Applications of Multimedia and Web Page Design

PowerPoint Evaluation

Introduction

While each of the presentations is informative and well presented, Team A has elected to critique the PowerPoint presentation of Team B. Following is a detailed discussion of the features of the presentation designed by Learning Team B.

Discussion

The use of multimedia has become a significant aspect of lecture presentations. PowerPoint?„? has become a popular tool by which to deliver rich and meaningful content to learners in all disciplines. PowerPoint?„? has evolved over the past two decades into an application that is user-friendlier, both for the designer and for the end-user. An important advantage of PowerPoint?„? is that the presentations created can be posted on the Web or used in real time (Nielan, 2001). Current features of PowerPoint?„? offer flexibility to address the learning styles of all learners and enhance the learning experience.

Overview of Presentation

Integration of Slide Transitions. Transition of PowerPoint slides can help or hinder a presentation. Transition can serve to introduce a new topic. However, when used in excess, transition can be distracting to the audience (Wright, 2004). Transition can be set by the designer to occur automatically or by the click of the mouse, enabling the presenter to control the tempo (Wright, 2004).

Team B chose to automatically set the transition between slides. In addition, team B chose to have the text swipe in from left to right. The swipe provides a smooth transition and introduction of the topics presented.

Graphics Application.

Graphics, in the form of images, ?????¦are the most popular of presentation media??? (Wright, 2004). One study found that visual learners are more likely than verbal learners to recall information presented via pictures (Smith & Woody, 2000).
It is important, when incorporating images into a presentation, to consider the technology capabilities of the end-users. Care should be taken to ensure the graphics used have a purpose in the presentation.

Team B uses graphics as a means to transition from one topic to another, for example one graphic is used for discussion on Macromedia and another to introduce discussion on FrontPage. The photograph used on the title slide and repeated on the third slide does not seem to have any bearing on the topic and it might be suggested that it be eliminated or perhaps just not repeated.

Files that are too large can take significant time to download and can crash the system of the user; therefore, one should use the highest resolution possible without utilizing too much space (Rotondo, 2000). The graphics used by Team B are well chosen and appropriate, however, they are rather large and tend to detract from the message on each slide.
Utilization of Table and/or Chart. Tables and graphs should be used with caution on PowerPoint slides. When too much text is needed, the fonts may need to be so small that the text is difficult to see. However, tables, charts, and graphs can be inserted into PowerPoint slides to enhance presentation and emphasize pertinent content.

Team B made good use of the bar graph format for presentation of issues regarding cost. In addition, several tables were appropriately utilized in the presentation, helping to organize the information well.

Use of Sound.

One author tells us that amplifying the voice increases the learner??™s retention of the content (Milshtein, 2003). Caution must be taken, however, when adding sound, as each second of sound can occupy large amounts of disk space.

Team B used minimal sound in their presentation. Only two slides incorporated sound in the presentation. Team B utilized transition sound on the Vendor Profile slide as well as the Conclusion slide. The sound does not seem to be necessary as it is not clear that those slides introduce different or more important information that would need to have attention called to it.

Action Buttons.

In the case of PowerPoint presentations, action buttons can be utilized to move a presentation forward, return to home, or provide other navigational features. Action buttons can enable the presenter to control timing of the slides and how they appear. Action buttons can also move the user to linked information, such as movies. Action buttons can be bare or contain text.

Team B chose not to utilize action buttons in their PowerPoint presentation. The viewer was not able to control the timing of the presentation because the transitions were pre-set.

Additional Considerations.

Use of Color and Text. Text appeals to our sense of sight (Wei, 2002). Text should never be less than 24 point. Times New Roman or Arial are easily read on PowerPoint?„? presentations. Text should be limited, if possible, to five words per line and five lines per page/slide (UOP, 2000, p. 152). Text should also be appropriate for the audience; a juvenile font would not be appropriate for a business presentation to adults. Color can have cultural implications (http://www.infoplease.com/spot/colors1.html). Color should be simple, with consideration for those learners who might be color-challenged, keeping in mind that a small percentage of the population has difficulty distinguishing shades of red and green.

Team B used generally, good crisp color, with eye-catching blends. Although most slides have good balance, a few contain excessive text, which is difficult to read. It is recommended that Team B consider using fewer lines per bullet. Five lines per slide are a comfortable amount to read.

Cultural Considerations.

Learning styles may be correlated with the cultural background of the learner (Karakaya et al, 2001). Cultural bias is another issue that must be addressed when designing a presentation, particularly as it pertains to language and references (UOP, 2001, p. 236). Cultural considerations can be significant in reference to all of the above-mentioned features of PowerPoint design, from text to color, and everything in-between.

Team B has been given the responsibility of selecting multimedia that will enhance educational opportunities in information technology for women. Therefore, Team B has appropriately used images depicting females. It was not stated if this project would be limited to any particular ethnic group. It is recommended that Team B consider using more culturally diverse pictures of women, scattered throughout slide or in combo on title/intro slide.
It is additionally recommended that Team B consider a reference or resource slide after the summary slide, as no citations were included in the preceding slides for the vendor information.

Summary

PowerPoint?„? presentations serve as an important multimedia tool to convey information. The features offered by PowerPoint?„? make it a viable instrument in today??™s learning environment. Slide transitions, graphic applications, tables/charts, sound, action buttons, text, and color all provide the designer with options that can be incorporated into a presentation. While the possibilities of the design are endless, designers should work to deliver a presentation that is both attractive to the senses as well as balanced in the multimedia tools that are used.

References
Johnson, David. (2003). Psychology of color. Do different colors affect your mood Retrieved May 14, 2004 from http://www.infoplease.com/spot/colors1.html

Karakaya, F., Ainscough, T., & Chopoorian, J. The effects of class size and learning style on student performance in a multimedia-based marketing course. Journal of Marketing Education, 23(2) 84. Retrieved April 9, 2004, from the ProQuest database.

Milshtein, A. (2003). Accommodating students??™ learning styles. College Planning & Management, 6(3) 30. Retrieved April 9, 2004, from the InfoTrac database.

Nielan, C. (2001). Introduction to PowerPoint. Intercom, 48(8) 23. Retrieved March 24, 2004, from the ProQuest database.

Rotondo, J. (2000). When choosing an image??™s file format, size matters. Presentations, 14(3) 27. Retrieved March 25, 2004, from the ProQuest database.

Smith, S. & Woody, P. (2000). Interactive Effect of Multimedia Instruction and Learning Styles. Teaching of Psychology, 27(3) 220. Retrieved April 9, 2004, from the EBSCOhost database.

University of Phoenix (Ed.). (2001). Applications of Multimedia and Web Page Design [University of Phoenix Custom Edition]. Boston: Pearson Custom Publishing.

University of Phoenix (Ed). (2000). Foundations of Distance Education and Training [University of Phoenix Custom Edition]. Boston: Pearson Custom Publishing.

Wei, R.P.C. (May 2, 2002). Elements of multimedia technology. Computimes Malaysia. Retrieved March 24, 2004, from the ProQuest database.