Information retention from PowerPoint™ and traditional lectures
The benefit of PowerPoint™ is continuously debated, but both supporters and detractors have insufficient empirical evidence. Its use in university lectures has influenced investigations of PowerPoint’s effects on student performance (e.g., overall quiz/exam scores) in comparison to lectures based on overhead projectors, traditional lectures (e.g., “chalk-and-talk”), and online lectures. Thus far, comparisons of overall exam scores have yielded mixed results. The present study decomposes overall quiz scores into auditory, graphic, and alphanumeric scores to reveal new insights into effects of PowerPoint presentations on student performance. Analyses considered retention of lecture information presented to students without the presence of PowerPoint (i.e., traditional lecture), auditory information in the presence of PowerPoint, and visual (i.e., graphic and alphanumeric) information displayed on PowerPoint slides. Data were collected from 62 students via quiz and questionnaire. Students retained 15% less information delivered verbally by the lecturer during PowerPoint presentations, but they preferred PowerPoint presentations over traditional presentations.