Creating a Triple Threat in Presentation Slide Design

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Conference Proceeding

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Since launching in 1989, PowerPoint in the Microsoft Suite has become common in education and business alike (Garrett, 2016). It has been approximated that over two-thirds of faculty in academia use some sort of slide software at least once per semester (Garrett, 2016). Unfortunately, despite its usefulness as a presentation tool, it has become a substitute for it (Burke, Admadi, & James, 2009). The common phrase of “death by powerpoint” is a harsh reality for many students and employees (Nagmoti, 2017). It is the aim of this paper to provide guidance to instructors on how to avoid this form of student suffering and revert to a more effective design of slides that will increase student learning and engagement. In exploring the literature and building off fifteen years of teaching in higher education, I have arrived at what I feel to be the triple threat of slide design: competing purposes of slides, the clutter of slides, and the lack of cues. Using foundations in Mayer’s multimedia design principles (Nagmoti, 2017; Kong, Liu, & Karahalios, 2017) and cognitive load theories (Cho & Lee, 2013; Berk, 2012), I will explore each of these three threats individually and offer concrete suggestions for instructors.


Presented at North American Society for the Sociology of Sport Conference, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

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