Reader Question: How do I turn my PowerPoint presentation into an online course?

[Have a question you’d like answered? Use the comments form at the bottom of this page to submit it. We’ll review your question before posting (don’t be shy about asking!) and get back to you with a response.] PowerPoint presentations are in many ways excellent jumping-off points for an online course. Working with slides forces you to think in discreet thoughts, which is essential for online communication. Plus, if you’ve already got a PowerPoint, then you’ve probably already gone through the hard work of planning what you want to teach and how you’ll arrange your lessons. The key issue to remember is that a PowerPoint presentation is not an online course. It’s just that: a presentation. That’s what webinars are for.  An online course addresses different goals and is administered differently; it’s not simply a way to deliver your presentation online. An online course is more akin to a classroom experience, except that it happens remotely. If you’re looking to create a full online course, the best thing to do with your PowerPoint is to use it as a planning tool. Most e-learning programs begin with a storyboard (this site explains what they are and provides some helpful examples), which is an outline for your online course. From there, you can start to flesh out your course into text (you’ll have to convert all the words you say during your slideshow presentation into written copy) and activities to deliver on your online platform. If you want more advice on planning for an online course, check out this helpful article from The E-Learning Coach blog.

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