When preparing to teach online, one should consider how a myriad of face-to-face activities might be reconfigured. For example, in a face-to-face setting, lecturing is often a major method for distributing content. This is live or synchronous activity, where students can observe and listen to the instructor for new course concepts and ideas. One can also conduct lectures, albeit in an asynchronous manner, using tools that can match displayed content with an accompanying voice narration.
Adobe Presenter is a plug-in for PowerPoint that allows faculty to convert slide presentations, such as lectures or tutorials, into interactive videos that can be posted online. Adobe Presenter allows faculty to enrich their presentations by adding multimedia content such as text, images, audio, and video, as well as incorporating numerous interactions to better engage students.
For face-to-face classes, this technology can extend teaching opportunities beyond classroom time by making instruction available in an online setting. Faculty can also use a narrated lecture presentation to flip the classroom by asking students to view lectures online before coming to class. During face-to-face class meetings, students are ready to discuss or ask questions about the material, or engage in other learning activities. Recorded lectures can also be quite useful for courses that are primarily online, as an efficient means of distributing instructor developed content. Cynthia Paralejas, Instructional Designer for eLearning Services, reports that Adobe Presenter is one of the major tools they employ to produce audio slideshows for online courses they develop. According to Paralejas, “My overall assessment of Adobe Presenter is that it is a very helpful and intuitive tool that online courses should continue to utilize to develop quality lecture/audio slideshow presentations.”
When contemplating whether to use Adobe Presenter to create lecture presentations or brief tutorials, faculty should consider matching specific course objectives with each learning activity. For example, a possible range of learning objectives for students might include 1) being able to remember and recall specific facts and information, 2) demonstrate a deeper understanding of core course concepts, 3) or being able to apply/analyze/evaluate or create (from the Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy). Depending on the nature of specific objectives, faculty might design new material, consider how they might sequence this new course material in their PowerPoint slide presentation, and perhaps incorporate relevant Adobe Presenter features. For example, faculty could ask students to temporarily halt a lecture presentation, and reflect on material just presented, before being asked to continue the presentation. Alternatively, faculty could incorporate a quick self-assessment by having students take a brief quiz on content just presented. The format of quiz items could be true/false, multiple choice, or fill in the blank. Other features might include annotating course content with audio and video materials, using a built-in video recording feature that combines slide content with faculty input, posting URL hyperlinks within slides to access content from websites that complement lecture material, or use video clips to present the content as an alternative to simple text. In addition, the transcript of the narration could be made available to students, supporting the principles of accessibility and Universal Design.
A primary benefit of this technology is its 24/7 online availability. Students can access content by logging into their Blackboard course, and viewing the presentation with a desktop or laptop computer using the pervasive ‘Flash Player’ plug-in. In addition, the current version of Adobe Presenter now allows users to view content through mobile devices not running the Flash Player.
The Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center offers specialized workshops periodically, Getting Started with Adobe Presenter (beginners), and Moving Beyond the Basics of Adobe Presenter (Intermediate Users), for faculty and staff who are interested in learning how to use this tool. In addition, one-on-one consultations are also available.