You are here:

Slide Composition for Electronic Presentations

Journal of Educational Computing Research Volume 31, Number 1, ISSN 0735-6331


Instructors who use computer-generated graphics in their lectures have many options to consider when developing their presentations. Experts give different advice on which typefaces, background and letter colors, and background imagery improve communications. This study attempted to resolve these controversies by examining how short-term recall of presented information is affected by the choice of Times Roman or Helvetica typefaces, by the use of positive type (light-colored backgrounds and dark-colored letters) or reverse type (dark-colored backgrounds and light-colored letters), and by the addition of complex background images. One hundred and fifty-eight students viewed presentations on negotiation skills and answered questions about each presentation. Neither typefaces nor type significantly affected short-term recall of presented information. Complex backgrounds in slides tended to reduce short-term recall. If instructors use computer-generated slides that are less visually complex, they can help students recall more from lectures.


Larson, R.B. (2004). Slide Composition for Electronic Presentations. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 31(1), 61-76. Retrieved July 19, 2019 from .

This record was imported from ERIC on April 18, 2013. [Original Record]

ERIC is sponsored by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) of the U.S. Department of Education.

Copyright for this record is held by the content creator. For more details see ERIC's copyright policy.