12 Ways to Create Flipped Learning Content: No 2 – Narrating Over Powerpoint

PowerPoint can Provide a Readily Available, Easy Tool for Creating Flipped and Blended Content

Last week we started a weekly series focusing on different tools and techniques for creating flipped and blended learning content. 

Our first post examined the popular technique of screencasting. As we work through techniques over the coming weeks we’ll look at a dozen different approaches to creating engaging digital lesson materials.

Today we’ll look at using the built-in tools in PowerPoint to narrate over PowerPoint slides, as a means of creating stand-alone digital learning content. Many educators already have PowerPoint content and are familiar with the application, making this an easy, natural approach.

Two Options for Voice Narration in PowerPoint 2010

The video below illustrates two techniques that can be used to add narration to PowerPoint slide decks.   

The first technique is really easy, you just record little audio bits that get embedded directly in each slide and then appear in the form of a speaker icon, and students can play them by clicking on the speaker image. You can add multiple voice clips to a slide if you wish, and drag and drop the speaker icons around to place them where you wish.

Slide decks that have this form of narration don’t require any special handling as far as saving them – just save it as a normal PowerPoint file and send it to students, or provide a link, and students will be able to listen to the audio clips (of course, they need to access this content with a computer or device with PowerPoint on it, or otherwise equipped to play back PowerPoint slides this way).

The other technique, recording a Slide Show, is more involved. This is where you narrate over the slides as you move through them. When you do this, you may want to save the file as a self-playing PowerPoint Show format (look for ‘PowerPoint Show’ in the “Save As” drop down).

 

When using different versions of PowerPoint, the basic techniques are fundamentally the same, just the menu options tend to change a bit, with different icons and layouts. 

Voice Narration in PowerPoint 2013

The first technique covered above works the same basic way in PowerPoint 2013 as it does for PowerPoint 2010. This article shows how to record a SlideShow in PowerPoint 2013.

Using Older or Newer Versions 

If you are using PowerPoint 2007, this article walks you through the slideshow recording process using the menus in PowerPoint 2007. You can also insert audio much using techniques similar to those shown at the starts of the above video (just the look and location of menu options changes).

For PowerPoint 2016 (which is essentially equivalent to the version available in Microsoft Office 365), adding audio to each slide works much as it does in the video above. This Microsoft article walks through the process of recording screen shows in PowerPoint 2016. 

General Audio Recording Tips

A few pointers to help you:

  • Pay attention to the quality of your audio (students have limited patience for poor quality audio). 
  • Be sure to try and work in a quiet space, without distractions or extraneous noises
  • You may want to buy a mic (you don’t have to spend much, you can find inexpensive options on Amazon for example). 
  • Be sure not to be too quiet or too loud (when recording SlideShows, there are tools that let you see your audio level so you can monitor and adjust it). 
  • Relax and have fun with it!

Also, many of the tips in this article apply to this technique, so those are worth reviewing as well:
Dozens of Tips & Techniques for Creating High Quality Engaging Screencasts.

Be sure to stop back next week and check out the next post in this series. We’ll be learning about creating flipped content using ed.ted.com!

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