Instructor Guide for Student-Created Narrated PowerPoint Presentation Video Assignments or Discussions

This article provides instructors with a general overview of the technical steps students can use to create a PowerPoint presentation, narrate that presentation, and then export the presentation as a video file. Once exported, the .mp4 file can be uploaded to a Canvas Assignment or a Discussion (setup by the instructor) using the rich content editor interface. When designing your student presentation assignment, you may wish to perform the steps below. Not only will you learn what the experience is like for your students, you'll be able to direct your students to make technical choices that complement your pedagogical goals, and you'll be able to better answer technical questions from students should they arise.


While this article is written for "instructor use" there are two article that you can give your students with succinct instructions. You'll want to supplement the directions with specific examples (e.g. the name of the assignment, length of the presentation, name of the discussion or assignment for submissions, etc.)

Feel free to distribute these directions to your students:

Special considerations for student narrated presentation assignments
There is an upload file size limit of 500MB in the rich content editor in Canvas. In most cases, students should not exceed this limit. However, to be on the safe side, it's strongly recommended that the instructor perform the process of creating a video following their own assignment guidelines, including the required length of the video. Test the process and export the video file to ensure that the exported video is under 500MB. 

If your test video exceeds 500MB, try changing the resolution of the presentation when exporting. By default, PowerPoint will export a video that is Full HD (1080p) 1920 x 1080. If your example export exceeds 500MB, try exporting at a smaller resolution HD (720p) 1280 x 720, or Standard (480p) 852 x 480. Once you’ve found a size that puts the video under the limit, be sure to direct your students to change the resolution when exporting.


Setting up an Assignment for students video submissions
In order for you to view your students’ video in the SpeedGrader, you’ll need to create an Assignment in Canvas and set the “Submission Type” to “Online” and the “Online Entry Options” to "Media Recordings” using these instructions: https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-10113-415241285


Setting up a Discussion for students video submissions
In order for your students to create, view, and reply to video project posts, you’ll need to create a Discussion in Canvas, and select the “Allow threaded replies” and “Graded” options, using these instructions: https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-13016-4152724374


(OPTIONAL) Group Narrated PowerPoint Presentations:
If you would like students to complete the presentations collaboratively, here are some additional details. While there is no built-in group feature for recording narration in PowerPoint, students could exchange the PowerPoint file with group mates and each group member could record sections of the presentation — 

  1. The first student records slides 1-10 (as an example)
  2. The first student would email the PowerPoint file (with their recorded slides) to the second student
  3. The second student records slide 11-20 (as en example ) on the same PowerPoint file and email the presentation to the next student
  4. After all students have contributed by recording their narration, the last student would export the presentation as an .mp4 movie file and upload it to the Canvas Discussion. 

Instructions that instructors can share with students:


Submit presentations through an Assignment

Before students begin:
  • Students must use the DESKTOP version of the PowerPoint software and not the web version.
  • The PowerPoint version should be recent. If in doubt, students can install the latest version of PowerPoint for free through UWM’s software license: https://uwm.edu/software/office-365-student-advantage/
PC Users:
Mac Users:


Submit presentations through a Discussion Reply

Before you begin:
  • Students must use the DESKTOP version of the PowerPoint software and not the web version.
  • The PowerPoint version should be recent. If in doubt, students can install the latest version of PowerPoint for free through UWM’s software license: https://uwm.edu/software/office-365-student-advantage/
PC Users:

Mac Users:





Keywords:PowerPoint presentation narrated export video file Canvas Assignment Discussion rich content editor interface   Doc ID:99246
Owner:Amy M.Group:UW-Milwaukee Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning
Created:2020-03-22 13:40 CDTUpdated:2020-05-15 10:03 CDT
Sites:UW-Milwaukee Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning
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