presentation |ˌprēˌzenˈtā sh ən; ˌprezən-; ˌprēzən-| noun the manner or style in which something is given, offered, or displayed
information |ˌinfərˈmā sh ən| noun what is conveyed or represented by a particular arrangement or sequence of things : genetically transmitted information. Computing data as processed, stored, or transmitted by a computer.

(From the Online New Oxford American Dictionary)

What is presentation of information?

Information is viewed and presented in many ways for learners. According to Alessi and Trollip (2001) there are many techniques and conventions that should be considered when designing professional presentations or software. Consistency is a main technique that should be considered. This is to guarantee that the idea and information to be presented is clearly communicated to the viewer or user. Conventions support the user in the process of learning and interacting. Alessi and Trollip (2001, pg.61) have suggested the following six conventions:

· Put control options, such as mouse buttons, on the bottom of the display.
· Use a consistent prompt for responses, such as “Type your answer here.”
· Start a new display for a change in topic and label it accordingly.
· Make it clear when a learner keypress can
add to a display (e.g., “Click on NEXT for more”), in contrast to erasing a display and beginning a new one (“Click on NEXT to continue”).
· Use consistent keypresses or buttons for frequent actions, such as the ENTER key to move forward. Many programs cause confusion and errors by switching between buttons and to move forward.
· Use consistent margin and paragraph conventions.

Modes of Presentation
Is “how information is presented to the learner”(Alessi and Trollip, 2001, pg.62). Modes of presentation are elements used to get the viewers attention and to fill the space on a screen effectively. According to Alessi and Trollip (2001) the following are the five most common modes (elements) that should be used appropriately to grab a learner’s attention. Eggleston (2009) has also stated that the over use of the following elements should be avoided this is to assure that the idea behind the topic or lesson is covered.

Modes (Elements)
lean, clear, well formatted, and at an appropriate reading level, enclose in a box
squeezing text into half of the display, all uppercase, single-spaced format, crowded to the left of display, words split across lines
choose images that serve a purpose, use only if needed, as cues, as organizers, as the primary information, as analogies or mnemonics
over use that will distract presentation content, unclear images, overly complex, excessive detail and realism
keep consistent, coordinate colors, maintain contrast between foreground and background, use same color family,use to add emphasis
sparingly use, single background color
use for some content, to gain attention, to give directions, to support non-readers, poor readers, young children, visually impaired, and second language learners, provide quality audio
using in one or two places
use to combine visual and auditory information, components, appropriate length, present instructional information, allow user control
improper use of dual messages, reading text that is almost the same as what is being spoken
(Information Retrieved from: Alessi & Trollip, 2001; Greenzweig, 2006)
Why is it important to consider?
According to research the information presented in a piece of software design should contain elements and conventions that will assure motivation to learn and to fulfill the learners interest of a lesson, hold their attention, and assist in retaining and recalling the information presented. Asthana, has stated that "multimedia combines five basic types of media into the learning environment: text, video, sound, graphics, and animation, thus providing a powerful new tool for education". According to Sommers (2008), software designs should contain conventions that allow users the choice to manipulate the material and understand the information presented.

"Key Steps to an Effective Presentation"

Mr. Eggleston is an acknowledged expert and author who has dedicated and contributed his knowledge for more than 35 years to various areas of education. The following is a list of "key steps" he has recommended to consider when designing a presentation.

  1. Know Your Subject Matter
  2. Know Your Audience
  3. Know Yourself (and your limits)
  4. Develop a Theme
  5. Prepare Your Script
  6. Select the Proper Visual Aids
  7. Prepare a Story Board
  8. Produce the Visuals
  9. Rehearse-Rehearse-Rehearse
Please visit the following link to further read Eggleston (2009) recommendations The Key Steps to an Effective Presentation

Resources and Links

There are many software applications that may be used to design presentations. The following are some slideshows that outline key points to consider when developing effective presentations for viewers or users.

The following article provides some valuable information in how educators can use multimedia elements to promote student learning.

The Elements of Multimedia in Education

Alessi, S. & Trollip, R. (2001). Multimedia for Learning. Needham Heights:Allyn & Bacon.
Eggleston, S. (2009). The key steps to an effective presentation.
T.S. Eggleston. Retrieved April 14, 2010 from
Greenzweig, T. (2006). Aesthetic Experience and the importance of visual composition in information design.
Orange Journal. Retrieved April 14, 2010 from
Sommers, S. (2008). Computer-based training:Understanding the elements of good instructional design.
EMS Education. Retrieved April 14, 2010 from

Eva Arreola
Last Updated: April 24, 2010