Steve Bonham, an instructional designer provides a step-by-step tutorial, explaining how to create a "flipcard" animation with PowerPoint. The tutorial includes both written and screencast instructions.
The goal of this tutorial is to provide users with technical steps for creating a "flipcard" animation using PowerPoint 2003.
When the process is understood, more complex animations can be made to support learning objects.
Target Student Population:
This tutorial can be used by school-aged learners and above. The video clips allow the tutorial to be used by new readers, as well as students who are learning English as a second language.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Students should already have a general understanding of PowerPoint and should have some familiarity with creating computer-based graphics.
Type of Material:
The written tutorial is on webpage with instructions that can be printed as a handout. The video clips are linked as images on the web page.
This tutorial can be used by learners who are interested in knowing how to create animations using PowerPoint 2003. The author does not discuss other versions of PowerPoint or competing products.
This tutorial can be used by anyone who wishes to learn how to create simple animations in PowerPoint, but prefers supporting instruction over exploratory learning.
The videos require Apple's QuickTime plug-in. A fast internet connections would be recommended but isn't necessary as the video clips are short.
Access to PowerPoint to creat animation while following along with the tutorial.
Evaluation and Observation
The tutorial provides clear and accurate instructions. Learners should be able to follow the directions and create a "flipcard" animation. A screencast of the final product is presented at the beginning to help learners understand what they will be creating. The final PowerPoint file is included as an example.
The author does a good job of sticking to his script. However, it would have been helpful to provide learners with tips on how they could take the project further or provide ideas on how they could create their own animations. Also, since the tutorial was created in an older version of PowerPoint, it would be helpful to mention some of the possible differences a learner would face with a newer version or a competing product. The tutorial needs a conclusion or summary as it ends abruptly after deleting guides.
The immediate applications of this skill may be limited and users may have to experiment much more before being able to create more complex animations that would be required for most learning objects.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
The author set out to show learners how to create a "flipcard" animation and he did a good job of staying focused on that task. The author provides both written and video instructions giving students a choice on how they will learn to complete this task.
Learners may benefit from being provided with a list of objectives after the project task of creating a "flipcard" animation has been stated. Providing alternative examples may help learners better understand how they could use this technology for their own work.
here are no suggestions of other applications that might stimulate a person's interest or awareness in other possibilities of use. There are no specific links to any curriculum or to other related assignments.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The tutorial is accurate and complete, and one step leads easily to the next. Explanations of why are interwoven in the directions for each step.
While the videos are helpful, it may be confusing for some learners that they open in a separate window or tab. An improvement may be to embed the videos in the page with the written instructions.
This tutorial appears to be written to support PowerPoint 2003. It can still work for PowerPoint 2007 or 2008 for Macs, but the user will need to adjust and experiment since the placement of the tools and the configuration of the screens are slightly different. The fact that explanations of why are interwoven with the step-by-step instructions and all presented in one paragraph for each frame sometimes make it difficult to quickly read and do.
Other Issues and Comments:
Trying to wade through the explanation and follow the steps at the same time can be frustrating. It might be easier for users if the steps were provided in a quick bullet format with a block below that for more detailed explanations.
It may be problematic that the tutorial uses an older version of PowerPoint. While this may be the version used by the author's institution, learners may be using different versions. The tutorial should provide tips for working with a newer version of the software.