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Using slide presentations as pre-class learning materials

In the previous article, I talked about how to insert a quiz into a pre-class video, using apps such as TED-ED, Edpuzzle, PlayPosit, and Google Forms. But the pre-class study material for students does not always have to be a video. One useful alternative is a PPT or Google Slides presentation. (Below, I will use the more general term ‘slide presentation’.)

A slide presentation can be more useful for self-paced study, as students have more control on the speed at which they interact with the pre-class learning content. Students will work through a presentation slide by slide, and when they are ready for the next slide, they click to see it. Although when students watch a pre-class video, they can also pause it whenever they like, the paused screen from a video will usually not be able to show the content as comprehensively as a slide does.

One advantage of a video is of course the audio voiceover narration by the teacher. With a slide deck, the teacher can also select those slides that require further elaboration, and insert audio explanations to those particular slides.

Besides audio explanations, videos can also be inserted into selected slides for further explanations by the teacher, or further explorations by the students. These videos can be ones from Youtube, or from the teacher’s own computer. Once inserted, a thumbnail preview of the video will appear on the slide. All the students have to do next is to click the ‘play’ button.

The previous article explained ways to integrate a quiz into a video. In fact, with a slide presentation, this can also be done. Take Google Slides as an example. A teacher can create a Google Form quiz that relates to the content of the slides deck, get the link to this quiz, and then insert it into a slide:

Step 1: Turn the Form into a Quiz

Step 2: Choose ‘Quizzes’

Step 3: Go to ‘Send’

Step 4: Get the link

Step 5: Paste the link into the selected slide.

If a teacher wishes to include a more open-ended question to stimulate thinking or discussion, this can be done in one of two ways. One way is to include the open-ended question in the Google Form itself. When the teacher meets the class later, they can use the “Responses” function to show the students’ ideas.

Another way is to ask the question in one of the slides, and invite the students to use the ‘Comment’ function to share their responses to the question. (Remember to change the Sharing Setting to ‘Anyone with the link can comment’.) Alternatively, the teacher can also leave a few slides blank (for example, one blank slide for each group of 4 students), and invite students to post their thoughts on the blank slide in response to the teacher’s question. (Remember to change the Sharing Setting to ‘Anyone with the link can edit’.)

And of course for schools who use Google Classroom as the learning management system, adding the completed slides deck to a class as an assignment is a piece of cake.


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