Powerpoint lessons: do students read or listen?

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Elena Bortolotti
Gisella Paoletti
Francesca Zanon


This paper describes a research study investigating the use of PowerPoint presentations as part of university lectures. It examines slide presentations of three different types: brief, bulleted slides with lengthy oral explanation from the lecturer; slide text read out aloud (redundancy); paraphrasing of slide text. The analysis focused on students’ processing of the oral and written sources. The results indicated that bulleted slides plus commentary is the form that makes optimal use of written and oral channels, generating an impression of ease and usefulness in double processing.

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