Using Powerpoint In Teaching Nursing Education Essay

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Many different types of technology can be used to support and enhance learning. Everything from video content and digital moviemaking to laptop computing and handheld technologies (Marshall, 2002) have been used in classrooms, and new uses of technology such apodcastingare constantly emerging. This paper looks at how the use of PowerPoint without Bullet can be used as an educational tool to enhance learning in teaching students taking nursing course. This paper explores the use of PowerPoint without bullets in nursing education along with their benefits. It delves into the past nursing education practices and brings out the factors that led to the gradual application of technology in nursing education and practice. It also explores the factors that lead to its successful application in the medical field.

Back Ground of the Study

Various technologies deliver different kinds of content and serve different purposes in the classroom. For example, word processing and e-mail promote communication skills; database and spreadsheet programs promote organizational skills; and modeling software promotes the understanding of science and math concepts. It is important to consider how these electronic technologies differ and what characteristics make them important as vehicles for education (Becker, 1994).Technologies available in classrooms today range from simple tool based applications such as word processors to online repositories of scientific data and primary historical documents, to handheld computers, closed-circuit television channels, and two-way distance learning classrooms. Even the cell phones that many students now carry with them can be used to learn (Prensky, 2005).

Each technology is likely to play a different role in students' learning. Rather than trying to describe the impact of all technologies as if they were the same, researchers need to think about what kind of technologies are being used in the classroom and for what purposes. Two general distinctions can be made. Students can learn "from" computers this is where technology is used essentially as tutors and serves to increase students basic skills and knowledge; and can learn "with" computers where by technology is used as a tool that can be applied to a variety of goals in the learning process and can serve as a resource to help develop higher order thinking, creativity and research skills (Reeves, 1998; Ringstaff & Kelley, 2002).

The primary form of student learning 'from' computers is what Murphy, Penuel, Means, Korbak and Whaley (2001) describe as discrete educational software (DES) programs, such as integrated learning systems (ILS), computer-assisted instruction (CAI), and computer-based instruction (CBI). These software applications are also among the most widely available applications of educational technology in schools today, along with word processing software, and have existed in classrooms for more than 20 years (Becker, Ravitz, & Wong, 1999).

According to Murphy et al, teachers use DES not only to supplement instruction, as in the past, but also to introduce topics, provide means for self-study, and offer opportunities to learn concepts otherwise inaccessible to students. The software also manifests two key assumptions about how computers can assist learning. First, the user's ability to interact with the software is narrowly defined in ways designed specifically to promote learning with the tools. Second, computers are viewed as a medium for learning, rather than as tools that could support further learning (Murphy et al, 2001).

While DES remains the most commonly used approach to computer use in student learning, in more recent years, use of computers in schools has grown more diversified as educators recognize the potential of learning "with" technology as a means for enhancing students' reasoning and problem-solving abilities. In part, this shift has been driven by the overabundance of new information and communication devices now increasingly available to students in school and at home, each of which offers new affordances to teachers and students alike for improving student achievement and for meeting the demand for 21st century skills. No longer limited to school labs, school hours and specific devices, technology access is increasingly centered on the learner experience.

Bruce and Levin (1997), for example, look at ways in which the tools, techniques, and applications of technology can support integrated, inquiry-based learning to engage children in exploring, thinking, reading, writing, researching, inventing, problem-solving, and experiencing the world. They developed the idea of technology as media with four different focuses: media for inquiry such as data modeling, spreadsheets, access to online databases, access to online observatories and microscopes, and hypertext, media for communication such as word processing, e-mail, synchronous conferencing, graphics software, simulations, and tutorials, media for construction such as robotics, computer-aided design, and control systems, and media for expression such as interactive video, animation software, music composition .

In a review of existing evidence of technology's impact on learning, Marshall (2002) found strong evidence that educational technology complements what a great teacher does naturally, extending their reach and broadening their students' experience beyond the classroom. With ever-expanding content and technology choices, from video to multimedia to the Internet, Marshall suggests that there's an unprecedented need to understand the recipe for success, which involves the learner, the teacher, the content, and the environment in which technology is used.

PowerPoint is used to present information to learners. It is particularly effective when pictures are used to illustrate medical procedures. The nurse educationist prepares them in advance by filtering through researched information so as to present only what is appropriate and presents it in interactive class sessions with the students. PowerPoint presentations are one of the most popular means of instructing and disseminating health information (Bastable, 2007).

PowerPoint without bullets

PowerPoint is a type of presentation software developed by Microsoft. It allows one to show colored text and images with simple animation and sound. Microsoft PowerPoint runs on Windows and Mac operating systems. It is widely used by business people, educators, students, and trainers, and is among the most prevalent forms of persuasion technology.

PowerPoint is an effective pedagogical tool in the classroom. PowerPoint presentations can be used in the classroom for initial teaching, for student projects, for practice and drilling, for games, for reviews, and for tests.

The idea behind PowerPoint presentation is to narrow down to key points that the learner can easily understand and remember. It is possible to use PowerPoint without bullets despite the fact that the application defaults to the when one presses the enter key. By pressing shift and enter buttons together, the bullet format automatically changes to normal sentence structure. It is particularly important for such PowerPoint to have visual enhancement for the audience to follow through without getting information overload. It is important to note that a powerful visual enhancement completes what the speaker is verbally putting across without overly distracting the audience. The pictures and texts should be used in a balanced way (Atkinson, 2005).

Analysis and Evaluation of Use of PowerPoint without Bullets in Nursing Education

The use of PowerPoint without bullets in teaching has a variety of benefits to both the students and teachers. Nursing educators are faced with the challenge of explaining the students to get a high level of factual understanding. Lack of proper understanding of what has been theoretically taught is detrimental to nursing practice. If appropriate images are used, they will easily be understood by the learner thus making it easier to apply the concepts learned in practice. (Jones, 2009)

Benefits for students of using PowerPoint in teaching

The PowerPoint format is attractive to students, and it appeals to students' diverse learning styles, such as auditory, visual, kinesthetic, and creative by employing multimedia methods, such as images, color, action, design, and sounds.

PowerPoint assists collaborative learning in group projects by involving every student in the learning and teaching processes. It empowers students to be in charge of their own learning, and offers them opportunities to demonstrate their work. It also has a spell-check function of which blackboards do not have.

Students who are absent from class can go through the content by watching PowerPoint presentations hence allowing them to learn at home and not lag behind. Sounds and motions can aid the students to understand the important points in a lesson.

Benefits of the Use PowerPoint for teachers

Teachers may use PowerPoint presentations to improve the effectiveness of classroom instruction in various ways and in every subject area in nursing.

The greatest benefit of using PowerPoint in teaching nursing students is that teachers can modify lessons and use them in their future lessons. As a result, teachers save time on giving instructional material, repeated speech and also writing on blackboard. In addition, PowerPoint can enrich the lesson information hence making the presentation more flexible and also organized. The main points of a lesson can be emphasized by the use of graphics, sound and animation. In addition to the mentioned benefits, PowerPoint may also be can be used to review the content.

The current societal and nursing profession expectations are met/not met by the use of this technology?

As earlier mentioned, the society is fast changing following the ease of access to information. The use of PowerPoint in presentation is in itself a shift from what was the traditionally known way of use of chalk and blackboard. The society has an overwhelming and insatiable appetite for new things; hence the use of PowerPoint without bullets is a move towards the right direction. However, PowerPoint without bullets belabors the learners as it is just like reading text. Research has shown that knowledge disseminated in bulleted ideas is easily assimilated that in mass text. The learners struggle to extract the underlying idea unlike in bulleted form where learners get to know the point and the instructor explains the idea by use of examples that relate to it. As nursing profession grows to match its demands for information, the trend towards ease of dissemination of such information should follow. The use of PowerPoint without bullets is not in line with that and therefore not ideal for application in the modern learning context. The bulleted presentation easily captures what there is to learn.

However, the use of PowerPoint in nursing has served to vindicate the well accepted 'theory practice gap'. PowerPoint without bullets is ubiquitous in nature hence what the nursing educators say, in this case this tool is very different from what they actually do (Adams, 2006). Critics of PowerPoint have argued that it has limited use in learning for the nursing students that the tool does not facilitate the natural inquisitiveness of students but rather they just sit in and wait for the slides to be flipped through just like they watch movies. In this case its core use is to deliver hence leaves no room for debate. Some slides are usually so many but are just quickly flipped through leaving doubt as to whether adequate time has been issued to the student.

Nursing accreditation standards expectation

The nursing field has various bodies that offer its accreditation but it should be noted that the criteria by which a nursing school is measured against before being accredited is very rigorous. The curriculum of the nursing education should be one that is flexible enough to accommodate the new technological changes. For this reason, it is therefore right to claim that the introduction of 'PowerPoint without bullets' will meet this expectation as the nursing education will be seen as complying with the technological changes. However, overdependence on the use of PowerPoint by the nursing educators will only serve to go against the accreditation criteria which require that superior teaching methods be used to execute the syllabus.

Students all over the world like simple and easy to understand facts that are not tedious (Ross, & Wirth, 2004). This need is met by the introduction of this technology. The use of PowerPoint without bullets is known to make learning more exciting as well as simplified. It however suppressed the requirement for the students to engage their brain and do critical thinking. This technology also leads to boredom and alienation of the students with their teacher. The student's skills diminish over time as they may hardly attend classes knowing the slides will be uploaded on the internet where they can be downloaded and read.

Philosophical Approach/Learning theory that informed Selection and use of this technology

According to Ross, & Wirth, (2004), people are able to learn in a much better way from pictures together with words than from words alone. The theory follows assumptions that a human being has auditory and visual channels for processing information, that each of the two separate channels has limited capacity on how much they can hold, and that learning is an active feature of organizing, integrating, filtering and selecting information based on prior knowledge of the topic thereof. This theory that was advanced by Mayer seeks to reinforce the importance of one learning whenever new information is integrated with what he/she initially knew about the topic in question. The use of PowerPoint without Bullets was chosen with the objective of maximizing the concentration of the students and maximum internalization of facts being taught through use of narratives and pictures. This theory is relevant in that it highlights use of design principles that provide coherent verbal and pictorial information to help the learner to select relevant images and words thus serving to reduce the load for single channel for processing of the intended information

Areas where this technological tool can be used in nursing program

The use of PowerPoint without Bullets teaching technology, although it has had its own big share of critics can be very useful while engaging the learners in different cases. It can be used when the lecture is very long and there are chances that the students will lose concentration. In addition, it can be applied when you want to give out handouts to a large group of students. It can also be used whenever the subject being taught does not involve much critical thinking.

The use of this technology will require that the teaching staff in the nursing school not to only rely on the basic knowledge of use of computers, they are therefore required enroll for refresher courses in advanced courses of using the word apps as well as the PowerPoint presentation.

Change theory approach and steps to stimulate faculty to begin using this tool throughout a nursing program

This theory postulates that all professional fields are as a result of changes in attitudes, opinions and behavior. Change is the only thing that is constant and takes place through only two known ways, either persuasion or force. Because nursing is a noble profession whose actors and service providers are educated, there will be no need for the use of force; rather, persuasion will be used to stimulate them to begin using the PowerPoint without bullets technology. The steps that I will follow are as follows: Seeking the audience of the stakeholders; Sensitization of the staff on the need to switch to more efficient and faster technology to deliver lectures; Training of interested staff on how to use the technique; and Monitoring of how the technique is being used over time and making necessary changes


The need for linear and didactic approach to giving information is well achieved by use of PowerPoint without bullets. This technique captures the imagination of the learners following the pictures that are presented together with the reinforcement delivered by the verbal cue of the educator. As much as a lot of criticism has been advanced against this technique, it is important for the nursing educators to embrace it so as to make their work better outlined and easy for the learners to understand. There exists the need for change to be embraced by all the players in the nursing field so that technological advancement can become a reality.