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Interactive PowerPoint. Not your usual approach A sampling of ideas from Deborah Healey. What is the secret of ... Learning English? (note the pause). Setting the stage. Start with something to activate schema – learners’ background knowledge Pictures Interesting question

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interactive powerpoint

Interactive PowerPoint

Not your usual approach

A sampling of ideas from Deborah Healey


What is the secret of ...

  • Learning English?
  • (note the pause)
setting the stage
Setting the stage
  • Start with something to activate schema – learners’ background knowledge
    • Pictures
    • Interesting question
    • “Hook” to catch learner attention
  • Learning objectives – so learners know where the lesson is going
    • Objective for this presentation: Teachers will discuss ways to add interactivity to their lectures, leading to their creating an interactive PowerPoint presentation
real interactivity is not
Real interactivity is NOT
  • Just letting students click on the slide show
  • Teacher talk the whole time
  • Q&A where the teacher has all the questions AND the answers
  • So what is it?
techniques to promote interactivity
Techniques to promote interactivity
  • This PPT show combines many techniques – far more than you should have in a typical lesson. Use only 1-3 maximum.
  • Blank slide
  • ConcepTest
  • Think-Pair-Share
  • Interpreted Lecture
  • Rapid Reflection
  • QuickWrite
  • See more possibilities at
blank slide technique
Blank slide technique

Say this during while showing the blank slide – not on its own slide, as we have here

  • Using a blank slide can re-focus attention off the screen and onto the speaker
  • You need to have something useful to say, of course.
  • It can also serve as an excellent transition to the next topic.
  • In our case, it’s specific techniques to use that promote interactivity.
quick quiz conceptest
Quick Quiz: ConcepTest
  • What are three ways to activate learners’ background knowledge (schema)?
  • Share with a partner, then share again with the people near you
  • Come to consensus – any questions?
conceptest technique
ConcepTest technique
  • This can come at any time during the class.
  • It can be short answer, multiple choice, true/false
  • Why would you do this at the beginning of a class? Why at the end? Why in the middle?
  • Think about a time that you might use this, and share with a partner.
think pair share technique
Think, Pair, Share technique
  • Think individually
  • Talk with a partner
  • Share with the large group
  • How might you use a ConcepTest? (Think, then discuss with a partner, then we’ll share with the group.)
blank slide technique12
Blank slide technique
  • Good for discussion time if people know what they are supposed to do
  • Otherwise, leave instruction slides visible
interpreted lecture
Interpreted lecture
  • How would you explain a ConcepTest?
  • How might a blank slide be useful?
interpreted lecture technique
Interpreted lecture technique
  • Stop and have someone in the class explain what you just talked about
  • Use simpler language for an academic lecture
  • Repeat and review
  • Best to do this just after the concept is discussed by the teacher
interactivity is
Interactivity is...
  • Using PowerPoint as an organizer so that you can do OTHER THINGS more easily
    • Discussions about the audio or video clip
    • Writing the group’s responses in a Word document on the screen
    • Responding to the website activities
powerpoint as an organizer
PowerPoint as an organizer
  • Easily move among websites (Insert -> Hyperlink)
    • Include learner activities, not just showing
  • Open Word and Excel documents on your computer (hyperlink)
    • Use Word as a blackboard; use Excel for learner activities
  • Play audio and video from the web (hyperlink) or from files on the computer (Insert-> Movies and Sound)
    • Have a learner activity associated with these

Make sure all files are in the same folder as your PowerPoint show if you are using a file from your computer.

  • Link to a website:
    • Demonstrate how to join or how to post a comment
  • Link to a local Word file: sample.doc
    • Use this for taking notes

Make sure all files are in the same folder as your PowerPoint show if you are using a file from your computer.

  • Insert a sound from a file on your computer or link to a sound online
    • Introduce an activity; do a dictation or cloze; etc.
  • Insert a video from a file on your computer or link to a video online
      • Smooth transitions between activities.
your thoughts
Your thoughts...
  • What else can you do if PPT is an organizer?
    • Think, pair, share
non linear powerpoint
Non-linear PowerPoint
  • You don’t always need to go in a straight line from beginning to end
  • Right-click in Slide Show mode to bring up a menu; jump to another place
  • Include internal hyperlinks
  • Why would this be useful?
non linear powerpoint22
Non-linear PowerPoint
  • Go back to a previous point or jump forward (in response to a ConcepTest)
  • Posing a question:
    • If yes, go to one place
    • If no, go to a different place
  • You control PPT; it doesn’t control you
do you understand
Do you understand?
  • Jumping around with a hyperlink
    • Yes: let’s go on
    • No: please show me again
games templates
Games templates
  • Create a Jeopardy game
  • Create a Concentration game (matching pairs)
  • Learners can use this on their own
  • Use it in a one-computer classroom as a whole-class activity
student created powerpoint
Student-created PowerPoint
  • Using templates (from or teacher-created)
  • Power in the hands of students
    • Useful knowledge for the work world
    • Useful knowledge for academic presentations
  • They often know more than we do...
key question
Key question...
  • Are you willing to give up control?
  • Will you create a real learner-centered environment?
  • Or not?
quickwrite minute write
QuickWrite/Minute Write
  • Take two minutes to write down three techniques that you plan to use in a future class.
quickwrite minute write technique
QuickWrite/Minute Write technique
  • Very short time
  • Beginning – activate background knowledge
  • Middle – check comprehension
  • End – review and reinforce learning
  • Can be graded, but usually isn’t