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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A paradigm for classroom presentations on large, high-resolution displays Lanir, Yoel


Large classrooms traditionally provided multiple blackboards on which entire lectures were visible. In recent decades, classrooms were augmented with data projectors, allowing computer-generated slides to replace hand-written blackboard notes. Many lecture halls and conference rooms are now equipped with multiple projectors that provide large, high-resolution displays of sizes comparable to old-fashioned blackboard arrays. The predominant presentation software, however, is still designed for a single projector. Our research was to understand how software tools for classroom presentations can bridge the gap between traditional and newer technology to take full advantage of increased screen resolution and real estate to benefit both instructors and students. As a first step, we conducted observational studies to see how blackboards and computer slides were used in classroom and conference settings. We developed a classification of usage for traditional and electronic visual aids. We then introduced six guidelines for designers of presentation tools to support learning. Based on the guidelines, we developed MultiPresenter – a novel presentation system designed to work on large display surfaces with multiple or high-resolution displays. MultiPresenter allows instructors to organize and present pre-made and dynamic presentations using a personal laptop. Instructors can employ the extra screen real estate to provide short- or long-term persistency of information. MultiPresenter was used by eight instructors in fifteen classes over five consecutive semesters. We collected usage data and iteratively refined the software. Based on our data, we identified a set of pedagogical practices for using extra space in electronic presentations and we revised our design guidelines. This led to a conceptual framework for effectively using large display surfaces in classrooms. To empirically examine the effect on students‘ learning of increasing screen real estate, we conducted a controlled laboratory study. Results indicated that, when used properly, a lecture shown on multiple screens can improve learning over a regular singlescreen lecture.

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