Faculty Feedback Regarding the Usability of Microsoft PowerPoint as a Multimedia Authoring Tool

Faculty Feedback Regarding the Usability of Microsoft PowerPoint as a Multimedia Authoring Tool

Christopher Francique (The University of Trinidad and Tobago, Trinidad and Tobago)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-5557-6.ch003
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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to identify faculty feedback, regarding their usage of Microsoft PowerPoint (PPT) in an innovative way: to create multimedia content apart from presentations. The research provided an insight into the eagerness and willingness of faculty to use PowerPoint to create multimedia content for their courses. Despite the fact that none of the participants in the study ever used PPT to create multimedia artefacts such as graphics and interactive quizzes, the data revealed a sense of ease and comfort in participants as they used PPT to create the artefacts. This study posits that this may have occurred due to the familiarity that faculty have with PPT to do presentations. The study was able to identify challenges that would impede the faculty engaging in content creation with PPT beyond the study and prescribed possible solutions to mitigate against the expressed challenges.
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Introduction

Overview

The creation of a society with critical thinkers and problem solvers that are digitally literate, creative and effective collaborators is the overarching theme of the 21st century (van Laar, van Deursen, van Dijk, & de Haan, 2017). To establish such a societal outcome, much of the focus has been placed upon educators and their capacity to mould and positively impact the minds of learners at all levels (primary, secondary, tertiary) of the education system. More specifically, as it pertains to the need to create digitally competent individuals, the emphasis is upon educators’ digital competence (Instefjord & Munthe, 2017). This study is influenced by this demand for the digital competence of educators. More specifically, the researcher holds the viewpoint that it is important that educators be competent in creating digital content, which would allow them to either develop their own digital resources for their courses or have the capacity to edit a digital resource that may have been curated.

Rationale for Study

Previous to this research, the researcher conducted a study that highlighted the capability of Microsoft PowerPoint (PPT) as a multimedia authoring tool. Additionally, that particular study, which was positioned in the arena of higher education, assessed faculty’s perception of PPT being used to do anything beyond presentations. The feedback from that study not only yielded a recognition by faculty that PPT can be used to create multimedia learning resources for faculty’s courses, but it also illustrated a willingness of faculty to see how it can be done.

Purpose of The Study

Due to the above stated rationale, this study seeks to provide faculty with an opportunity to utilize PPT to create specific multimedia resources for their courses. During the process, faculty’s performance and feedback would be documented so that an overall assessment can be made of PPT’s usability as a software, with a low learning curve, to be used by educators in higher education, to create digital (multimedia) resources for their courses.

Research Questions

The main research question addressed in this study was: What is faculty feedback regarding the usability of Microsoft PowerPoint as an authoring tool?

The study seeks to answer this main question by answering the following sub- questions:

  • Q1 – What is faculty’s performance and feedback regarding the multimedia authoring features and procedures to create:

    • a.

      A Graphic

    • b.

      A Video Lesson

    • c.

      An interactive Quiz

  • Q2 – Is the faculty willing to apply interface design and multimedia learning principles and other relevant techniques into their usage of PowerPoint as an authoring tool?

  • Q3 - What are the factors that will deter faculty from utilizing PowerPoint as an authoring tool?

Conceptual Framework

The conceptual framework for this paper is represented by the diagram below which reveals that in this study, the production of multimedia content from PPT as an authoring tool, is to be structured and influenced by select: learning theories, instructional theories, principles of multimedia learning, and design principles. The aforementioned theories and principles are therefore the framework for analyzing faculty usability feedback, with respect to:

  • 1.

    Observing and recording faculty’s ease and satisfaction in utilizing the multimedia tools and features of Microsoft PowerPoint to create multimedia content.

Figure 1.

Conceptual Framework of Faculty Feedback re Usability of PowerPoint

978-1-7998-5557-6.ch003.f01

Key Terms in this Chapter

Multimedia Principle: This is a principle that states that individuals learn better from words and pictures than from words alone.

Significance (Emphasis): Relates to the use of variations in the standard or chosen: colour, size or appearance of an element; this helps viewers to focus on a relevant element. For instance, a title to a topic should be of a larger size than the body of text to follow. Or important text could be bolded or italicized. Significance is utilized to draw the users’ attention to a focal point of a particular design.

Redundancy Principle: This principle posits that individuals understand the presentation of a learning resource when corresponding words and pictures are placed near each other rather than far from each other on the page or screen.

Consistency: This is also a design principle relating to the maintenance of a particular look and design across the various pages or screens of a multimedia document such as a lesson. This means that the colour scheme, chosen fonts, spaces between objects and other principles should remain the same (consistent) throughout a multimedia document such as an interactive lesson, a graphic or even a video presentation.

Alignment: Relates to the arrangement of various elements (that belong together) that are place upon a screen/page of a multimedia document. The layout ought not to be chaotic but have some measure of order to enhance readability and visual understanding of whatever is presented.

Personalization Principle: This principle admonishes that multimedia presentations have greater impact upon learning when the words are in conversational style rather than in a formal style.

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