Dr. Sabra Brock, interim dean of the Touro Graduate School of Business, recently returned from Portugal, where she presented an award-winning paper at the 2013 InSITE, a series of conferences that took place at the University of Porto. The conferences were sponsored by Informing Science, a global institute that brings together people from different academic disciplines who use teaching, research, and information technologies to inform clients.

In her presentation and paper, “A Tale of Two Cultures: Cross-Cultural Comparison in Learning the Prezi Presentation Software Tool in the U.S. and Norway,” Dr. Brock reported on the results of a study she conducted in collaboration with Dr. Cornelia Brodahl, a professor at the University of Agder, Kristiansand campus, in Norway. The two professors had their students in America and Norway use new presentation software, Prezi, for class projects and then evaluate their peer’s presentations. Dr. Brock’s students were enrolled in a business policy course at Touro College in New York.

“Prezi was created to remedy the linear thinking that underlies PowerPoint,” Dr. Brock explained. According to Dr. Brock, in their evaluations, the U.S. students were “significantly more positive than were their Norwegian counterparts, reinforcing the belief that American culture is well above the global norm in optimism.” Dr. Brock added that the Norwegian students were “lengthier in their feedback to their peers and focused more on content and less on style than the Americans. In self-evaluations, the Americans had more to say than the Norwegians,” she said.

Since returning from Portugal, Dr. Brock said she has found that her students are eagerly embracing Prezi for use in their presentations. “They love this software because it offers a holistic approach to communication and supports their critical thinking skills,” the dean said. v

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