Project Title: Maximizing the power of PowerPoint in the classroom.


Walter M. Shriner, Ph.D.


ext. 7362


Michael Russell, Ph.D.


ext. 7348




Dr. Andrew Jackman, Science


ext. 7364


Project Goals and Description

The goal of this project is to provide a resource for instructors to maximize the effectiveness of Microsoft PowerPoint as a lecture presentation tool.

PowerPoint Lectures - are they more effective than "chalkboard lectures"?

Microsoft PowerPoint is a presentation tool that has a wide-range of potential applications for college instructors in a variety of disciplines and divisions. PowerPoint allows instructors to easily modify lecture materials, assists in organizing and presenting this material, and creates the groundwork for producing useful permanent resources for the students (e.g. outlines, web-pages, etc.).

At a basic level, however, it is simply a newer version of a blackboard or overhead projector. Does the use of this software actually enhance lectures? Or might it instead decrease the effectiveness of the "traditional" lecture? As an anonymous instructor once said, "A bad lecture on PowerPoint is still a bad lecture!"

Our goal for this project is to provide instructors at Mt. Hood with suggestions which might prove useful in order to avoid the potential pitfalls of PowerPoint lectures and to provide guidelines for the creation of effective presentations using this powerful technology.

Step 1: How is PowerPoint being used on the MHCC campus?
Our first step toward this goal will be to examine how PowerPoint is being used on the Mt. Hood Community College campus currently. We will do this by conducting an #Allstaff survey of PowerPoint use and by collecting sample lectures from instructors. In addition, we will ask to visit classrooms in which PowerPoint is being used to ask students for feedback on the effectiveness of PowerPoint as a tool. We have found feedback from our own students to be very insightful and helpful as we have worked to maximize the effectiveness or our own presentations.

Step 2: How can PowerPoint be used effectively?
The second aspect of our proposed project is the compilation and creation of resources for instructors. Our goal is to provide links to web-sites and sample PowerPoint lectures that interested instructors can review. We also propose to provide guidelines for effective lecture construction based on the feedback we have gained from faculty and student surveys and through our own experiences.

TLC Primary Directives
(a) Developing and sustaining effective teaching and learning with the emphasis on student learning; and (b) ensuring broad applicability throughout the MHCC teaching and learning community.

Our primary goal is to increase student learning. Poorly designed PowerPoint presentations can obscure a once good lecture, or worse, can frustrate and confuse students. None of these outcomes is desired and all can be avoided with proper planning. Our project is designed to assist instructors in utilizing this powerful tool so that they may reduce the amount of time, energy, and angst required to produce an effective PowerPoint presentation. Training by the Mt. Hood Community College Computer Services Department in PowerPoint methodologies has allowed faculty to become more and more comfortable with computer technologies, and there has been an increased demand and interest in bringing presentation tools like PowerPoint into the classroom. The resources we create should prove useful to the growing number of faculty interested in maximizing their teaching potential with PowerPoint.

Evaluation of Success

We expect to evaluate the success of our project by listening to the feedback from students enrolled in classes that use PowerPoint lectures on a regular basis. We will also gather feedback from faculty as they utilize the resources available to them in the creation of their own PowerPoint presentations.

Sharing Results

We will share the results of our project through the creation of web-based resource guides that include links to sample lectures and additional resources, as well as the guidelines for creating effective PowerPoint lectures that we create.

We will present our project at a TLC lunch and would be available at division meetings if requested. In addition, we plan to offer a limited number of individual or team "consultations" for interested instructors.


Much of the research and materials production will be conducted during winter break. The project will be completed at the end of Winter Quarter.

Budget summary

Personnel = $ 1000 (50% Shriner, 50% Russell)

Expenses = minimal

Because PowerPoint is provided as standard software on all campus computers and photocopy costs for surveys can be absorbed by the division or TLC , expenses for this project will be minimal. We request $1000 for time needed to 1) conduct necessary research, 2) prepare presentations, and 3) create resource materials.

Return to the TLC Proposal Homepage.

Questions about this material should be addressed to the authors,
Dr. Walter M. Shriner and Dr. Michael A. Russell,
Mt. Hood Community College
Gresham, Oregon, USA

Last Updated on December 1, 2000