I took an online class this past semester, learned a lot, and had a lot of fun. One of the things that I learned in the course was how to make PowerPoint pesentations with audio. It was surprisingly easy and I plan to use it for an online course that I will be offering in the fall. I am also thinking about asking my summer term students to use this method for one of their presentations.
The two things that you need are Audacity and Movie Maker. Audacity is software used to make audio recordings. It’s free and very easy to use. If you use Microsoft Office, you probably already have Movie Maker. It might be under entertainment or under Microsoft Office. After you make your presentation, you can upload it to YouTube so that others can access it. You can find a very clear presentation that explains how to do this at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xZmOVt_BIAEvideo.
The process of making the presentation for this class was interesting. Along with learning how to use the technology, I also learned some things about what presentation features are appropriate in this format. Since I had never made a presentation of this type, I struggled with how to do it. After some thought, I decided to approach it as if it were a research “paper” put to PowerPoint. However, later when I viewed my classmates’ projects, I realized that this type of presentation is not really a research paper on PowerPoint. The presentations that I thought were the most successful took a different approach. In my opinion, they were a bit more casual and noticeably shorter. They also tended to display more of the affective features of language. After the course was finished, I went back and edited my presentation to make it more appropriate for the medium that we used. My second draft can be found at
If you would like to see the original version, click on this link.
If I decide to ask my students to make a presentation of this type, I will experiment with giving them the following guidelines:
- The presentation should be between five and seven minutes. (I think that this type of format is best if it is not too long.)
- Use two to five sources. (This is not a research paper.)
- Use some emotion in your voice. (To be honest, I am not sure about this one. I think that this point would depend on the topic of the presentation.)