Teaching Online, Hybrid, or Flipping the Classroom

The Evolution of PowerPoint

PowerPoint has become teachers’ go-to software for lecture presentation notes.  I have seen all too often that when teachers move from teaching face-to-face classes to online or hybrid classes, and wish to present the same lecture notes, they will often record themselves going through the PowerPoint.  I have to admit, that I have been guilt of doing this as well.  But, this is not the most effective way to present lecture notes for online environments. And while there are many free screen recording software programs available, one does not have to test the waters of the unfamiliar to present lecture notes anymore.

In 2017, while facilitating one of the sessions for the Instructional Technology Certification Program, a participant told me about Office Mix, a FREE PowerPoint add-in that allows instructors to transform their lecture notes into interactive online videos. Here are 9 reasons why I love using Office Mix.

  1. You can record your PowerPoint presentations IN PowerPoint.  Once you install the software, a Mix tab will appear at the top of your PowerPoint Presentations.  When you click on the tab, you can use the Slide Recording feature to record each slide – which brings me to the next reason I like using this new tool.
  2. You don’t have to record the presentation in one sitting.  Have you ever recorded a presentation and mess up near the end which means you have to start ALL OVER?  Well, with Mix, you can record slide by slide!  If you mess up, you can simply start over and overwrite the undesired recording.
  3. You can make annotations while you record.  Click on the pen feature and add notes to your slides highlight important terms, or even write additional notes.
  4. You can upload to the “cloud” or export the video!  Sometimes PowerPoint presentations are too large to email or upload to an LMS.  When you upload to Mix online, you will be given a link that you can share with your students.  You can also download a video file.  This helps if you wish to upload the file to your YouTube channel.office mix
  5. There are analytics!  You can view how many people have viewed your mix, how long they spent viewing each slide, and more.  If you require that students sign-in to view the presentation, you can keep track of how each student is interacting with your presentation.
  6. There’s a Table of Contents for finished videos.  When you provide the link to the video, students can watch the entire video.  BUT, if they need to review one specific concept, they can click on the Table of Contents and go to that slide directly!
  7. Students can download the presentation. While you may have difficulty uploading the presentation or sending in an email, Mix allows students to download the presentation on their own (as long as you set that as a permission).
  8. Making changes to videos that have been uploaded is easy.  When you watch the video in Mix, and find that you’ve made a mistake or forgotten something, make the change in PowerPoint and upload to Mix again. You are given an option to edit an existing presentation. And there’s no need to send out a new link; the link is updated when you make edits.
  9. You can make your presentation interactive.  With Mix, you have the option to embed quiz questions and polls into your presentation.  When you are in a face-to-face class, you can check for understanding in the middle of a presentation, but until Mix, you could not this when you uploaded a PowerPoint for an online class.  When students submit these quizzes, they receive immediate feedback!

These are all of the Office Mix features that I have used, but there are more.  There are video and quiz apps that you can embed directly in your presentation.  I will be using the Khan Academy add-in this semester!

This video provides a quick overview of Office Mix, and it allows you to see how your students will view Office Mix.

Here is an example of an Office Mix video with built-in quizzes that I created for my online classes for Fall 2017.

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