We have all experienced “Death by PowerPoint” where walls of text, overly complicated visuals, poor colour choice and tiny fonts have negatively impacted our ability to follow the presenter.

An example of many bad design elements in a PowerPoint slide.

Bad design is exasperating for students who are trying to learn unfamiliar material in university classes. Put it simply, bad design costs in terms of missed opportunities for student learning becasue students are unable to receive the key messages you are trying to send. But how can we design better presentations to enhance student learning?

Upping your design game

‘A new self-paced module “Design for PowerPoint” is now available in iLearn and is free for the MQ community. The module covers a range of topics with illustrative before and after examples.

  • The need for better PowerPoint design to complement the speaker and not to replace them.
  • Guidelines for better design, including;
    • Flow and emphasis across the whole presentation,
    • Text and colour choice for visual clarity, and
    • Image and animation to enhance rather than distract.
  • Applying design in the MQ context.
    • Copyright, referencing, safe guarding intellectual property and using MQ template resources.

The module is designed to be self paced with knowledge checkpoints and completion tracking. You can dip in and out as you please over a period of time. An optional practical capstone activity will enable you to earn a completion certificate.

Get started today

You can self-enrol in the “Design for PowerPoint” module by logging into iLearn.

A range of other Learning and Teaching professional development opportunities are also available at MQ.

Posted by Mathew Hillier

Mathew has been engaged by Macquarie University as an e-Assessment Academic in residence and is available to answer questions by MQ staff. Mathew specialises in Digital Assessment (e-Assessment) in Higher Education. Has held positions as an advisor and academic developer at University of New South Wales, University of Queensland, Monash University and University of Adelaide. He has also held academic teaching roles in areas such as business information systems, multimedia arts and engineering project management. Mathew recently led a half million dollar Federal government funded grant on e-Exams across ten university partners and is co-chair of the international 'Transforming Assessment' webinar series as the e-Assessment special interest group under the Australasian society for computers in learning in tertiary education. He is also an honorary academic University of Canberra.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *