Missing from presentations? Feedback!

Many a wonderful online presentation lacks one key ingredient: the ability for the viewer to quickly and easily give feedback. This Wikispace page will collect some information and ideas being pursued across our UUA world in setting up feedback for the wonderful sermons and presentations created as part of our mission. As of this writing the software emphasized here is: Camtasia Studio (v6 and later), Microsoft PowerPoint (2003 and later), and SnagIt (v10 and later). Where Open Source or less expensive alternatives have been tested, they are included in the list. Some of the features referenced are available in the more basic packages such as MoviePlus X6 and freeware CamStudio. After years of fussing with the less expensive and freeware packages, the author moved to use of SnagIt and Camtasia Studio.

Embedding questions in online presentations

There are many ways to customize a presentation posted on a web site and generate feedback, but there are relatively few common ways to incorporate questions for the viewer to click and answer when using common multimedia presentation creation tools. The Camtasia Studio software will be featured here for now as the primary author from C3HUU has experience with this software and growing experience with the much cheaper, and more basic, SnagIt.

Please do post comments or contact the author with other examples of ways to create the same effects with other software! In particular, most of the effects noted here can be generated from less costly packages such as Serif MoviePlus X6 and some from the freeware Camstudio.

Creating multimedia presentations

Perhaps this section should precede the ones above; the assumption in creating this wikispace page is that the reader already has created a presentation, likely a PowerPoint or Open Office presentation. Here we will accumulate some references assuming that you have at least PowerPoint 2003 and one of the packages mentioned above. Note that the same tools will work with individual photos and screen captures.

Powerpoint presentations with audio

There are two major ways to create PowerPoint presentations and include audio:
  1. Use the embedded PowerPoint authoring tools
  2. Use a separate tool either an add-in or external control program when creating the PowerPoint presentation

We will expand on notes here for both ways of integrating audio, such as narration or music. The second approach is the one favored here for posting on a web site or sharing with a team. The embedded PowerPoint authoring tools may work well if you are a SharePoint user. But for general use the second approach is the more flexible and has a wide variety of tools and methods available. This wikispace page will focus on use of Camtasia Studio or SnagIt as tool to enhance presentations. The output from these tools may be one of many very portable forms. The most popular for web sites is the same technology as found in YouTube: Adobe Flash with an MP4 video.

Powerpoint presentations with reader feedback

Built in feedback is possible with Camtasia Studio v6, v7, and v8. In v8, the whole process is integrated, in v6 & v7 an externa
l SCORMpackaging tool is required such as SCORM Packager to integrate with tracking tools available at many SCORM compatible sites. The SCORM references are included for those who wish to host and track any quizzes or surveys introduced to their presentation material. Yes, the demonstration YouTube added to the right has a spelling error in the title!

"Ken Burns" style still image animation with feedback

Most of the popular multimedia authoring tools support some type of animation of still images, such as photos, often called the "Ken Burns Effect" after the style used in Mr. Burns popular projects aired on PBS such as the "Civil War" and "Baseball" series.

If you have any examples drawn from your UU experiences, PLEASE give us feedback. We are working on a Father's Day service and hope to have that ready for inclusion very soon.

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