PowerPoint (Among Other Things) is Killing Education

If slide shows are so bad, why are they so popular?

Universities measure student satisfaction but they do not measure learning. Since organisations focus on what they measure and students like PowerPoint, it stays, regardless of its educational effectiveness.

Hospitals measure morbidity and mortality. Corporations measure revenue and profit. Governments measure unemployment and gross domestic product. Even this website measures readership, broken down by article and author. But universities don’t measure learning.

I didn’t realize before reading this the extent to which student satisfaction is valued as a metric of success among universities. Even so, a) PowerPoint is the least satisfying thing in the universe – I think “satisfaction” is the wrong terminology here, it’s more like “convenience” – and b) it’s an even sadder state here in the Philippines (and I’d imagine in similar countries, too) since nobody really cares what students think about anything despite being expected to inherit, if not already have traits almost no one at university is helping foster.

PowerPoint isn’t the cause here, it’s symptomatic (perhaps it’s the ultimate symptom) of the absolute apathy so many professors have towards the intellectual development of their students.

Exams, term papers and group projects ostensibly measure knowledge or ability. Learning is the change in knowledge and skills and therefore must be measured over time.

I think a student’s capacity to improve in their ability – mental, physical, artistic, whatever – is a more indispensable thing that will help them get by in the “real world” than anything else. How many more times in your life will you have to take exams after university?