Scholarly article on topic 'Investigation of university students’ attitude toward the use of powerpoint according to some variables'

Investigation of university students’ attitude toward the use of powerpoint according to some variables Academic research paper on "Educational sciences"

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Abstract of research paper on Educational sciences, author of scientific article — Sakıp Kahraman, Ceren Çevik, Hülya Kodan

Abstract In this study it is aimed to investigate whether university students’ attitudes toward the use of PowerPoint as a supporting teaching tool in the lectures change according to variables such as gender, academic units attended. For this purpose, the sample consisted of total 653 students who enrolled, Faculty of Education (N=287), Faculty of Engineering (N=125), School of Economics and Administrative Sciences (N=92) and Vocational School (N=149) in Bayburt University. Data was collected using “attitude toward the use of PowerPoint” scale. Additionally, students’ opinions of the use of PowerPoint as a supporting teaching tool was collected from their responses to a questions form developed by researchers, then written documents analyzed to reveal their opinions with respect to the use of PowerPoint. The data obtained was statistically analyzed (ANOVA). It was found that there is no any statistically meaningful difference in the participants’ attitude toward the use of PowerPoint in respect to gender, but there was significant difference in the participants’ attitude toward the use of PowerPoint according to academic units attended. Recently, the findings were discussed in terms of the use of PowerPoint as a supporting tool in the lectures and its importance.

Academic research paper on topic "Investigation of university students’ attitude toward the use of powerpoint according to some variables"

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Procedía Computer Science

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Procedía Computer Science 3 (2011) 1341-1347

www.elsevier.com/locate/procedia

WCIT-2010

Investigation of university students' attitude toward the use of powerpoint according to some variables

Sakip Kahraman , ceren çevik , Huiya Koaan

aFaculty of Education, Bayburt University,Bayburt, 69000, Bayburt

Abstract

In this study it is aimed to investigate whether university students' attitudes toward the use of PowerPoint as a supporting teaching tool in the lectures change according to variables such as gender, academic units attended. For this purpose, the sample consisted of total 653 students who enrolled, Faculty of Education (N=287), Faculty of Engineering (N=125), School of Economics and Administrative Sciences (N=92) and Vocational School (N=149) in Bayburt University. Data was collected using "attitude toward the use of PowerPoint" scale. Additionally, students' opinions of the use of PowerPoint as a supporting teaching tool was collected from their responses to a questions form developed by researchers, then written documents analyzed to reveal their opinions with respect to the use of PowerPoint. The data obtained was statistically analyzed (ANOVA). It was found that there is no any statistically meaningful difference in the participants' attitude toward the use of PowerPoint in respect to gender, but there was significant difference in the participants' attitude toward the use of PowerPoint according to academic units attended. Recently, the findings were discussed in terms of the use of PowerPoint as a supporting tool in the lectures and its importance.

© 2010 Published by Elsevier Ltd. Selection and/or peer-review under responsibility of the Guest Editor. Keywords: PowerPoint, Educational Technology, Attitude

1. Introduction

Technology use has shown a striking increase in the field of education as is the case in the other sectors due to rapid developments in technology. With the widespread computer use in the field of education, an immense increase has been observed in the use of PowerPoint software which is included in the 'Microsoft Office' package programs as a supporting teaching tool that is a powerful presentation material readily available in almost all modern classrooms. Due to this reason, many studies have been undertaken to investigate the effects of PowerPoint use in classes on student success and attitudes. Some of these studies focus on the effectiveness of the use of PowerPoint presentations in classes in comparison with black/whiteboard and overhead projector use. Many of the studies undertaken in this context display that the majority of PowerPoint presentations are more effective compared to overhead transparencies [1, 2, 3]. A study by [4], as opposed to the previously mentioned findings, aimed to compare and contrast the effects of PowerPoint and overhead projector use on learning. In this study, overhead transparencies and PowerPoint presentations were used in lessons and a very little difference in scores was found when the data obtained from applications were compared. This study emphasizes the fact that technology is not a

* Sakip Kahraman. Tel.: 05063570382 E-mail address: kahramansakip@hotmail.com

1877-0509 © 2010 Published by Elsevier Ltd. doi:10.1016/j.procs.2011.01.013

magic wand and the most important thing in classrooms is the educator himself/herself. It has also been identified that PowerPoint use in classes are helpful for students to develop positive attitudes towards the lessons [2, 5, 6, 7, 8]. Along the same lines, [9] argues that PowerPoint presentations strengthen teaching and motivate students to learn. However, while some empirical studies show that PowerPoint use in classrooms have positive effects on student performance [1, 10, 11] there are some results showing no effect of PowerPoint use in classrooms on the performances of students whatsoever [2, 7, 12]. Many studies undertaken by researchers reveal that students believe PowerPoint use in classrooms makes it easier for them to learn [2, 11, 12, 13, 14]. In a study performed by [15] students argue that classes supported by PowerPoint presentations are more interesting compared to traditionally taught classes. At the same time, [16] suggests the use of displaying discussion questions on the screen with computer generated presentations to develop the classroom discussion atmosphere. Additionally, it is expressed that PowerPoint supported classes contribute to more efficient use of classroom time compared to methods such as writing on the white board or utilizing the overhead transparencies [11, 17]. In addition to these advantages of PowerPoint use, students have also expressed that they find classes taught with the support of PowerPoint presentations which include visual elements such as pictures, charts and graphs [15, 18] more interesting. Another study confirms that half of the participants believe that use of animations in PowerPoint presentations contributes to learning to a great extent [18]. As opposed to this, it is also argued that frequent use of animations and graphics in PowerPoint presentations may be distractive for students [19]. Along the same lines, it was theorized that use of unrelated graphics may have a negative effect on learning [3]. In classrooms where PowerPoint presentations are used, students may make better use of their time in different activities instead of taking notes about the topics. In other words, preventing the loss of classroom time is another advantage of classes supported by PowerPoint presentations when the copies of presentations are distributed to students or shared online [5, 15, 20]. However, the possibility of passifization or alienation of students is seen as a disadvantage in the distribution of the copies of PowerPoint presentations to students [21, 22]. It has also been argued that providing students with copies of PowerPoint presentations may lessen the motivation to attend classes personally. On the other hand, students may neglected since educators fully focus on the presentations during classes. The lack of remote control equipments to manage the computers in classes usually causes the educators to stand in a fixed location which limits their freedom of movement that in turn may affect the classroom environment in a negative manner [23]. It has also been suggested that the use of computer supported presentations in semi-dark auditoriums may cause some students to feel sleepy and decrease their motivation to a great extent [24, 25].

As mentioned above, many studies provide findings for both the advantages and disadvantages for the use of PowerPoint presentations. The present study aims to investigate the attitudes of university students regarding the use of PowerPoint presentations according to some variables.

2. Method

2.1 Sample

The sample of the study consisted of a total of 653 freshman students enrolled in the Faculty of Education [N=287 (Female=160, Male=127)], Faculty of Engineering [N=125 (Female=23, Male=102)], School of Economics and Administrative Sciences [N=92 (Female=45, Male=47)] and Vocational School of Higher Education [N=149 (Female=97, Male=52)] in Bayburt University.

2.2 Data Collection Tools

"Scale of Attitude toward the Use of PowerPoint" with 19 items was used as a data collection tool [26]. Reliability of the scale was determined to be 0.81 using Cronbach's Alpha Coefficient. Additionally, written materials consisting of open-ended questions developed by researchers in order to gather student opinions regarding the use of PowerPoint as a supporting teaching tool were utilized.

2.3 Data Analysis

Firstly, skewness and kurtosis values were calculated in order to determine whether the data from the scale matches the requirements for normality and it was later followed by the drawing of the boxplot graphics. Levene

Test (Levene's Test of Equality of Error Variances was applied to determine whether the variations for the variables could be regarded as homogeneous. After determining that the necessary assumptions are met, it was decided to apply variance analysis (ANOVA). The answers students provided for the written materials were subjected to content analysis.

3. Findings

3.1 Findings from quantitative data

Gender

Figure 1. Distribution of attitude scores according to gender

Academic Units

Figure 2. Distribution of attitude scores according to academic units attended

A1: Faculty of Education

A2: Vocational School of Higher Education

A3: Faculty of Engineering

A4: School of Economics and Administrative Sciences

Skewness and kurtosis values determined for the identification of the normal distribution of the data for the attitude test were found to be between +1 and -1 which points to the fact that no violation of normality was apparent. In addition to that, boxplot graphics (Fig.1 and Fig. 2) drawn to determine whether attitude test data provided the normalcy requirements showed data distribution occurred substantially randomly.

Table 1. Mean & Standard Deviation values for gender and academic units pairs

Gender Academic Units Mean Std Deviation N

Female Faculty of Education 3,29 0,57 160

Faculty of Engineering 2,91 0,57 23

School of Economics and Administrative Sciences 3,30 0,60 45

Vocational School of Higher Education 3,24 0,61 97

Male Faculty of Education 3,25 0,63 127

Faculty of Engineering 2,80 0,48 102

School of Economics and Administrative Sciences 3,32 0,56 47

Vocational School of Higher Education 3,11 0,49 52

Total Faculty of Education 3,27 0,60 287

Faculty of Engineering 2,82 0,50 125

School of Economics and Administrative Sciences 3,31 0,57 92

Vocational School of Higher Education 3,20 0,57 149

As seen in Table 1, while the mean attitude score of female students enrolled in the Faculty of Education regarding the use of PowerPoint as a supporting tool in classes was 3,29; the related scores were 2,91; 3,30 and 3,24 for the females in the Faculty of Engineering, School of Economics and Administrative Sciences and Vocational

School of Higher Education respectively. The mean attitude score for males enrolled in the Faculty of Education regarding the use of PowerPoint as a tool was found to be 3,25 while the scores for the males in the Faculty of Engineering, School of Economics and Administrative Sciences and Vocational School of Higher Education were calculated as 2,80, 3,32 and 3,11 respectively. When the academic units were taken into consideration, mean scores for the attitude scale in the table (Table 1) were seen as 3,27 for the students in the Faculty of Education, 2,82 for the students in the Faculty of Engineering, 3,31 for the students in the School of Economics and Administrative Sciences and 3,20 for the students in Vocational School of Higher Education.

Table 2. Results of variance analysis: attitudes of students regarding PowerPoint use

Source Sum of squares df Mean squares F D Eta squared

Corrected model 21,653 7 3,093 9,326 0,000 0,092

Intercept 4541,349 1 4541,349 13691,879 0,000 0,955

Gender 0,524 1 0,524 1,580 0,209 0,002

Academic Units 11,742 3 3,914 11,800 0,000* 0,052

Gender*Academic units 0,424 3 0,141 0,426 0,735 0,002

Error 213,935 645 0,332

Total 6832,445 643

Corrected Total_235,588 652

*p<0,05

Data obtained from the scale was analyzed statistically (ANOVA) and the Levene test (levene's test of error variance) regarding the equality of the variances showed that the error variations in the groups can be accepted as equal according to the dependent variables [F(7)=2,008, p=0,052]. Additionally, graphics (Fig. 1 and Fig. 2) drawn in order to determine whether the attitude test data provide the normalcy requirements displayed that majority of the data showed a random distribution. Results of the variance analysis (Table 2) undertaken after the identification that all necessary conditions were met indicated that there was no meaningful difference in student attitudes towards the use of PowerPoint in terms of gender [F(1)=1,580, p=0,209, eta squared=0.052)] but a statistically meaningful difference was existent in student attitudes in terms of the academic units that the students were enrolled in [F(3)=11,800, p=0,000, eta squared=0,052)]. Moreover, it was also identified that there was no statistically meaningful interaction was present between gender and academic units [F(4)=0,426, p=0,735, eta squared=0,002)].

Table 3. Results of Post-Hoc Test undertaken to determine the differences between attitude scale scores

(I) Academic Units (J) Academic Units Mean Differences (I-J) Std. Error D

Faculty of Engineering Faculty of Education -0,45* 6,172E-02 0,000

School of Economics and Administrative Sciences -0,49* 7,911E-02 0,000

Vocational School of Higher Education -0,37* 6,985E-02 0,000

Although the results of variance analysis indicated that there was a meaningful difference among the academic units, it does not provide us with detailed information as to this difference. Tukey HSD test (Post-Hoc test) (Table 3) undertaken to determine the directionality of this difference between academic units showed that mean attitude score of students enrolled in the Faculty of Engineering (Mean=2,82) regarding the use of PowerPoint as a supporting tool in classes was lower in a statistically meaningful manner (0,05 level) compared to the mean attitude scores of students in other academic units [Faculty of Education (Mean=3,27), School of Economics and Administrative Sciences (Mean=3,31) and Vocational School of Higher Education (Mean=3,20)]. In other words, students enrolled in the Faculty of Engineering displayed a more negative attitude towards the use of PowerPoint as a supporting tool in classes compared to the students enrolled in other academic units.

3.2 Findings from qualitative data

Students were asked open-ended questions to elicit their ideas regarding the use of PowerPoint as a supporting teaching tool. The answers were analyzed using content analysis. According to the results of the content analysis, students stated that PowerPoint presentations increase the retention of information in the mind by featuring visuals

and raises motivation by arousing interest and attention. There are some student expressions among the findings stating that using PowerPoint presentations are time-efficient. Some students also stated that PowerPoint presentations enables student learning.

In addition to the advantages mentioned above, some students mentioned that PowerPoint presentations lose their effectiveness and make the lessons boring when they are used more frequently than necessary. Also students argued that classes utilizing PowerPoint presentations moved ahead faster which made them face the difficulty of following the lesson and hence the productivity dropped. Among the factors that affected student attitudes negatively, the most outstanding factor was found to be the existence of sloppily and carelessly prepared presentations. Students expressed that presentations prepared with no rules in mind (font size, font style, color harmony, aligning etc) creare distraction and cause them problems to focus on the class. Also technical problems faced during presentations were mentioned to cause much time to be lost and that fact created distraction in students.

Students stated that PowerPoint presentations might be used in almost all classes but they would be more beneficial in classes in which visual elements are on the forefront. Especially the students in the Faculty of Engineering expressed that use of PowerPoint presentations in classes filled predominantly with mathematical operations affected their attitudes in a negative manner.

4. Discussion and Results

This study aims to investigate the attitudes of university students regarding the use of PowerPoint presentations as a supporting teaching tool according to some variables. Results of the variance analysis indicate that there are no statistically meaningful differences in the attitude scores in terms of gender. In other words, female and male students display similar attitudes regarding the use of PowerPoint presentations as a supporting teaching tool. A study by [27] showed that especially the female students displayed positive attitudes towards learning with the support of computers. In a research by [24] it was determined that PowerPoint presentations increased the success rate of female students in a more pronounced manner. The statistical data also indicated that there are meaningful differences in attitude scores in terms of academic units. To explain it in more detail, we can say that the attitude scores of students in the Faculty of Engineering are lower in a meaningful level compared to the students in the other academic units. This is thought to have been resulted due to the existence of mathematical classes that involve operations predominantly. The students the Faculty of Engineering expressed that the use PowerPoint presentations especially in classes requiring mathematical operations affected their attitudes negatively. It was also determined that classes supported by PowerPoint presentations prepared with no regard to the rules in the visual sense (font size, font style, color harmony, aligning etc) cause student boredom and distraction. In a study, [28] argues that use of presentations that are prepared without paying attention to rules may have a negative affect on learning. It is also contended that the existence of graphics in the presentations that are unrelated to the topic may have an adverse effect on learning [3]. Hence, all university students, but especially the students at the Faculty of Education - being the teachers of the future, can be provided with training on how to prepare effective PowerPoint presentations in their undergraduate years. The fact that technical malfunctions or defects during PowerPoint presentations are time consuming create disconnectedness in the flow of the lesson therefore causing distractions in students. This finding is similar to the results of the study undertaken by [20]. The educators should observe the classroom environment before their classes and minimize the problems that can be faced during lessons. Students maintain that classes supported by PowerPoint presentations are more easily learned. The results of the study by [15] support this finding. A study undertaken by [2] displays that the majority of students believe that lessons in which PowerPoint presentations are utilized are much more beneficial. In addition to this, students argue that lessons supported by PowerPoint presentations increase motivation since they are more interesting. There are other studies that have parallel results [2, 7, 15, 26].

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