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K-State Today

January 15, 2020

Architecture professor presents paper, workshops on the pedagogy of PowerPoint

Submitted by Thom Jackson

Mick Charney, associate professor of architecture in the College of Architecture, Planning & Design and university distinguished teaching scholar, presented "The Point of PowerPoint Is to Use All Its Power" at the Hawaii International Conference on Education, Jan. 5, in Honolulu.

Charney's paper contends that, as PowerPoint becomes an increasingly ubiquitous and even crucial centerpiece of pedagogy for so many instructors who strive to maximize learning outcomes through multimedia, there still is widespread reluctance among educators to explore all of its bells and whistles. And yet, both the intentions of PowerPoint's inventor and the findings of brain scientists affirm that the intentional use of PowerPoint's elaborative capabilities can significantly improve learning. That is, beyond employing standardized PowerPoint templates and bullet points, the judicious addition of images, animations, transitions, dissolves, embedded video clips, and even cheesy GIFs or other "things that spin" can produce huge cognitive gains.

Charney also conducted a full workshop on this same topic at the Lilly Evidence-Based Teaching and Learning Conference, Jan. 11, in Austin.

The International Teaching and Learning Cooperative, of which the Lilly Conferences are a part, honored Charney in Austin by inducting him into the inaugural group of ITLC-LILLY Ambassadors. This distinction recognizes individuals for both a dedication to student learning as well as a teaching style characterized by sound pedagogical approaches that embrace innovation. Additionally, ITLC-LILLY Ambassadors embody the Lilly Spirit as demonstrated by a willingness to share scholarly work and as evidenced by active participation in the Lilly community over the years, including mentoring activities that contribute to the advancement of other instructors' classroom skills and professional development.

Since 2009, Charney has presented his scholarship on best practices in teaching and learning a total of eight other times at Lilly Conferences in Bethesda, Traverse City and Anaheim. And, except for editors and educational consultants, he has published more articles in The Scholarly Teacher, which is the Lilly Conferences' official online blog, than any other contributor. He has served as a peer reviewer of others' conference proposals on several occasions and as a judge of the Lilly Conference Ryan Award for Outstanding Poster, of which he himself is a past recipient.

Charney continues to research and refine our collective understanding of the potentials of PowerPoint as an extraordinary tool of teaching empowerment for yet another workshop that has been selected for presentation at the Teaching Professor Conference, May 29-31, in Atlanta.