Document Type : Original Article


Department of Emergency Medicine, University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine, California, USA


Introduction: Lectures are a standard aspect across all realms of medical education. Previous studies have shown that visual design of presentation slides can affect learner outcomes. The purpose of this study was to develop a slide design rubric grounded in evidence-based, multimedia principles to enable objective evaluation of slide design.
Methods: Using the principles described in Mayers’ Principles of Multimedia Learning and Duarte’s Slide:ology, the authors extracted nineteen items important for slide design. We developed an online, rank-item, survey tool to identify the importance of each item among medical educators. Respondents selected which slide design principles they felt were important when attending a
lecture/didactic session and ranked their relative importance.
Results: We received 225 responses to the survey. When asked to specifically rank elements from most important to least important, participants gave the most weight to “readability of figures and
data” and “[lack of] busy-ness of slide.” The lowest ranked elements were “transitions and animations” and “color schemes”. Using the results of the survey, including the free response, we
developed a rubric with relative weighting that followed our survey data.
Conclusion: With this information we have applied values to the various aspects of the rubric for a total score of 100. We hope that this rubric can be used for self-assessment or to evaluate and
improve slides for educators. Future research will be focused on implementing and validating the slide design survey and ensuring it is easily usable with a high inter-rater reliability and whether
self-assessment with the rubric improves presentation design and education quality.