearnhowtocreateanoverviewoftheinformationtobepresented
byskimmingthoughthehandoutbeforethepresentationbegins;thens/heisabletocon-
centrateonthescreenslides.
The global learner likes colors and pictures that support his/her learning. This must be ex-
ploited,cf.p.16onwards
tiPs And triCKs informAtion ProCesssing
Weoftenneedtousetextthatexplainsorsupplementspicturesandgraphsthroughtheadditionof
labels,layersandanimation,etc.inapresentation.
Globalsnevergettiredoffunformsandlotsofcolors,butfortheanalyticlearnerthisisahassle.
Whenwedesignpresentationsthataretoappealtobothtypesoflearners,weneedtotakethisinto
considerationandstriketherightbalancebetweentoomuchandtoolittleoftheseeffects.
Neitherglobalsnoranalyticscanabsorbanuninterruptedstreamofinformation.Youshouldtherefore
pausefor10-20secondsaftereveryseventhslide.Remembertotellyouraudiencethattherewillbe
suchpausesortime-outsinyourpresentation.
sensory modALities
the auditory modalityistakenintoconsiderationbywhatthepresentersaysandhistoneofvoice.You
shouldalwaysbemindfulofyourpaceandtoneofvoice.Keepaneyeonthereactionsofyouraudience.
the visual modalityistakenintoconsiderationbythepresentationonthescreenaswellasthehand-
out.Itgoesforbothofthesethatyoushouldworkconscientiouslywiththelayout,cf.p.14onwards.

the tactual and the kinesthetic modalitiesaretakenintoconsiderationbythehandout.Touching


thehandout,maybeevenprintingitoutthemselves,anddefnitelymovingitaroundonthetable,
leafngthroughit,writinginit,etc.areimportantactivitiesforbothtypesoflearners.Thekinesthetic
learnerswilldosomorethanwillthetactual;eventhoughthewholebodyisnotinvolved,theywill
stillbeneftfromit.
1 1
Amount of information in each slide
Itisimportanttokeeptheamountofinformationoneachslidetoaminimum.Itismuchbetterto
havemoreslidesthanafewillegibleones.Wehaveallseenoverflledslides,andtheyarejustasim-
possibletoreadandprocessasareoverflledtransparencies.
Follow the rule of 72
Ourworkingmemoryprocessesinformationstepbystepandcanneverhandlemorethan5-9infor-
mationunitsatthetime.Inotherwords,7istheaveragethatweshoulduseasourguideline;ifwe
providelessthat5informationunits,wedonotexploitthepotentialofthememorytoasuffcientde-
gree,andifweexceed9units,itbecomestoomuchforthememorytoprocessthusthe72rule.
Informationunitisobviouslyanambiguousconcept.Itislinkedtothelearnersexistingknowledge
andthewaywepresentthematerial.Forthosewhohaveneverseenacomputerbefore,theconcept
ofamouseisveryintriguing,andtheymustprocessmanybitsofinformationinordertounderstand
it.Forthosewhousecomputersonadailybasis,theconceptofamouseisoneandonlyoneinfor-
mationunit.
Colors and pictures are also information. The picture must therefore be related to the verbal con-
tentsothatitdoesnotchallengetheworkingmemoryunnecessarily,anditisimportanttolimitthe
numberofcolorsinoneslide,cf.p.21.
Designandpresentationofslides
1' 14
fonts And font siZes
Usefontsize24asaminimum(asinthisexample).
Whenweusethisfontsize,itiseasytoadheretothe72rule.Theresimplyisnotspaceformore
than5bullets,andthatisperfect.
Usesansseriffontslike
Verdana
Arial
Franklin Gothic Book
orsimilarfonts.
Avoidfontslike
TIMES NEW ROMAN
Bernard Condensed
Sansseriffontsaremostsuitableforslidesbecausethescreensolutionismuchlessthanitison
paper.Fontswithserifsorfeetarethereforemorediffculttoreadonthescreen.
CoLor And Attention
In the course of 40-45 minutes (a typical class session), the attention of the audience may be de-
scribedinthreephases
Inthefrstfewminutes,theattentionincreasessignifcantlyandremainsatahighlevelfor
10-12minutes.
Afterthefrst15minutes,theattentionplungesandremainsataverylowlevel.
Afteryetanother15minutes,attentionincreasesagain,butitdoesnotreachthehighlevelof
thefrstphase.
Thismaybeillustratedasfollows:
1 16
0-15 min. 15-30 min. 30-45min.
CoLors
Colors are very important elements in the PowerPoint presenta-
tions,butyoucannotjustdecidewhichcolorstouseatrandom.
Colorsmaybeusedtoinfuenceyouraudienceandtoattractthe
attentionofyouraudience.
Wedistinguishbetweencool,tepid(middle)andwarmcolors.
Thecoolcolors(blue, violet)owerthebloodpressure,therespiratoryfrequencyandthepulse.
Theycreateandenhancecalmness.
Thewarmcolors(yellow, (red-orange))increasethebloodpressure,
therespiratoryfrequencyandthepulse.
Theycauseacertainlevelofstress.
Withthestress,thelevelofthehormonenoradrenalinincreasesinthebrain,andnoradrenalin
increasesourattentionandourlearning.
Thetepidcolors(green,(pink)areinthemiddle.
Theycreatesomecalmness,butatthesametimetheyalsoincreaseattention.
1- 18
The three types of colors and the three attention phases
Itisagoodideatousethecool,warmandtepidcolorsasbackgroundcolorsonthescreen:From
blueand/orvioletviayellowand/ororangetoredand/orgreen.Youcanthenchangetheback-
groundcolorinaccordancewiththethreephasesofattention.
Alternatively,youcanuseaneutral(whiteorgrey)backgroundandinsertgraphics,i.e.pictures,
symbols,WordArt,etc.intheappropriatecolor.
Obviously,graphicsoftenhavemanycolors,alsocolorsthatarenotonourlisthere.However,if
onlycolorsareusedconsistently,muchhasbeenachieved.
Maksimal
opmksomhed
Minimal
opmksomhed
Stigende
opmksomhed
1 0
more CoLor tiPs And triCKs
The perceptual order
Redisintheforeground.
Yellowisinthemiddle;thesamegoesforgreen.
Blueisinthebackground.
More tips and trick more colors
Manycolorsareconfusingandmaketheeyesjump.Theuseofmanycolorstirestheaudienceand
shouldbeavoided.
Rememberthatcolorsarealsoinformationunits,andifweusetoomanycolors,weendupexceed-
ingthe72limit.
Rememberalsothatthecolorblueishardtoseeonawhitebackground.
Here you see how di f f i cul t i t i s t o see t he t ext and t he l i ne bel ow
Materials for the global learner
Basicprinciples
FUC(FUnandColor)
ManyglobalspreferafontlikeComic Sans MS.
Usebulletpoints,butavoidanimationasmuchaspossible.Globalswantlargechunksofinfor-
mationinonego.
Ifyoudouseanimations,youmaychoosetousedifferentkindsofanimation(chooseRan-
domeffects).
Anexampleofexercisesforanalyticsandglobalsmaybefoundat
http://www.sprog.asb.dk/OL/STARTPAKKE/Hjaelpemidler%20tysk.htm
undervelseistningsanalyse.

Sofarwehavelookedatpresentationsthatarerunbythepresenter.ButthePowerPointpresenta-
tionsmayalsobeusedtoproducematerialforthelearnertouseindependently.Hereweshould
alsofollowasetofguidelinesthatbuildsonthosethathavealreadybeenpresented.However,
whenusedforexercisematerials,PowerPointfunctionsdifferentlybecausethereisnopresenterand
nohandout.
Materials for the analytic learner
Basicprinciples
P2W(ParttoWhole)
KISS(KeepItSimple,Stupid!).
Avoidusingcoloredtext;useblacktext.
Ifyouwantvariation,useagreyshadeforthetext.
Usebulletpointsandanimationfortheindividualbulletsorchunksoftext;useFlyinwith
directionFromleft.
Withinformationintables,itmaybeagoodideatolettheinformationontherighthandside
fyinfromtheright.
Othertypesofanimationshouldbeavoided.
PowerPointasexercisematerials