not this....

PowerPoint may have once gained the students’ attention, that time has come and gone. It may be time for teachers to discover what other tools are available to inspire learners.

As technology advances, so do the needs of students. Research shows that traditional teaching methods are ineffective with millennials. Technology has changed how millennials learn, act, and socialize. They no longer have to rely on a teacher to learn something. Information is readily accessible at all times from most locations throughout the world. Because of this, teachers need to change their pedagogy to involve a learner-centered classroom. One way of doing this is by using Web 2.0 tools. According to Downes, “Web 2.0 provides choice, variety, collaboration, hands-on, and participatory learning opportunities; all the characteristics that are most attractive to today’s ‘net generation’ or ‘millenial’ student.”

Web 2.0 has been developing since 2003, changing the way the internet is viewed and used. Tools such as wikis and blogs have been around for years, yet it was not until recently that teachers began using them in the classroom. “These changes are sweeping across entire industries as a whole and are not unique to education; indeed, in many ways education has lagged behind some of these trends and is just beginning to feel their wake.” (Downes) We believe that it is time for teachers to consider integrating these tools into student projects and delivery of instruction.


Research problem

How do new Web 2.0 tools compare with PowerPoint? In the mid 1990’s, PowerPoint projects seemed to be a highly motivating tool for student learning. Recently, however, teacher observations are suggesting that this is no longer true. Unfortunately, there is not enough research measuring the effectiveness of PowerPoint on student motivation and achievement. There is even less research on the use of Web 2.0 tools in the classroom and how this affects student motivation and achievement. There is good reason to believe that a student’s motivation strongly impacts their overall academic success. There is also reason to believe that technology can increase study motivation, depending on how it is used in the classroom. Therefore, if the teacher incorporates the use of technology tools that the students are interested in using, perhaps their motivation and academic achievement will increase. The purpose of this study is to measure if and how the student use of PowerPoint impacts student motivation. This study will also measure if and how the use of Web 2.0 tools impacts student motivation. The data gathered will then be compared to see if PowerPoint or Web 2.0 tools are more effective as a motivational tool with our current population of students.

Review of the Literature

In education, there will always be trends. The trends are usually based around what new information has been discovered from the latest research studies. As new studies are published, new trends are put in place. Lately, the latest news seems to be saying that this generation learns differently because of the technology that is available. Therefore, teachers need to change their pedagogy to meet the learner’s needs. It seems that the technology wave may be changing the role of the teacher entirely. “The role of the teacher in the classroom is being transformed from that of the font of knowledge to an instructional manager helping to guide students through individualized learning pathways.” (Hawkins) To prepare for the latest trends and changes, teachers need to use effective technologies, creating learner based learning environments that utilize technology as a learning tool.

According to Solomon and Schrum, Web 2.0: New Tools, New Schools, in 2006, the computer is the only technology product that teachers use more than grade K-12 students. Students spent more time than teachers using cell phones, handheld devices, digital cameras, video cameras, iPods, and video game players. Students are constantly chatting on computers, texting on cell phones, and engaged in online gaming. Even when they are in their bedrooms they aren’t alone. Technology keeps students in constant contact with friends, neighbors, and global communities. Students are tech-savvy and want to be learning in tech-savvy schools. What do students want from their schools? They want to use technology as they use it daily in their personal lives.

Creating a learner based classroom environment may be the key to motivation the students. Studies have shown that students with a high task value are more likely to succeed. According to Menager-Beeley, “students with high task choice value can be expected to persist in class,” and be more academically successful. This means that if students have a choice in what they are learning and how they learn it, they are more likely to be motivated to do the work, and in turn, perform better. Teachers are starting to incorporate the use of Web 2.0 tools as part of the learner based curriculum. Perhaps changing the audience for which the student is performing can be motivating. Monroe state, “Whereas in the past, students wrote for one audience, their teacher, with Web 2.0, they are now writing for a much larger audience, potentially world-wide audiences.” Web 2.0 offers many different types of communities in which student can share ideas, discuss topics, and gather large amounts of information.


Recent studies indicate that including various forms of new technology into the classroom positively impacts student motivation and performance. In a report by Beltramo involving 28 at-risk middle school students, they show a positive impact of using video production to increase motivation and achievement. “The findings from this study indicated that participants were motivated by the project, valued career research, and learned the importance of education and role that math plays in people's daily lives.” (Beltramo) Incorporating technology into the curriculum resulted in a positive social change for the students and also made learning more meaningful and motivating.

In a report by Paino, a study involving first grade math students revealed the same results. In this study, computer software and white boards were used to teach math to first grade students. Half of the students participated in the technology implementation; the other half used traditional paper and pencil learning activities. “The results of this study support the idea that technology increases academic achievement and increases student motivation when learning mathematics.” (Paino) Perhaps this is proof that teachers need to change their pedagogy to include new ways of teaching.

Checho reported about a study involving at-risk high school students. These students were involved in a technology integrated classroom using podcasts. The results of the study revealed increases in content knowledge of literature and grammar. The students positively responded to using podcasts as a way of learning and interacting. “Therefore, this study uncovered ways that at-risk students can participate in activities using digital technologies to promote learning.” (Checho) The study suggests that students more willing to use podcasts as a tool for learning over traditional methods, and in turn increasing knowledge and understanding of the content.

In a 2009 research study on the effects of using blogs and wikis motivate learners, Shifflet discovered that students who published on blogs, were more motivated because they had an authentic, interactive audience. Most students enjoyed writing on blogs instead of writing in traditional journals. The author shows numerous reasons that teachers used wikis and blogs. Although the teachers may not be in 100% of agreement on the specific effects on students, all teachers report a variety of positive results on student learning, achievement, and motivation. Six out of eight of the teacher participants claimed that student blogs were more motivating for student learning. The remaining two teachers, who did not select motivation, said that the students’ writing improved or the students performed better.

One of the purposes of having an authentic audience was to allow audience interactions with the writers. Higher student motivation was experienced by students’ who wrote on public wikis. Blogs allow users and audiences to make comments which created a more engaging experience for students. Web 2.0 tools provide the social interactions that students desire to make learning meaningful. It didn’t matter the original purpose of the assignment; using a wiki or blog produced higher quality work.


PowerPoint is an old technology tool. In a 2010 action research study involving five teachers who used wikis, blogs, and podcasting to enhance learning, Allen found that teachers went through a personal and professional technology transformation. The study shows the teachers’ change not only the way they developed student learning opportunities with more wikis, blogging, and podcasts, but the teachers used these same tools to become contributors. In the classroom, students used more authentic learning activities. Students were more engaged in learning and experienced higher achievement levels.

Similarly, teachers became involved in blogs, podcasts, and wikis to become more contributors to their professional world. They shared their expertise with other educators through blogs, podcasts, and wikis. This proved to be a supportive tool for teachers, who sometimes experience isolation from non-technology-savvy peers at their schools. Having the online learning support provided opportunities for staff development that were not available at their schools. This facilitated personal growth, developed confidence, and led to their transformation. The individuals who were most involved with blogging and podcasts were the ones who underwent the furthest transformation. If teachers are passionate about what they do, then it is easy for our students to become passionate, too. Exploring new Web 2.0 technologies with students takes extra commitment on the part of the instructor to understand how to use the tool as well as how to help students learn to use it. The innovation of working together on new Web 2.0 technologies could be a motivating experience for curious learners.

Menager-Beeley (2001) studied the correlation between motivation, demographics, prior English courses, and continued enrollment in online courses. They were curious about the percentage of dropped online courses compared to traditional courses. The study was trying to find characteristics that predict student drop out. For measuring motivation, the CANE (Commitment and Necessary Effort) model was used to calculate a value for student motivation from surveys of student values of utility, interest, and importance.

The CANE model was introduced by Richard Clark (1999). “Active commitment to goals is predicted by a multiplicative relationship between three factors: Personal agency, emotion and control values. Personal agency is defined as general self efficacy, a meta-assessment of one’s ability to achieve a class or domain of work goals (“Can I do it?”), on the one hand, and our estimates of the barriers that surround the class of work goal (“Will I be permitted to do it?”), on the other hand. In addition, our emotional reaction to the goal must be neutral or positive. Finally, we must believe that achieving the goal will lead to control benefits (e.g. make us significantly more effective than competing goals). Three types of values were hypothesized to influence work goal commitment: a) utility (“I may not enjoy the pursuit of this goal, but I do desire the benefit of achieving the goal”); b) Interest (“I am curious about this goal, it has intrinsic value”); and c) Importance (“Mastering this goal will make me more effective and/or give a good impression to others”).” (Clark). The CANE model seems to be an effective way to measure motivation.



Research Questions

After reviewing the literature, it is clear that teachers are having a difficult time motivating students, yet motivation is the key to student achievement. Perhaps technology is creating a generation with a constant need to socialize and find instant answers. Because of this, teachers need to reassess their current pedagogy based on the needs of students. PowerPoint may not be the best tool for motivating today’s students. Perhaps teachers need to incorporate more Web 2.0 tools since this is what interests millennials. The purpose of this study is to investigate and research some of these problems and solutions. Specifically, this study will try to answer the questions listed in the chart below. The chart also indicates how the research will be conducted and analyzed.





Research Question
Design
Instrumentation
Analysis
Does the student use of PowerPoint presentations motivate
students to learn and perform?

Descriptive
Teacher survey and interview

Student survey

Qualitative analysis of data

Data will be presented within a pie graph to show percentages of survey and interview questions

Can wikis be used effectively as an alternative to PowerPoint?
Descriptive
Experimental

Teacher survey and interview
Student survey

Three Projects
Grading Rubric

Qualitative analysis of data

Data will be presented within a pie graph to show percentages of survey and interview questions

Quantitative analysis of data

Data will be present using a 3 bar Histogram to display the Wiki vs. PowerPoint scores of each group

Can Prezi be used effectively as an alternative to PowerPoint?
Descriptive

Experimental

Teacher survey and interview
Student survey

Three projects
grading rubric

Qualitative analysis of data

Data will be presented within a pie graph to show percentages of survey and interview questions

Quantitative analysis of data

Data will be present using a 3 bar histogram to display the Prezi vs. PowerPoint scores of each group

Will substituting a Web 2.0 tool for a PowerPoint presentation yield
higher student academic performance?

Experimental
Three Projects
Grading Rubric

Quantitative analysis of data

Data will be present using a 3 bar histogram to display the grading rubric data of overall student performances

Will substituting a Web 2.0 tool for a PowerPoint presentation yield
higher student motivation?

Experimental
Three Projects
Grading Rubric

Quantitative analysis of data

Data will be present using a 3 bar histogram to display the grading rubric data of overall student performances











Research Methods/Design

This research study consists of an observational and experimental study evaluating the effectiveness of PowerPoint, Prezi, and Wiki on student motivation. The control group tool is PowerPoint because of its popularity in school instruction. Prezi and Wiki are both examples of our experimental group. Our goal is to observe noticeable changes in student motivation based on the use of these alternatives to PowerPoint.

Our sample population is teachers and students from an Art Appreciation course. This is a large-format survey course, typical at major universities. It will consist of 150 undergraduates, primarily freshmen and sophomores, from various majors. Most are taking the course to satisfy a fine arts requirement. The university is a large state school in Columbia, SC. The students will be randomly assigned to 3 groups of 50 students each, designated A, B, and C. Each student will complete three research assignments, one using PowerPoint, one using a wiki, and one using Prezi. Each assignment will involve researching an artist. All three assignments will have the same objectives and be scored with the same rubric. All that will change is the artist and the tool being used to share the information. The chart below will show how the three groups will rotate through the tools with each project assignment.



Group
First Project
Second Project
Third Project
1
PowerPoint
Prezi Presentation
Wiki
2
Wiki
PowerPoint
Prezi presentation
3
Prezi Presentation
wiki
PowerPoint





Materials/Instrumentation.

A typical assignment from an art appreciation course is a report on an important artist, their works, and their influence. This project can easily incorporate text, images, and other media. This type of assignment was chosen because it doesn't favor one of the prospective tools over the others. PowerPoint, Wikis, and Prezi all have the ability to support text, images, diagrams, video and other multimedia although in different ways. In each stage of the study, the students are assigned the same project. Students are to research an important artist and their works. They are instructed to include:

  • basic biographical information about the artist
  • description of era in which artist lived/worked
  • important political and social events during the artist's life
  • major works produced by the artist
  • artist’s influence

Students are required to include media beyond text. This media can include, but is not limited to:

  • still images (photos, sketches, diagrams, etc)
  • moving images (animation, video, etc.)
  • sound
  • narration
  • color
  • font

The report will be presented using the tool specified by the study—PowerPoint, Wiki, or Prezi. Students are to incorporate good design principles. Projects should utilize proper English grammar, and be free of mechanical or factual errors.

Because each student will create a project using each of the tools, we believe that we will be able to evaluate the influence various tools have on the student’s motivation. In addition, because we have students divided into three groups using tools in three different sequences, we believe that we can remove effects of increases in students’ acquired research and design skills as we examine scores from students first, second, and third projects.


Procedure
At the beginning of the study, participants will be given a pre-study survey. The purpose of this survey is to determine the student experience with PowerPoint and Web 2.0 tools, as well as their interest and attitude toward them. (See the below for example survey questions.) The participants will be given a basic overview of the three tools being used in this study and how to access them. Microsoft PowerPoint is available in the school computer lab. Prezi and Wikis are available online using standard web browsers on the same computers. The students are provided with the web address of Prezi and several recommended Wiki hosting services.

The study itself will proceed in three rounds. Participants are given the assignment described above. Students are free to choose the subject of their report, within the restriction that it must be a well-known artist. All students receive the same assignment, with the exception of the required delivery tool.

After completing the assignment, students complete a post-round survey. For survey questions that pertain to a particular tool, the wording of this question will be customized for each group. (See the below for example survey questions.)
The reports will be graded to judge the affect of each tool on academic performance and to determine if there is a correlation between motivation and performance. In order to ensure consistent grading, each of the projects will be graded using a numerical grading rubric. For the purposes of this study, the projects will be graded by the faculty instructor and two graduate student teaching assistants. Their scores will be averaged, with the instructor’s score weighted double the teaching assistant’s scores. (Teaching assistants in an art appreciation course are assumed to have a basic knowledge of art, artists, and art history)Final score = Average of: (Instructor Score * 2) + TA#1 Score + TA#2 Score
The study will continue through two additional rounds so that each participant creates one project with each tool. Each round will include the project, grading via the rubric, and the post-round survey. The table below lists which tool each group will be using for the assigned projects.


Group
First Project
Second Project
Third Project
1
PowerPoint
Prezi Presentation
Wiki
2
Wiki
PowerPoint
Prezi presentation
3
Prezi Presentation
wiki
PowerPoint


In addition to the student surveys, teachers will also be surveyed and interviewed at the beginning and end of the study.