Slides

A sequence of pages with words and/or images.
A recorded PowerPoint-style presentation.

Introduction

Videos of slides, often with a voice over, are the still the most commonly employed syle of educational video. They are frequently used as a substitute to a traditional face-to-face lecture format. Automated lecture capture systems are widely used to record face-to-face lectures in order to make them available to students as narrated slide presentations to stream or download online.

Example

Analysis of biological data. Flipped classroom. University of Melbourne, 2017

When designing videos for their flipped classroom, Ben and Davide redesigned their onscreen layouts to reduce onscreen text and focus on the visualisation of scientific data.

What the research says

Slides are most effective when they are used to complement and support what the narrator is saying. Research has shown that students can’t listen and read effectively at the same time. Students are less likely to remember information if they have to read text-heavy slides as well as try to listen to a lecture at the same time. Using minimal text to support what is being said, rather than add even more information has shown to be more effective, and using images instead of text has been shown to be more effective again. For more tips see The Neuroscience of PowerPoint (Horvath, 2015).

Production tips

  • Layout slides in 16:9 aspect ratio to make the most of modern screen formats.
  • Test your slide layouts for legibility on a couple of mobile devices before recording.
  • Use animations and onscreen movement sparingly – these are best reserved to cue attention, or to demonstrate changing relationships over space and/or time.
  • If your presentation includes relevant, high quality images (and it should!) then consider making them ‘full bleed’ i.e occupying the entire layout from edge-to-edge.
  • Capturing good quality audio is crucial. A quiet recording space and a correctly placed external microphone will greatly improve self-recorded efforts.
  • If your institution or faculty has self-service recording spaces available, use them!

Further resources

Melbourne Centre for the Study of Higher Education

The Neuroscience of PowerPoint

University of Melbourne self-service recording studios

University of Melbourne Lecture Capture guides and support

University of Melbourne Brand Hub 16:9 templates (requires University of Melbourne login)

Further reading

Cooper, E. (2009). Overloading on Slides: Cognitive Load Theory and Microsoft’s Slide Program PowerPoint. AACE Journal, 17(2), 127–135.

Griffin, D. K., Mitchell, D., & Thompson, S. J. (2009). Podcasting by Synchronising PowerPoint and Voice: What Are the Pedagogical Benefits? Comput. Educ., 53(2), 532–539.