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21 August 2023

How to turn your PowerPoint into engaging, interactive online learning content

Rebecca Henson

Rebecca Henson

Implementation Consultant

Transform that dated PowerPoint presentation into content that excites your learners.

If you’ve been involved in delivering corporate training at any point over the past 20 years the chances are you’ve got a few trusty PowerPoint presentations lurking on your hard drive.

The move to online learning has led to the demise — or at least the decline — of Microsoft’s flagship slideshow software as an educational tool. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t value to be found in your old PowerPoint files.

Let’s look at how to take PowerPoint presentations you used to deliver in classroom settings and turn them into up-to-date, engaging and interactive online learning content.

Uploading PowerPoint is not enough

In the early days of online learning — and continuing to this day in some organisations — uploading PowerPoint slides to a learning management system (LMS) was seen as a sufficient step into the online world.

This overlooks the key factor in any successful PowerPoint presentation you’ve ever delivered: you. It was you who brought the slides to life. It was you who expanded on the information given on the slide and put things in context. In all likelihood, it was your voice that stayed in the learner’s head, not the words on the slide.

When learners are left to click through a PowerPoint presentation on their own, knowledge retention falls off a cliff and learning is ineffective.

With that in mind, it’s important to adapt your slides to suit the new medium and the remote delivery. Here’s how to do that.

Carve up the presentation into bitesize chunks

Pull elements of your presentation out of the slides and turn each of them into small, easily digestible chunks of learning.

Break down by topic

Create different sections for each topic. These can sit within collapsible sections so that the learner only ever has the activity they’re working on expanded. This helps to make the content look less daunting.

Take your learners on a journey

Just as your presentation guided learners through a logical progression of the learning you want to deliver to them, you can create an LMS version that takes them on a similar journey. Given the ease with which you can create small chunks of different types of content, you can create an even more effective journey.

Include video and interactive elements

If part of your PowerPoint presentation was led by your demonstrating or explaining something to learners, you can recreate this in the form of a video. This can be easily embedded within your LMS.

You might also want to create SCORM or H5P elements that can be imported to your LMS to make the new version of your presentation even more interactive.

Track completion

A key benefit of an LMS in comparison to a PowerPoint presentation is that you can track that a user has completed each activity. You can also build in confidence checks so that each learner confirms they understood the learning they’ve completed.

Finish with a quiz

Test learners on what they’ve learned — and tell them at the start that you’re going to. This increases engagement and learning retention.

Add a forum

Create the same sense of dialogue you’d get from a Q&A session at the end of your PowerPoint presentation by using the forum activity type. Encourage learners to ask questions and engage in discussions with you and among themselves.

Talk to us about learning content conversion

Repurposing PowerPoint presentations is just the tip of the iceberg. There are lots of other ways to get value from existing learning content. Fill in the form below to discuss digital conversion of your learning content.



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