Presentations are a common method for providing students with information in online classrooms, as well as traditional ones. When you are creating a presentation for an online class, it is important that it should easily be navigated by students working independently. It should also have a good visual appeal and a comfortable innate pacing.
Choosing a Program
You have many options for how you will create your presentation. You can use a web-based eLearning tool like Prezi or a piece of software like Articulate Presenter that is dedicated to making slide show presentations. Some options are free; others will cost you money. You may already have what you need loaded onto your computer. When choosing a program, consider ease of use, what you have readily available, and what will be usable by your students. PowerPoint formats are widely supported, so it is a good choice to save your presentations in this format even if you are using other tools to create. Another option is publish the presentation online where all your students can easily access it.
When putting together your presentation, you should keep some basic design principles in mind. Your background and font colors should contrast without being garish. Black and white is always a good choice, even if it does seem too generic. Keep your color and font choices consistent throughout the presentation. Changing them frequently will draw attention to the design and away from the content.
Similarly, don’t try to cram too much into any one slide. Limit yourself to two concepts at the most. While illustrations and diagrams can be useful for engaging the audience and explaining concepts, make sure they fit with the presentation and have a purpose. Don’t include random pictures of cats just because you heard people on the internet like that sort of thing. Similarly, while linking to external sites and sources is helpful, make sure that they are relevant. Additionally, check regularly to see that the links still function.
Use the Notes
Most slideshow presentation software allows you to put in notes for each slide. While these were originally intended for use as reminders to the person presenting, they can be a valuable tool when you are creating presentations for your online class. Include explanations, details, and further information sources. Using these notes can save you from having to put together four or five slides to explain a concept you really want to cover in two or three. They can also be handy for addressing tangential issues. Establish early in your class whether slide notes contain important and necessary information or supplemental enrichment knowledge.
Presentations offer advantages over video lectures and assigned reading. It is easier to chunk information in presentations into sections that are easy for students to manage. Students can proceed through presentations at their own pace, taking the time they need to process and understand the information provided. By producing presentations that are clear and easy for students to navigate, you can enhance the eLearning experience you are creating.