Teaching students in the basic course how to use presentation software

Joe Downing, Cecile Garmon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Seventy-six students from a mid-sized southeastern university in four basic communication courses were broken into two treatment groups - two classes received hands-on training in PowerPoint, while the other two classes were handed a brief User's Guide to PowerPoint that was created by the authors. Students in the User's Guide group were told to learn PowerPoint on their own, while the hands-on, computer-trained group received forty-five minutes of training during classtime. Results from this study indicate that training - regardless if it takes the form of hands-on training delivered in a computer classroom or if a User's Guide to PowerPoint is distributed to the students - makes a difference in students' overall confidence level using both computers and PowerPoint. However, hands-on computer training was not significantly more effective in raising students' confidence level (using either computers or PowerPoint) than simply giving the students the User's Guide and having the student learn the software package on their own. Implications of this finding for Basic Course Directors is offered, along with possible avenues for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)218-229
Number of pages12
JournalCommunication Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication
  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics


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