2005 Salt Lake City Annual Meeting (October 16–19, 2005)

Paper No. 9
Presentation Time: 4:00 PM


MARQUEZ, L. Lynn, Earth Sciences, Millersville Univ, PO Box 1002, Millersville, PA 17551-0302, Lynn.Marquez@millersville.edu

As faculty move to the more efficient and glitzy means of information dissemination via PowerPoint, are educators aiding student learning or detracting from the critical thinking skills that faculty profess to enhance? There is no question that Power Point provides an improved vehicle for faculty to display images, graphics and illustrative animations. However, do students retain this information and incorporate it into a larger body of knowledge that may be applied to complex problems or do students simply memorize the text displayed with no understanding of the implications, importance, or relevance of the information? Even when collaborative learning and constructivist techniques are employed in conjunction with PowerPoint is higher order thinking attained on the same level as when PowerPoint was not used in the classroom? A comparison of two courses from pre- and post-PowerPoint status will be made. Assessments from a 100 level general education course with an enrollment of approximately 120 non-science majors and a 200 level Historical Geology course with an enrollment of 36 science majors will be compared to better understand PowerPoint use in the introductory geoscience class. Custom animations, drawing tools, and word art effectively enhance classroom presentations leaving the student with more than words and images. These Power Point techniques in association with well established constructivist techniques such as think-pair-share may improve the in-class engagement, critical thinking skills, and learning of the typical student in the large enrollment class.