University of Minnesota
Office of Human Resources
Active Learning Powerpoint

Welcome to the University of Minnesota's tutorial on using Active Learning with PowerPoint. Despite the fact that so much has been written about PowerPoint's weaknesses, instructors still feel compelled to adapt PowerPoint to the classroom. This tutorial is designed to help you capitalize on those aspects of PowerPoint that lend themselves best to engaging students' interests.

How to Use This Tutorial

As you will note by the contents to the left, you can enter the workshop at any point. If you're a first-time visitor to the site, we suggest that you look at the short video workshop. It consists of five brief videos that cover the basic tenets of using PowerPoint in the classroom and takes about ten minutes to view. (On a fast connection, it should take about 10 seconds to download. You'll need the Flash 6 plug-in.)

The Active Lecturing section recapitulates in written form much of what you'll find in the video workshop and is the pedagogical basis for this tutorial. In the Active Learning Strategies section, you'll find 12 active learning strategies you can use with PowerPoint; each activity is accompanied by a slide example. (You can also download a PowerPoint slideshow with these slide examples.)

In the Formative Assessment section, you'll find several techniques you can use to gauge whether your students are grasping the main concepts you're trying to convey. Games in PowerPoint takes advantage of PowerPoint's capability to project learning games that the entire class can play.

For a variety of reasons, some faculty object to placing their entire PowerPoint slide show online. In the Effective Handouts section, you'll see how we chose to edit and enhance a full slide show into a learning outline that students can use both before and during class to construct knowledge, take notes, and review essential concepts.

The Resources section is a repository of relevant sites where you can dig deeper into this topic. It's divided into "Design Principles for Creating Educational Slide Shows" and "Pedagogy and PowerPoint - Using Presentation Technology in the Classroom."

Contact Us

If you have any comments or questions about this tutorial, please email us at