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Student Guide for Creating a Narrated PowerPoint Presentation Video Discussion

Students can use the instructions below 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 Discussion setup by the instructor using the rich content editor interface. This tutorial also includes optional instructions for group presentations. Your instructor will provide specific assignment details and group work (when appropriate). Using PowerPoint to create presentations have several advantages: 1) All students have free access to PowerPoint application, which can be downloaded onto any computer (see instructions below). 2) Students can re-record slides, as needed, to make the presentation as polished as possible. However, there are two important considerations that students need to address in order to successfully submit narrated PowerPoint presentations: 1) Students must ensure that the file size for the final video is less than 500MB. The tutorial provides instructions (below) for reducing the presentation resolution to address this issue. 2) When uploading through the Rich Content Editor in Canvas, students must be patient and allow the video to upload completely. Do not navigate away from the page during the upload process.

If your instructor has asked you to upload your presentation video to an Assignment, rather than a Discussion, please see this article:


(OPTIONAL) Group Narrated PowerPoint Presentations:
If your instructor has assigned the presentation as a group project, please review the specific details provided by your instructor. Here are some general steps that you will perform when creating a group narrated PowerPoint presentation. If directed by your instructor, students will exchange the PowerPoint file with group mates and each group member will record sections of the presentation — 
Based on your instructors directions for the assignment, create the PowerPoint presentation. Once the presentation is created you can begin narrating the slides you have been assigned. 

  1. The first student records slides 1-10 (as an example)
    • You must use the DESKTOP version of the PowerPoint software and not the web version (see details below)
    • You may need to download the PowerPoint file to your computer, if the presentation was shared with you on OneDrive (see details below)
  2. Once finished, the first student emails (or sends a OneDrive link for) the PowerPoint file (with their recorded slides) to the second student
  3. The second student records slide 11-20 (as an example) on the same PowerPoint file and emails (or send a OneDrive link for) the presentation to the next student
    • You may need to download the PowerPoint file to your computer, if the presentation was shared with you on OneDrive (see details below)
    • You must use the DESKTOP version of the PowerPoint software and not the web version (see details below)
  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 (using the instructions below)
For more information about sharing a link to your PowerPoint presentation with group members, use the [Send a link in email] option in the "How do you want to share?" section of this tutorial:
  • When completing the "Send Link" section, be sure to select the [Anyone with the link] option and the [Allow editing] option.
  • Enter your group mates ePanther IDs (email address without the at the end) and click [Send].
  • Group mates will receive an email and can click the [Open] button from within
  • From OneDrive, with the file open, click the [File] tab and select [Download As] to download the PowerPoint file
  • -Or- go to OneDrive and click the [Shared] and then [Shared with me] tabs to locate and download the Powerpoint file

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 should download and install PowerPoint for Office 365 using the instruction linked below
  • Students can install the latest version of PowerPoint for free through UWM’s software license:


PC Users:

Mac Users:

Special instructions for uploading narrated presentation assignments

  • Check that the video file size us under 500MB:
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, if your exported video exceeds 500MB, try changing the resolution of the presentation and exporting again. By default, PowerPoint will export a video that is Full HD (1080p) 1920 x 1080. If your video export exceeds 500MB, try exporting at a smaller resolution HD (720p) 1280 x 720, or Standard (480p) 852 x 480.
  • Be patient when uploading:
If your file is large, it will take several minutes to upload the video file. Follow the steps below to ensure that your video uploads successfully.
Step #1: First, the blue progress indicator will move across the bar, which means the file is still uploading.  Don't navigate away during the upload process.
Step #2: Next, the completed blue progress bar will indicate that the file has been uploaded, but not embedded. Again, don't navigate away during this process.
Step #3: Finally, the "Upload Media" window will disappear and you can verify that the file has been embedded.
Step #4: Once you click the "Post" button in the Reply window, you'll see a preview image for your video. Click the "Play" button in the preview to ensure that the video has uploaded successfully.
Step #5: Click the "Play" button in the player. If you aren't able to play your video, it has not uploaded successfully and you should try to upload again.

KeywordsStudents PowerPoint presentation narrated audio narration export video file .mp4 uploaded upload Canvas Discussion rich content editor group presentations group work   Doc ID99954
OwnerAmy M.GroupCETL
Created2020-04-02 11:28:33Updated2023-10-25 11:09:12
SitesUW-Milwaukee Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning
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