Many students come to my class feeling “comfortable” with PowerPoint so my goal is to teach them some news skills to keep the focus on content or make formatting and animating quicker, easier and consistent.
One of the ways that I do this is to teach my students how to create their own original design template by using the slide master. The preformatted design templates are overused and not very interesting – plus they usually don’t match the topic. I teach students how to go to View / Master / Slide Master and design a template from scratch. I encourage students to choose background colors, designs or images that match their topic.
The slide master shown above was created for a slide presentation for “Seven Wonders of the Ancient World”. The images on the left are hyperlinked to a slide to explain more about that wonder. The column and text banner appear on every page. This student put a lot of thought into the design of their PowerPoint and had it coordinate with their topic. It was much better than choosing an overused Design Template.
The student is now more than half done since all the text and slide formatting is completed. The next steps include changing the slide layouts, transitions and adding images/sounds/movies.
Animations for titles and body paragraphs can be added to the slide master as well as “actions” to link the navigation bar to individual slides.
By the way, the PPT presentation (right) is not shown in front of the whole class. We save our presentations in a shared folder and then each student opens the presentations and interacts with them (by clicking on links/action buttons) more like a webpage. Students don’t need to sit through all 30 presentations but most of them eventually view everyone’s projects – cuz they’re kids and they are curious.
I asked students to give opinions about the use of the slide master:
- It makes it easier to format all the slides at once.
- You can match your design to your topic.
- It makes the show more professional looking – but I still like change some of the background designs for some slides.
- I probably won’t go search for design templates online anymore – I’ll just make my own.
- I used to spend a lot of time animating all of the text. Completing the animations in the slide master saves TONS of time.
- I like using the slide master and Word outline together – it’s so much easier.
- I never knew that you could add action buttons or hyperlinks in PowerPoint to make the projects more interactive.
Photo Credit: PowerPoint made by C.