Tips on using Google Slides in eLearning


Before we get to those…

What is Google Slides?

Google Slides is a free online presentations application that lets you create, edit, and deliver presentations, as well as collaborate with other people in real time. It comes with a variety of presentation themes, thousands of fonts, embedded video, animations, and other features:

  • Create and edit presentations
  • Edit a presentation with friends or co-workers, and share it with others
  • Import .pptx and .pps (PowerPoint) files and convert them to Google presentations
  • Download your presentations as a .pdf, .ppt, .svg, .jpg, or .txt files
  • Insert images and videos
  • Publish and embed your presentations in a website

All changes are automatically saved as you type. There’s also a revision history showing old versions of the same presentation, sorted by date and the person who made the change.

Think PowerPoint in the cloud. But by enabling offline editing, you can work in your browser or pin files on your mobile device. There is also a mobile app which works on your browser, phone or tablet.

Making & Using Presentations or Slideshows

Here are some general points to observe:

  1. Map out your strategy in advance.

Develop a plan for each page, and decide which elements you’re going to include. Only include elements that are absolutely necessary to your eLearning objectives.

  1. Always focus on the learning goals.

Tailor each aspect of your eLearning presentation to help learners get one step closer to achieving their objective.

  1. Use concise, clear, and carefully crafted text.

Consider adding bullet points if there’s a lot of material to cover, and omit certain pieces of information that might be irrelevant.

If you’re narrating the presentation, try not to include text for topics or ideas that you’ve already mentioned, unless you wish to emphasise a concept or point.

  1. Use relevant, high quality images.

Be picky about the images you use, and don’t use too many of them on any particular page. Always ensure that you own the rights to the photos, or that you use royalty-free images.

  1. Maintain consistent colours, branding, and overall design.

A consistent design helps keep learners from becoming confused. Ideally, the design should reflect your organisation’s image and message.

  1. Include audio or video.

To create a more engaging experience, use multimedia elements like narration, background music, and video explanations.

  1. Embed links to references and resources.

By including links to articles, reference sites, and other web resources, you can direct learners to specific sites that they may find helpful.

  1. Use real-life examples.

Refer to scenarios that your learners will actually encounter on the job. This will allow them to relate to the course content, and become aware of how to use the knowledge or skills they’ve acquired in the real world.

  1. Keep it brief.

Limit the amount of time spent on each page or slide. 20 to 30 seconds is enough. Try to focus on one topic or idea for each screen.

  1. Recap, and assess.

You can add a recap screen after every 10 slides to summarise the concepts. At the end of the slideshow, you can have the learners complete a self-assessment quiz. This will promote knowledge retention.

Google Slides, for eLearning

Getting the most from your slideshow and presentation creation tool is crucial. In the cloud, you have the ability to keep your presentations updated regularly. Here are some tips, for Google Slides:

  1. Share slideshows and training modules with learners.

You can do this by sharing a link with your learners which gives them access to your presentation. If you want to work with a specific group (e.g. to develop a presentation), you can share a private link with them.

  1. Encourage learners to modify presentations.

Create group projects and assignments to encourage learners to interact and collaborate with their peers. Ask them to create a slideshow exploring specific areas of the course. Each learner will be able to modify or add to the presentation via Google Slides.

  1. Create printed learning materials.

You can download presentations and have learners print out the presentation themselves (in PDF, PPT, or TXT formats), for future reference.

  1. Embed Google Slides presentations into your eLearning website.

This can help draw in new learners, and provide existing ones with an additional online reference.

  1. Use YouTube videos.

Google Slides for eLearning includes a video integration feature which you can use to insert YouTube videos into your presentations. This can be helpful if you already have webinars uploaded on YouTube, or informational videos that you think the learners might find useful. Learners will have a set of links for videos related to the topic, in one centralised location.

  1. Import your existing eLearning files into Google Slides.

You can convert your PowerPoint slideshows into Google Slides presentations, so that you can share them with learners or collaborators and store them in the cloud.

Some Final Tips

Invest some time at the beginning of the project to make sure you’re using a template that defines global properties like fonts, colours and object/chart styles.

Remember that the majority of us are visual learners. Use professional quality images that relate to your most important points, and make them large enough to be easily visible.