Innovative Higher Education

, Volume 37, Issue 2, pp 141–152 | Cite as

How to Create “Thriller” PowerPoints® in the Classroom!

  • Ronald A. BerkEmail author


PowerPoint® presentations in academia have a reputation for being less than engaging in this era of learner-centered teaching. The Net Generation also presents a formidable challenge to using PowerPoint®. Although the research on the basic elements is rather sparse, the multimedia elements of movement, music, and videos have a stronger evidence base and have the potential to increase learning. That research will be briefly reviewed. Since the use of multimedia as instructional tools has been largely ignored by the major sources on PowerPoint®, this article presents 30 specific practical applications enabling faculty members to improve the effectiveness of their PowerPoint® presentations and to grab and maintain students’ attention and foster deep learning.

Key words

PowerPoint® Multimedia Technology Engagement Learner-centered 



The author is grateful to Derek Bruff (Vanderbilt University) and Michael Miller and Jose Vazquez (University of Texas, San Antonio) for their insightful comments on an earlier draft of this article. I also thank an anonymous reviewer for recommending that I address the key practical issues covered in the epilogue and his or her affirmation of my use of humor and pop culture references in a “serious” article.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ColumbiaUSA

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