Sample Assignment Response: A Presentation Related to a Researched Paper for DeVry University’s ENGL 135

Continuing on from earlier work (here, here, here, here, here, and here), I mean to narrate my process for putting together a presentation of the sort my students are asked to compose during the sixth week of the session. There is not a template available for the students, but I am hopeful that my work will provide them something they can use to guide their own work–and something that will be helpful for others, as well.

Presentation Screenshot
I did a lot of staring at this sort of thing.
The image is a screenshot from while I was working.

For the assignment, students are asked to develop a five- to seven-minute slide presentation with embedded audio and slides that follow basic design principles. The presentation should give an overview of the project as a whole, since a full read of a conference-length paper will generally take eighteen to twenty minutes; students are encouraged to frame their issue, present their thesis, and support that thesis before offering a conclusion and a slide displaying their references in APA citation style.

In putting together a slide presentation, it is necessary to have a consistent color scheme that allows for easy reading and that conveys an appropriate impression. Working in this webspace fortunately gives me the basis of an easy one to use; I mean for my sample work to reflect my other work, as well as to travel with me if and when I must go elsewhere. (I remain contingent “visiting” faculty at DeVry.) I had earlier developed a color scheme working from that of this blog, adding complementary colors according to common design principles and using the tools available at Paletton.com.

Color scheme in place, I opened the earlier exercises to cull information from them. Following the recommendations made to students, I copied my thesis and major arguments over to another document, as well as my references list. I also copied my title over before adjusting it to suit the present exercise; consistency across the project suggests itself as something useful to maintain. And as I did the copy-over work, using the fact of the ongoing project as justification for doing so, I arranged my materials for presentation on individual or related slides. The order differs from that presented in the paper itself, something that the shift in medium seems to warrant.

That done, it remained but to generate and populate the slides. I first generated a title slide, coloring it in the accent color I had chosen and filling in title and authorial information. I next developed a blank content slide, establishing it as a basic pattern for use in the rest of the presentation. Looking at my notes, I determined that I would need a slide for a presentation overview, at least six for content, and at least one for references, totaling at least eight slides; I consequently made as many, duplicating my pattern slide until I had enough to start. I also left one blank at the end in case I would need to add or insert others later.

With the basic presentation set up, I saved my work and began to insert text into the slides. First, I worked to insert my references, knowing that I would have to make adjustments to formatting and the like to make them legible but not overpowering. Having them ready to hand helped, as well. At length, I was able to get all of them into the presentation, although it took several slides to do so; the first of them got an audio note explaining matters, one swiftly followed by an audio note on my title slide. I determined I would position the audio cues consistently on slides throughout my presentation, making it easier to find them for my audience and presenting a more uniform–thus more polished–appearance.

Afterwards, working through the content slides, I made sure to work with bulleted text only, eschewing complex sentences and more erudite vocabulary in favor of ease of reading and orientation. And, because I was working in PowerPoint, I made sure to save my work repeatedly as I went along, not wanting to have to go back and re-do work if it could be avoided.

I worked through the slides in order afterwards, moving from the presentation overview through the thesis into content and the conclusion. Along the way, I inserted the text before inserting audio, using the former as a guide while I put in the latter. And, again, I saved my progress after each component of each slide. I have had to reconstruct work before, and it never goes as well the second time as the first.

The materials compiled and saved, it remained but to put them where they can hopefully serve as a helpful example for my students and others’. To wit: G. Elliott Sample Presentation September 2018. (It is a PowerPoint presentation, so it requires software that can open a .pptx file to view.)

Please help support me as I support my students’ learning.

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