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8 ways to make lessons fun and engaging in an online classroom

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Connecting via webcam isn’t always easy and it takes creativity to keep students’ brains stimulated!

In fact, teaching online requires you to use completely different skillsets compared to those used to teach in-person!

With the home environment being surrounded by potential distractions, keeping students engaged, motivated, and interested in their lessons can be one of the biggest challenges online teachers face.

The question most of us online teachers ask ourselves at least once is: “How can I make the online classroom experience more exciting for my students?”

Luckily, there are plenty of tips and tricks to help you increase engagement in the classroom

Let’s dive right in then.

Here are the 8 best tips that will help you learn how to make lessons fun and engaging in an online classroom:

  • Present your best (online) self
  • Use technology to your advantage
  • Find what inspires your students
  • Set goals and help students stick to them
  • Keep it interactive
  • Break down the lessons and make it digestible
  • Make your students feel valued
  • Be patient with your students

1. Present your best (online) self

If your students can see you via a webcam, make sure that not only do you look presentable, but the location that you’re in does too.

Tip: a simple background works best to eliminate any distractions.

And that’s just the first step!

If students can see your face, it’s going to be 100 times more motivating for them if you look engaged and interested in what they are saying (even if sometimes this requires all your saintly teacher patience!).

Also, your visual materials must be up to scratch.

Make sure your slides look clean and clear and any videos you use are of good quality.

Try changing the tone of your voice to introduce new activities or mix up the tempo of your class!

Practice your storytelling skills and offer praise out loud. This can make a huge difference in encouraging your students.

And, again, make sure any audio clips you plan to use are of good quality.

Finally, this might be stating the obvious, but make sure you can teach your online lessons from somewhere with a reliable internet connection.

Nothing will have students switching off their attention quicker than a crackly connection that keeps on cutting out.

2. Use technology to your advantage

Teaching online comes with its challenges , but it also puts a whole load of really cool tools at your fingertips.

Whether you use whiteboards, pointers, virtual games, text editors, drawing tools, file editors, breakout rooms, or screen-sharing tools, you can use the technology you have to add variety to your lessons and keep students on their toes.

First of all, make sure you know how to use these virtual tools and take time to explain them to students, so they feel confident with using them too.

Then think about how you might use them to liven up your lessons.

For example, you could use fun rewards to entice students.

There is no kid out there whose eyes don’t light up at the prospect of 30 seconds of free play on a drawing tool!

3. Find what inspires your students

Make real connections

The good news is, just like in any face-to-face classroom, the real key to getting your online students involved is to find out what inspires them and gives them a reason to be engaged in the classroom.

Whether you’re teaching English online or you are a classroom teacher turned virtual, use the same mediums you would use in a real-life classroom.

Turn up the fun by playing music or just go to town with the drawing tool!

Don’t be afraid to try different things with your students until you find something that works for them.

4. Set goals and help your students stick to them

Another way to help online students stay on track with their studies (and keep a sense of purpose) is to set goals and remind them of their progress.

Setting goals for online learners

One simple way to introduce short-term goals into your online classroom is to make sure each lesson has a clear outline that you share with your student so they know where they are in the learning process and the context for any activity they are doing.

Then think about how you might reward students for finishing tasks (or, even better, for working hard) during a lesson.

You could try positive feedback, badges, points, playing games or doing other fun learning activities your students would like.

When it comes to long-term goals, going too far into the future might not be effective, but try taking time now and then to check in with your students and set goals together for the next month, three months, or six months down the line.

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Progress checks for online learners.

For short-term progress checks, make sure you build continuity between lessons by doing quick revisions or quizzes on previous topics.

A great way to remind students of their long-term progress is by building up a portfolio of work with them so they can look back themselves and see how far they’ve come.

One way of doing this online is to start an achievement page.

If you are teaching kids, every time they achieve something, you can go to the achievement page and ask them to draw something that reminds them of what they’ve learned (you might want to make it an achievement tree they can add to or a trophy shelf.) With teens or adult learners, you might prefer asking them to write something.

As the course progresses, the page will fill up with reminders of successes and proud moments for your students.

5. Keep it interactive

Use technology

In a face-to-face class, it’s typical to give students some quiet reflection time to work alone or read a text.

But these kinds of activities don’t translate well in online classrooms.

Long, dense texts are challenging to read on a screen (it’s much easier to break things into chunks).

Silence just doesn’t translate that well in virtual classrooms as it provides the perfect excuse for a student’s attention to drift elsewhere!

Planning activities that keep your students actively clicking, typing or talking throughout the lesson is the way to go.

You can do this by asking lots of questions, including games and making sure learners have to physically do things like use drawing tools or type in the dialogue boxes.

And when you’re planning your lesson, you can make sure your student has to say something every three minutes or so.

6. Break down the lesson and make it digestible

Timing is crucial in online teaching, and you might find you need to break up your online lessons differently than you would with face-to-face ones.

As a general rule, it’s a good idea to keep a fast pace and break down information into small, easily digestible chunks.

In practical terms, this means to steer clear of lengthy explanations and slides with too much text!

Mixing up the tempo of your lessons by adding a variety of activity types is also a great way to make the time fly by for your students .

You can also write your lesson plans for the online classroom with free lesson planners like Planboard .

And for online English teachers, there are plenty of free resources out there to get you started.

7. Make your students feel valued

The truth is, the isolation experienced by students studying in online classrooms can be a huge factor in making them feel demotivated.

They might think that no one will notice or care if they miss a class, or find it all too tempting to not log in to the classroom if they’re feeling tired.

The best way online teachers can help remedy this is by making their students feel valued in the classroom.

How do I do that, you ask?

Here are some suggestions:

  • Learn your student’s name and use their name throughout the lesson, and make sure they learn yours
  • Follow up on what you did in previous lessons so your students know that you’re on top of what they’re learning (and they should be too)
  • Find out about your student’s interests and incorporate them into the lesson where possible
  • Give regular feedback on your students’ work
  • Aim to be a positive, encouraging and present

8. Be patient with your students

As anyone can tell you, keeping students engaged and stimulated is no easy task. Remember that young kids sometimes don’t have very high attention spans, so it can be hard for them to sit still and focus at times.

This is totally normal and okay!

It’s essential to give them a break now and then and be patient with them.

Your students can easily pick up whether you’re annoyed or frustrated when something isn’t clicking.

And that makes matters worse.

Give them a short break every now and then.

It’ll make a difference!

Create a more engaging virtual classroom

Teaching online takes creativity.

Online environments can be challenging to master at first, but with a little effort and time, your students will be getting the best experience possible.

And, they’ll be excited to log into your classroom.

To recap, here are the 8 ways to increase engagement online:

We hope these tips gave you a great foundation for building better online classrooms, but don’t be discouraged if you still need a little more help.

If you need more help, you can always try our Online Teaching Strategies course to give you more confidence and ensure you smoothly transition into the world of online teaching.

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how can online learning be fun presentation

7 Educational Presentation Ideas and Templates for Online Classes

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As the world gets increasingly digitized, the move to online classes is becoming extremely common. To ensure e-learning is carried out effectively and constructively, educators need to arm themselves with educational presentations that can encourage and inspire.

One of the biggest challenges teachers today face is maintaining students’ attention. This is particularly difficult when teaching Gen Z, a generation of digital natives—especially when teachers themselves aren’t.

To help students stay focused during online classes, lessons need to be as informative and learning-optimized as they are visually stimulating. In this article, we’ll present to you seven of the best educational presentations you can use to facilitate this all-important teacher-student communication and make distance learning fun.

e-Learning Presentation

e-learning free presentation

This e-learning presentation template is perfect for preparing webinars and online classes. It offers much versatility, which makes it extremely easy to adapt.

It includes pre-prepared slides with infographics and charts and is designed to offer quality and high-level training—be it webinars, online seminars, postgraduate courses, online higher courses, etc.

elearning free presentation

The color used for the text and graphics also provide a good contrast with the background, making it more eye-catching and thus helping students focus.

free template - elearning

Furthermore, everything in this template is 100 percent editable and it’s a wonderful choice for creating a customized education presentation.

#StayAtHome Games

stayathome free template

At first glance, it’s pretty clear that this next educational presentation is intended for children . Encompassing a fun design aimed at entertaining kids, this template allows them to learn and play at the same time while at home.

It even takes education to the next level by incorporating gamification elements, whereby game playing is used to encourage learning and skill development.

The template is completely interactive and structured like a contest. For you, the teacher, that means you can create and personalize your own questions and answers according to the subject.

stay at home free template

It’s also very enjoyable for the kids as it is equipped with audio files for sound effects and buttons they can click to answer the questions.

To help fuel the wild imagination of kids, cute and creative illustrations are used throughout the template. Coupled with the striking and vivid colors, this template will not only attract but also retain the student’s attention.

stay at home free presentation

As an added kick, the template even offers a surprise ending: an adorable, personalized diploma for the brave superheroes who participated in the contest! By likening the kids to victorious heroes, it rewards them with a sense of achievement and keeps them motivated.

free templates games for kids

Math Workshop

math workshop free template

This illustrative educational presentation is the ideal template for an online Math workshop . It’s designed with icons and isometric illustrations that are relevant to the subject and comes with a schedule to keep learning on track.

free template - math workshop

Graphic Design Lesson

graphic design lesson - free template

This next educational presentation is the perfect template to inspire design students—be it for a graphic design lesson, art education, or an art class.

free template graphic design lesson

Practice makes perfect and homework is a vital part of any learning process. This template also includes ready-made slides for class exercises and assignments that you can easily edit.

graphic design lesson free

Telling Stories

telling stories - free template

What makes this next educational presentation great for online classes is the adaptability and the flexibility it offers. It’s a superb multi-purpose template for stories —particularly for narratives involving a storytelling element.  It has as many as 40 different slides designed with versatile flat-style illustrations that you can use and modify according to the subject at hand.

telling stories - free template

This template is created with functionality in mind. It consists of everything from charts and infographics to bullet points and columns for you to select the ones that best fit your intended narrative.

Want to get a message across to your students? Give this template a try and see for yourself just how effective it can be!

free template - telling stories

Spelling Workshop

Spelling Workshop - Free Template

Need an educational presentation for primary school learners? This fun spelling workshop template is surely the way to go, especially considering the importance of schools place on spelling activities.

Plus, it’s a great resource to motivate students to improve their spelling skills while at home, which increases their chances of winning the next school spelling bee!

With its vibrant and colorful slides, it provides students with an enjoyable learning experience that can even be extended to parents!

spelling workshop - Free presentation

The above slide’s design even reflects that of a school schedule. This makes it easy for students to relate to as it allows them to follow their regular class schedules while at home. This is key to understanding what needs to be done and what is expected of them, not to mention it puts them in a studying mood!

Above all, it helps with staying organized. It’s estimated that up to 30 percent of class time can be lost to administrative tasks. So, being organized, albeit seemingly trivial, is extremely important to uphold a certain level of efficiency in class.

This template also includes cartoon illustrations of adorable, friendly little monsters to appeal to the young learners and keep them entertained. These are found across the template, from slides that you can fill with motivational words to exercises for practice.

spelling - free template

Plus, its layout is so straightforward and simple that it makes the content easy to absorb. Your students will be learning without even realizing it and soon be yearning for new knowledge!

So, ready to organize your own spelling bee at home? Y-E-S!

Revolution – History Lesson

History Lesson - Free template

Teaching a history class online and need an educational template to turn the boring subject into a lesson that entices and thrills? This history lesson presentation will get the job done!

Its design is fittingly based on constructivism and other similar artistic movements of the 20th century. It also includes slides for assignments and exercises that are ready for you to adapt to your lesson plan.

The visual component of this presentation is also extremely prominent and distinctive, guaranteeing that your students stay focused and attentive at all times.

History Lesson - Free Presentation

Need more inspiration or templates? Discover our range of free and fully customizable Google Slides and PowerPoint education presentations you can use for your online classes.

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PresentationLoad

PowerPoint E-Learning: With these tips & tricks, you can quickly create your E-Learning presentation!

You may already be familiar with the term E-Learning. In many professional fields, as well as in schools and universities, E-Learning PowerPoints are increasingly being used. But what exactly does E-Learning stand for?

In this article, we will explain how you can use PowerPoint to create your own E-Learning presentations.

What exactly is E-Learning?

E-Learning, which stands for electronic learning , refers to all forms of learning that are supported by electronic or digital media . If you are not familiar with the term E-Learning, you may recognize other terms such as online learning, multimedia learning, or e-didactics, which are used to describe the same concept.

The convenience of E-Learning is that it can take place from anywhere. Whether you’re at the beach, at home, or on a train, E-Learning has gained popularity, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In E-Learning, learning materials are provided digitally to learners. These materials range from podcasts and presentations to video courses. In this article, we focus on E-Learning presentations.

E-Learning: these are the advantages!

The benefits of E-Learning extend beyond its easy implementation during pandemic times. Below, we have summarized additional advantages that demonstrate why E-Learning is more popular than ever.

#1: Self-paced Learning

One of the advantages of E-Learning is that participants are not bound to a specific presentation timeframe because the learning content is available continuously. It doesn’t matter at what time of day or night the learning content is accessed, and participants can go through the content at their own pace. In a traditional lecture with a predetermined time limit, it is expected that every listener understands the content within that timeframe.

Once a slide has been presented and discussed, it is assumed that everyone has grasped and internalized the information. There is no opportunity to revisit specific slides. However, in E-Learning, participants can go through the slides as many times as they want and for as long as they need, allowing them to determine their own learning pace .

Furthermore, users can complete E-Learning modules according to their own learning preferences . This means that while one person may prefer learning with music, it may be detrimental for others to hear any background noise while studying.

As a result, participants can engage in self-paced learning and independently grasp the concepts.

#2: Location Independence

As mentioned earlier, a major advantage of E-Learning is that it can take place from anywhere . In particular, E-Learning presentations can be accessed from any location and through any device . Unlike a live presentation where audience members need to be physically present unless it is an online event, E-Learning presentations can be shared with people around the globe.

This means that you can work on E-Learning presentations even while on vacation or on the go.

#3: Easy Access to Knowledge

This is especially beneficial for people living in remote areas, far from major cities and potential event venues. With E-Learning, there is no need to travel to acquire knowledge and information that would typically be provided in live presentations. Additionally, E-Learning allows for access at any time and from anywhere, as long as a digital medium is available.

#4: Regular Updating of Learning Content

Since E-Learning presentations are available online, authors have the ability to update them . This ensures that users always have the most up-to-date information and are kept current. In contrast, with in-person presentations, once the talk is over and the audience has left the venue, there is no opportunity to correct or update what was said.

E-Learning allows for regular content updates , ensuring that learners receive the latest information and materials.

PowerPoint and E-Learning? Here’s how it’s done!

PowerPoint E-Learning thats how

PowerPoint offers many features that allow you to create a creative and effective E-Learning product . However, there are certain considerations to keep in mind. What works for a live presentation in front of an audience may require some adjustments for an online course.

That’s why in this paragraph, you’ll learn how to use PowerPoint to create E-Learning presentations in just a few steps.

At the beginning:

Like any other presentation, creating an E-Learning product in PowerPoint starts with a blank slide. It is advisable to begin with a completely blank slide rather than using a predefined template with a title and bullet points. This openness encourages creativity and allows you to design your own layout freely.

To learn how to create an appealing PowerPoint layout, you can refer to our blog post titled “PowerPoint Layout” on this topic.

The learning content should always be designed to be understandable , as this makes it easier to motivate and inspire participants.

Creating the learning unit:

The creation of the learning unit in E-Learning PowerPoint presentations differs from that of a linearly structured presentation . For E-Learning presentations, more complex structures with multiple levels or branching paths are recommended.

This helps learners navigate through the online course in various ways. Furthermore, it ensures that participants with different levels of knowledge are covered and can understand your content.

It is also advisable to remain open to an arrangement that suits your content during the creation of your learning materials.

Organizing with tabs:

By using tabs, you can bring order to your presentation and categorize your learning content. This paragraph will show you how. You can create a navigation bar with tabs using these tabs. This navigation bar allows you to connect learning content using duplicated slides and hyperlinks.

#1: Creating a starting slide

To build a navigation bar with tabs, it is important to create a starting slide first . This slide will be duplicated and equipped with hyperlinks later on.

1. To do this, create a r ectangular shape with any number of tabs, as shown on the slide. Color each tab in different colors. Then, duplicate this slide so that you have the same number of slides and tabs.

organizing you e learning presentation with tabs

2. On the duplicated slides, it is important to change the colors of the tabs accordingly. On the second slide , make the middle tab gray , and on the last slide, make the third tab gray . If you have more than three tabs, repeat this step until you have a different tab colored gray on each slide.

organizing you e learning presentation with tabs

3. Once you have created all the slides, label your tabs and slides . Make sure to label the correctly colored slide with the appropriate content.

#2: Add Hyperlinks

To allow users of your E-Learning presentation to navigate to different slides by clicking on a tab, you need to incorporate hyperlinks into your presentation. When someone clicks on the second tab of your presentation, the goal is for them to be directed to the corresponding slide for that tab.

The link is hidden in the background, but due to the consistent layout of the slides, it appears as if you are still on the starting slide, but in a different tab.

To add the hyperlinks as described above, follow these steps:

  • Select the tab, which is the shape above the slide, where you want to place a hyperlink. This should be a colored slide, as ideally, you should be on the gray-colored slide.
  • Then, under the “Insert” menu, choose the “Action” option.

add hyperlinks to your e-learning presentation

Here, under the “On Click” action, you can select a link to the desired slide. This can be the previous or next slide, as well as any other slide number X.

add hyperlinks to your e-learning presentation

  • Confirm your selection in the pop-up window by clicking “OK.”
  • To check if the hyperlink insertion was successful, you can view your E-Learning presentation as a slideshow . Click on the different tabs, and if the linked slides open, you have done everything correctly.

#3: Bonus Tip: Navigation Menu Instead of Navigation Bar

Even without tabs, you can incorporate hyperlinks into your E-Learning presentation. In addition to slides, actions such as switching between slides can be linked to text, images, or icons. You can add these in your E-Learning PowerPoint presentation following the same steps explained in point #2.

Discover in our blog article on “PowerPoint Icons” how to incorporate visual elements into your presentation using icons.

Add-Ins for Your E-Learning Presentation:

In addition to regular text slides, E-Learning offers a lot of freedom when it comes to incorporating additional add-ins.

Elements such as tests and quizzes are particularly suitable for ensuring that participants actively engage in the learning process. This not only encourages active participation but also promotes engagement. Unlike in live presentations, where participants mostly passively listen and watch, tests and quizzes require active thinking and interaction .

Adding audio tracks to accompany the E-Learning content or pre-recorded narrations can also help personalize the learning experience . Engaging multiple senses and creating immersive content enhances retention. For useful information on using audio comments in your presentation, check out our blog article on “ PowerPoint Voiceover “.

To learn more about creating interactive presentations and actively involving your audience, read our article on “ Interactive Presentations “.

Extra Tip: Make Your Presentations Engaging with Tips from Our Blog

Make your E-Learning presentation even more captivating for your audience . Your viewers will appreciate visual stimuli. Keep in mind that closing the presentation is just one click away . By strategically incorporating additional visual elements, you can prevent this.

Whether it’s animations, action titles, or storytelling, these topics can play a complementary and engaging role in creating your E-Learning presentation. Visit our blog to find helpful tips on these topics and much more!

Conclusion: E-Learning Made Easy with PowerPoint!

As you can see, PowerPoint offers numerous possibilities for E-Learning projects and allows for a lot of creative freedom . Try out our tips and create engaging E-Learning presentations in no time!

Do you have an idea for an E-Learning application, but need some missing pieces for its implementation? In our shop, you will find various templates such as graphics, icons, maps, or animations that can assist you in creating your E-Learning project . Visit the Shop

If you have any questions about E-Learning or PowerPoint in general, feel free to contact us at [email protected] . We are here to help!

Other articles that might interest you:

  • PowerPoint Voiceover
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How to turn your PowerPoint into engaging, interactive online learning content

how can online learning be fun presentation

Rebecca Henson

Implementation Consultant

Transform that dated PowerPoint presentation into content that excites your learners.

If you’ve been involved in delivering corporate training at any point over the past 20 years the chances are you’ve got a few trusty PowerPoint presentations lurking on your hard drive.

The move to online learning has led to the demise — or at least the decline — of Microsoft’s flagship slideshow software as an educational tool. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t value to be found in your old PowerPoint files.

Let’s look at how to take PowerPoint presentations you used to deliver in classroom settings and turn them into up-to-date, engaging and interactive online learning content.

Uploading PowerPoint is not enough

In the early days of online learning — and continuing to this day in some organisations — uploading PowerPoint slides to a learning management system ( LMS ) was seen as a sufficient step into the online world.

This overlooks the key factor in any successful PowerPoint presentation you’ve ever delivered: you. It was you who brought the slides to life. It was you who expanded on the information given on the slide and put things in context. In all likelihood, it was your voice that stayed in the learner’s head, not the words on the slide.

When learners are left to click through a PowerPoint presentation on their own, knowledge retention falls off a cliff and learning is ineffective.

With that in mind, it’s important to adapt your slides to suit the new medium and the remote delivery. Here’s how to do that.

Carve up the presentation into bitesize chunks

Pull elements of your presentation out of the slides and turn each of them into small, easily digestible chunks of learning.

Break down by topic

Create different sections for each topic. These can sit within collapsible sections so that the learner only ever has the activity they’re working on expanded. This helps to make the content look less daunting.

Take your learners on a journey

Just as your presentation guided learners through a logical progression of the learning you want to deliver to them, you can create an LMS version that takes them on a similar journey. Given the ease with which you can create small chunks of different types of content, you can create an even more effective journey.

Include video and interactive elements

If part of your PowerPoint presentation was led by your demonstrating or explaining something to learners, you can recreate this in the form of a video. This can be easily embedded within your LMS.

You might also want to create SCORM or H5P elements that can be imported to your LMS to make the new version of your presentation even more interactive.

Track completion

A key benefit of an LMS in comparison to a PowerPoint presentation is that you can track that a user has completed each activity. You can also build in confidence checks so that each learner confirms they understood the learning they’ve completed.

Finish with a quiz

Test learners on what they’ve learned — and tell them at the start that you’re going to. This increases engagement and learning retention.

Add a forum

Create the same sense of dialogue you’d get from a Q&A session at the end of your PowerPoint presentation by using the forum activity type. Encourage learners to ask questions and engage in discussions with you and among themselves.

Talk to us about learning content conversion

Repurposing PowerPoint presentations is just the tip of the iceberg. There are lots of other ways to get value from existing learning content. Fill in the form below to discuss digital conversion of your learning content.

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Active Learning for Your Online Classroom: Five Strategies Using Zoom

Moving your class sessions to a virtual space, such as Zoom video conferencing, brings new opportunities for active learning and student engagement. This resource provides simple strategies that combine active learning principles with online tools so students can encounter and engage with information and ideas, and reflect on their learning. These strategies apply to both small and large class sizes, subject to the participant limit of your video conferencing program and license.

For ways to maintain privacy and security in your online class sessions, please refer to CTL’s Zoom Security and Privacy Resource .

On this page:

  • What is Active Learning?

Columbia Supported Online Tools for Active Learning

Active learning strategies, additional resources.

Cite this resource: Columbia Center for Teaching and Learning (2020). Active Learning for your Online Classroom: Five Strategies Using Zoom. Columbia University. Retrieved [today’s date] from https://ctl.columbia.edu/resources-and-technology/teaching-with-technology/teaching-online/active-learning/

Zoom: Annotation and Whiteboard Tools For more details on how to use these tools, please see: Using annotation tools on a shared screen or whiteboard and Sharing a whiteboard.

What is Active Learning? 

Bonwell and Eison describe active learning strategies as “instructional activities involving students in doing things and thinking about what they are doing 1 .” In Creating Significant Learning Experiences , L. Dee Fink builds upon Bonwell and Eison’s definition by describing a holistic view of active learning that includes all of the following components: Information and Ideas, Experience, and Reflective Dialogue 2 .  This framework can be a helpful tool to consider how your students…

  • e.g., by watching videos or reading PDFs in advance, or from a short presentation you give using Zoom’s Share Screen feature
  • e.g., through discussions with their peers using Zoom’s Breakout Rooms feature and documenting their conversations in collaborative Google Docs
  • e.g., by spending the last five minutes of the online class session engaging in reflective writing and sharing their thoughts through an open-ended poll on Poll Everywhere .

…to meet the student learning objective(s) for your course.

The CTL is here to help!

If you have questions or would like support in developing and implementing active learning in your online course, please reach out to the CTL at [email protected] . You can also get one-on-one support via phone or Zoom during our virtual office hours .

In this resource, we will reference the following online tools supported by Columbia University: 

  • Share Screen —share your screen, your student’s screen, or a virtual whiteboard
  • Breakout Rooms —divide the main virtual room into smaller virtual rooms
  • Polling —launch multiple choice polls
  • Nonverbal Feedback —allow students to express opinions by clicking on icons
  • Poll Everywhere —audience response system for polling
  • LionMail (Google) Docs , Sheets , Slides —collaborative documents

*Note: If you do not see any of the above Zoom features in your Zoom meeting space, you may need to enable them first.

If you have questions about teaching with any of the above tools, please reach out to the CTL at [email protected] . You can also get one-on-one support via phone or Zoom during our virtual office hours .

The active learning strategies you select should serve the course learning objectives for your students. Remember, the goal of active learning is not simply for your students to do things, but to also think about what they are doing. As you learn more about the following strategies, consider how effective each would be in promoting the learning you desire from your students.

Here are some questions to think about when selecting an active learning strategy:

  • What skill should my students be able to perform by the end of our online class session?
  • Which active learning strategy will allow my students to practice this skill?
  • When will my students encounter and engage with information and ideas? When will they reflect on what they’ve learned? (Any of these active learning components can be done before, during, or after the online class session.)

Strategy 1: Polling

Polling is a quick, easy way to check the opinions or thought processes of your students by posing a statement or question and gathering their responses in real time. Zoom’s Polling feature allows for simple multiple-choice polls, including Likert-type questions that ask your students to state their level of agreement with a statement, assessing the level of student interest on a list of topics, or binary yes/no or true/false questions. Simple polls can be used at the start, end, or at select points during an online class session to engage and assess your students.

  • Zoom’s Polling feature

Amount of pre-class preparation required

  • Instructor: Low (<15 min)
  • Student: Low (<15 min)

How to Implement

Determine your purpose for conducting a simple multiple-choice poll in your online class session by considering the following:

  • What information would you like to get from your students in real-time?
  • How will you use the poll results / information collected?

Here are some possible ways you can use polls for active learning in your online class session:

  • e.g., Which of the following career paths is your top choice at this moment?
  • e.g., Which of the following best represents your familiarity with the concept of atomic orbitals?
  • e.g., “Genetically modified foods should not be permitted for human consumption.” Agree or Disagree?
  • e.g., Which of the following factors do you think has the largest impact on the rate of DNA replication in a eukaryotic cell?
  • e.g., Which of the following topics would you like to go over as a class?
  • e.g., Which of the following activities are most helpful in helping you learn the skills required for this course?

Create the Zoom poll (see Zoom Help Center to learn how) and determine how much time your students will need to respond to it. Make sure the question title and prompt is clearly worded and not open to misinterpretation.

Prior to launching the poll, provide verbal and written instructions on how to complete the poll. Once launched, you will be able to see in real time the number of students and the percentage of the class that have responded to the poll, the time elapsed, and the results of the poll.

End the poll when the allocated time is up. You can then choose whether to show the class the results of the poll. Either way, be sure to directly address or have your students respond to the results of the poll, and relate it back to the purpose of the poll.

Alternative Tools for Polling

  • CourseWorks (Canvas) Quiz has an ungraded survey feature that can be used for polls both synchronously and asynchronously.
  • PollEverywhere can be used for more advanced polling activities such as using open-ended text questions or images. Unlike Zoom, the results from PollEverywhere can be directly transported to CourseWorks (Canvas).

Strategy 2: Think-Pair-Share

This active learning strategy involves posing a short problem, scenario, or question to your students and giving them the time and opportunity to complete the following steps:

  • Think through the problem, scenario, or question individually.
  • Pair with a partner to discuss.
  • Share their findings or takeaways with the rest of the class.

This strategy not only gives your students time to process and apply their knowledge and skills on their own first, it also gives them the opportunity to consult and collaborate with a peer. This process usually elicits more thoughtful responses while also lowering the stakes of sharing with the rest of the class.

  • Zoom’s Share Screen feature
  • Zoom’s Breakout Rooms feature
  • Think : First, pose a short problem, scenario, or question for your students to work through on their own for about 30 seconds to a minute. Read the question out loud while also displaying it on a slide that you share with your students using Zoom’s Share Screen feature. As your students are thinking through the problem, click on Zoom’s Breakout Rooms tool so you can enter the number of breakout rooms needed in order for each to contain a pair of students. Zoom conveniently displays the number of participants per room based on the number of participants present and the number of rooms you select. If you have an odd number of students, subtract one from the total number of students and divide that by two to get the number of rooms you should create; Zoom will automatically assign one of the breakout rooms with three students instead of a pair.
  • Pair : When your students are ready to pair up, let Zoom automatically assign them to the breakout rooms. Give your students about 5 minutes to introduce themselves to their partners and share their thoughts on the assigned problem. To help your students keep track of the given problem and directions, you can broadcast the problem and instructions through a message to all the breakout rooms.
  • Share : When your students are ready to share, close the breakout rooms so all your students return to the main room. Ask for volunteers to share their answers or discussion takeaways by having them use the hand-raise feature in Zoom. Unmute one volunteer at a time so they can acknowledge their partner and share their response with the entire class. Mute the volunteer who has spoken before unmuting the next one. Repeat this process until you are satisfied with the number of contributions and/or perspectives shared.

Alternative active learning strategies with similar setups

  • Note-Taking Pairs 3 : Students work in pairs to improve their individual class notes.
  • Three-Step Interview 3 : Students work in pairs and take turns interviewing each other, and report what they learn to another pair.
  • Peer Instruction 4 : Students first answer a given poll question on their own. Then, students pair up and explain their rationale. Finally, students answer the poll question again.

Strategy 3: Minute Paper

A minute paper is a short “paper” that students individually complete in a minute (or more realistically, under five minutes) in response to a given prompt. Minute papers provide students with opportunities to reflect on course content and disciplinary skills as well as their self-awareness as learners (see the CTL’s resource on metacognition to learn more). This active learning strategy simultaneously allows you to quickly check your students’ knowledge. Minute papers can be assigned at the start, during, or at the end of your online class session as you see fit.

  • Poll Everywhere

Before your online class session, write an open-ended prompt that students can respond to in less than five minutes. You can vary the prompt to target specific knowledge and skill sets or solicit big picture free responses.

Example prompts include:

  • What questions about today’s topic are you most interested in exploring?
  • What was the most important point of today’s lesson?
  • Share an experience from your everyday life that illustrates this principle.
  • What steps will you take to maximize your learning for the upcoming test?
  • Reflecting on the essay you just submitted, what would you have done differently that would improve your essay?

When your prompt is ready, use it to create an open-ended poll in Poll Everywhere (external to Zoom). Using Poll Everywhere to collect minute paper responses allows you to either display the responses as they come in or download a CSV spreadsheet containing all the responses to skim for trends and themes later.

While student responses are never displayed with student identities during the poll, you may need that information for the purpose of assigning participation grades or to respond to students individually. For this information to be recorded in the CSV spreadsheet, you will need to restrict the poll to registered participants only. Your students will then need to log in to their Columbia Poll Everywhere accounts to participate in the poll.

During your online class session, when you are ready for students to complete their minute papers, activate your open-ended poll and use Zoom’s Share Screen tool to share the Poll Everywhere window with your students. While the instructions for responding to the poll will be shown via shared screen, you should also read the instructions out loud to ensure all students receive that information. 

Give your students about five minutes to go to the displayed Poll Everywhere site and type in their responses to the minute paper prompt. Depending on your goal, you have the option of addressing select responses as they come in or compiling the results after class so you can address them at the start of the next one.

  • What’s the Problem 5 : Students categorize example problems according to the principles and strategies needed to solve them.
  • Muddiest Point 6 : Students share their responses to the prompt “What was the muddiest (most confusing) point in _____ ?”

Strategy 4: Small Group Discussions

Small group discussions are one way for your students to delve more deeply into a given problem or issue. You can pose an open-ended question or problem, or provide your students with a scenario or case study to work through. The duration is dependent on the task. Groups can then present their results or findings to the rest of the class.

  • Zoom’s Nonverbal Feedback feature (including hand raise)
  • Google Docs , Sheets , Slides (collaborative documents)
  • Instructor: Moderate (15–60 minutes)

Reflect on the learning objective that would most benefit from small group discussion. From this learning objective, develop the discussion prompt that you will assign to your students. For example:

  • Learning Objective: Analyze Figure 3 of the assigned research article.
  • Discussion Prompt: How well does the data shown in the figure support the author’s claims?

When assigning the small group discussion, be sure to include clear instructions on what your students are supposed to do. Examples include:

  • How many students will be in each group
  • How much time they have for the discussion
  • What they need to report back to the class and how much time they have to do so
  • Upholding discussion guidelines that they previously agreed to

Because your students are having these discussions completely online, it is best not to have too many students in each group; 3-4 students per group for a 10-minute small group discussion allows each student to contribute substantially to the discussion.

To help facilitate the small group discussion and ensure that all students engage, either assign or have your students volunteer for the following roles:

  • Facilitator + Timekeeper—keep the discussion focused on the assigned prompt
  • Notetaker—record the main points of the discussion on a collaborative document like Google Docs or Slides
  • Challenger—push the group to view the problem or issue from different perspectives
  • Reporter—report the main takeaways of the discussion back to the rest of the class

You could have students rotate roles across the semester so that they get to experience and learn the different skill sets associated with each role. 

Let your students know that you, and if applicable, your co-instructor(s) and/or TA(s), may be dropping into each breakout room periodically to check their progress and answer any questions, but that they do not have to stop their discussion if they do not need anything from you.

After providing your students with both verbal and written instructions, give them a minute to ask you any clarifying questions before you send them to their breakout rooms.

When the class is ready, use Zoom to automatically divide your students into breakout rooms. You can set the breakout rooms to close automatically after a set duration. This adds a countdown timer in the breakout rooms informing your students of the remaining time they have. As students are discussing in their breakout rooms, stop by several breakout rooms to see how the discussion is going and answer any questions, if any. You may also broadcast a message to all breakout rooms to solicit questions. Your students can always request for help from their breakout rooms by clicking the Ask for Help button, which alerts you to their request and prompts you to join their breakout room.

When time is up, if you did not set the breakout rooms to automatically close, manually close them so all students return to the main room. Ask all the student reporters to identify themselves using the hand-raise button (part of Zoom’s Nonverbal Feedback feature). When a student reporter is ready to share with the class, unmute that particular student and have them share their screen with the class. Other students can ask questions via the chat window. When the student reporter is done presenting, you can unmute the rest of that group to allow them to solicit and answer questions from their peers.

  • Test-Taking Teams 3 : Students work in small groups to prepare for a test. Students then take the test individually and submit their responses. Immediately after, students retake the test in their small groups, working to find consensus on their responses.
  • Jigsaw 3 : Students work in small groups. Each group becomes an expert in a different topic. New groups are formed, comprising at least one expert on each topic. In these new groups, each student teaches their peers the topic they became an expert on.

Strategy 5: Short Student Presentations

Short presentations provide an opportunity for students to engage in peer instruction. This type of activity invites students to synthesize and communicate their knowledge. Students can be asked to research an issue of interest to them that is related to the course topic or work on a problem outside of class, and to present their findings during an upcoming online class session. This allows students to link course content with their own interests and lived experiences, and learn from their peers.

  • Google Slides
  • Student: Significant (>60 minutes)

Identify a course learning objective that would greatly benefit from having students explore the topic further on their own. For example, you could have students use their analytical skills that they developed during the course to analyze a different area, setting, artifact, or scenario of their choice. Alternatively, you could have your students design proposals to address a problem raised in class.

Assign student presentations with sufficient time for your students to prepare their presentation, e.g., at least one to two weeks in advance. Be sure to provide specific instructions regarding the format and duration of the presentation, e.g., “The presentation is 5 minutes long with 10 minutes for audience questions,” as well as any criteria for evaluation, which could be represented as a rubric.

This strategy works best if you provide students with preliminary feedback on their presentations prior to your online class session. Consider having a short online meeting with each student presenter or checking in via email to provide feedback on their presentation and to answer their questions at least a few days before your online class session.

When it is time for your students to present during your online class session, first remind the class of the purpose and format of the student presentations. Encourage your students to be active listeners during the presentation, e.g., reflect on how the presentation might apply to your interests, explore how the presentation enriches your perspectives on the topic, type your questions into the Zoom chat, or write down your main takeaways from the presentation.

When the student presenter is ready, unmute their microphone and allow them to share their screen with the class.

While the student is presenting, you may monitor questions that are being submitted by other students to the Zoom chat. Once the presentation is finished, select a few questions for the presenter to address.

When the student presenter is done answering questions, consider having all your students reflect on what they learned. For example, you could ask your students to summarize their main takeaways from the presentation or describe how the presentation connects with different aspects of the course. Have your students share their reflections on a discussion board on CourseWorks (Canvas) or an open-ended poll on Poll Everywhere. You can skim through these reflections to see what your students gained from the student presentations.

  • Digital scavenger hunt: Students find or create media (images, video clips, audio clips) that they think best represent assigned course concepts to share with the class.
  • Book club 5 : Students choose from a list of suggested books on course content and form corresponding book clubs. Each book club presents a final report to the rest of the class, while other students identify common themes and differences between the presented books and the books they chose in their own book club.
  • Student group presentations: Students work in small groups outside of class on an assigned project and present their findings during the online class session. Other students in class focus on asking questions and linking the presentation to course content.
  • Working in a virtual classroom requires patience. Begin with simple low stakes activities for you and your students to get comfortable with the new format and provide time and opportunity for your students to ask you questions. Eventually, instructors, TAs, and students will gain proficiency with these online tools.
  • Seek to minimize barriers that students may face in order to participate in the activities you plan for your online class session. Factors to consider include access to reliable technology and conducive spaces, student physical and mental abilities, and timing. For ways to make online learning accessible for all your students, please refer to CTL’s Accessibility Resource .
  • Do a test-run of each activity you plan to use before your online class session, preferably with a CTL Learning Designer or a teaching colleague. Given the number of user-specific settings in Zoom, you will want to ensure that all the features you will be using have been enabled prior to your online class session. Some features cannot be enabled once your online class session has launched.

Community Building in Online and Hybrid (HyFlex) Courses

Collaborative Learning Online

Facilitating and Promoting Student Engagement in the Online, Synchronous Classroom (Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning)

Online Instructional Activities Index (University of Illinois, Springfield)

Tips & Tricks: Teachers Educating on Zoom (Zoom) 

How to Be a Better Online Teacher (Flower Darby, Northern Arizona University)

  • Bonwell, C.C. & Eison, J.A. (1991). Active Learning: Creating Excitement in the Classroom. ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Report 1. Washington, D.C.: George Washington University.
  • Fink, D.L. (2003). Creating Significant Learning Experiences: An Integrated Approach to Designing College Courses. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
  • Barkley, E. F., Cross, K. P., & Major, C. H. (2014). Collaborative Learning Techniques: A Handbook for College Faculty . John Wiley & Sons
  • Mazur, E. (2013). Peer Instruction: A User’s Manual. Pearson Higher Ed.
  • Barkley, E. F. (2009). Student Engagement Techniques: A Handbook for College Faculty . John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated. 
  • Angelo, T. A., & Cross, K. P. (1993). Classroom assessment techniques: A handbook for college teachers (2nd ed). Jossey-Bass Publishers.
  • First Steps for Moving a Class Online
  • Graduate Student TAs: Adapting Your Teaching
  • Inclusive Teaching and Learning Online
  • Asynchronous Learning Across Time Zones
  • Virtual Office Hours
  • Teaching with CourseWorks
  • Teaching with Zoom
  • Teaching with Panopto
  • Video Production Best Practices

The CTL researches and experiments.

The Columbia Center for Teaching and Learning provides an array of resources and tools for instructional activities.

This website uses cookies to identify users, improve the user experience and requires cookies to work. By continuing to use this website, you consent to Columbia University's use of cookies and similar technologies, in accordance with the Columbia University Website Cookie Notice .

14 Fun & Interactive Presentation Games for Teams and Students

14 Fun & Interactive Presentation Games for Teams and Students

So you've got an audience to energize, students to engage, or a team that needs a little extra fun — playing an interactive presentation game is an easy way to do just that.

We've done the research and found the best of these games for you: we looked specifically for games that are simple to set up, fun to play, and flexible enough to be used with a variety of presentations and audiences. Most of these activities work virtually with Zoom/PowerPoint and can also be used in person.

Which of these 14 presentation games do you like best? Take a look and let us know your favorites:

1. Live Trivia Competition

A great way to ramp up the excitement and engagement is to enable a little bit of friendly competition. Trivia is an easy way to do this—plus, it can be whole-group inclusive and large-audience friendly (if you use the right tools).

Here's a great trivia game you can run with your team, students, or any large audience. It's already created for you with questions and scoring built in to make it even easier:

Here's how to play:

  • Make a free account here: https://slideswith.com/  
  • Click the slide deck and copy it. 
  • Launch the trivia game by clicking "Start Event."
  • Invite your group to join in and submit answers using their mobile devices (show the winners automatically).
  • Interact and play during your presentation!

This trivia game has questions on many topics to keep your audience's attention and appeal to everyone. It only takes 10-15 minutes to play, so it's a great game for long discussions! Also, this interactive activity is free for up to ten participants and is totally customizable.

2. Sing and Swing 

To really liven up your group, encourage your listeners to play Sing and Swing. This activity is best for long presentations because it boosts energy, creates a fun, light-hearted environment, and makes people laugh a lot. 

Here's how to play: 

  • Before your presentation, pick a well-known song and rewrite the chorus (replace parts of it with words and phrases from your presentation) 
  • When you're ready to play, show the song on your screen. 
  • Invite your audience to sing it with you!

If you have a fun group or a class of energetic students, consider adding choreography to engage your audience even more. 

how can online learning be fun presentation

3. 20 Questions

If you want a presentation game that requires your listeners to talk more than you, 20 Questions is the one to play! A classic and simple activity, this game immediately boosts engagement and gets people laughing. 

Here's how to play: Have someone put an appropriate image or word on the screen behind you (this can be an audience member you trust or a colleague or co-presenter). To make things more fun, put on a blindfold so that everyone knows you can't cheat. From there, ask 20 "yes or no" questions to guess what's displayed on the screen. Your group should respond "yes" or "no" to guide you to the correct answer. 

4. Scavenger Hunt Challenge

To get your audience out of their seats, a scavenger hunt challenge is one of the best interactive games for presentations. It'll immediately energize your audience , team, or students while giving them a fun way to learn.  

There are tons of in-person and virtual scavenger hunt ideas you can use to dive deeper into your topic or help everyone learn about one another. But if you want a ready-to-play game that you can instantly launch without having any tech skills, here's a fun one to play: 

  • Use an email address and password to create a free account here: https://slideswith.com/ (a free account guarantees up to ten people can play at no charge). 
  • Click the game and press "Copy and use this slide deck." 
  • In the top right corner, click "Start Event."
  • Ask listeners to join the game by using their mobile devices to scan the QR code. Players should continue using their mobile devices to submit answers to questions.
  • Have everyone start hunting for items! 

This activity is a particularly fun game because it's a photo-hunt, show-and-tell challenge! That means your audience will not only get out of their seats to find items, but they'll also get to take pictures and share and discuss photos of what they find. This conversational element will help engage your group! 

5. Group Word Clouds

Whether you're speaking to team members, students, or conference-goers, this activity lets you ask questions and get your listeners' thoughts on specific topics. 

This game is the perfect way to start your presentation, especially if you're discussing something with a wide range of opinions or are unsure how much your listeners know about a certain subject. Group Word Clouds is also beneficial if you want to do a quick meeting pulse or know how your listeners feel going into your presentation—understanding their energy levels and mood can help you adjust (if necessary) to get maximum engagement and excitement.

To enjoy this activity, keep things simple by using a tool that already offers a ready-to-play Group Word Clouds game. Here's a popular one you can launch immediately: 

  • Create a free account by entering an email and password here: https://slideswith.com/  
  • Click the game and then copy it (the button to do so is right underneath the slide deck).
  • Press "Start Event" in the top right corner. 
  • Tell participants to play by scanning the QR code. 
  • Create word clouds and have fun!

This interactive game only takes 5-10 minutes to play, so it's a fast, fun way to engage your audience and feel out the room. Players can use their mobile devices to answer questions. This activity is also free for up to 10 people and is easy to personalize.

6. The Get to Know You Game

This activity is one of the best presentation games if you have a small group that doesn't really know each other. The Get to Know You Game is a creative way to do introductions, and it's really simple.

Here's how to play the game: Before the event, ask group members to bring a favorite song or item to the presentation (you can do this by emailing them). When you're ready to play, ask each person to introduce themself, present their song or item, and explain why they picked it. For those sharing a song, have them play it on their phones before they explain why it's their favorite. 

7. Live Poll Questions 

When you have a large group, it's not easy to find ways to boost engagement—but poll questions are the solutions, especially when they're live and interactive. With this unique setup, large groups engage by answering questions and seeing their answers displayed in a fun way. 

Your job is to make sure you actually find a game that showcases responses uniquely to captivate your group. For a quick and great option, here's a popular icebreaker activity that promises to display responses using fun formats like word clouds, donut charts, live graphs, and per-player: 

  • Create an account for free to access the game:  https://slideswith.com/  
  • Click the slide deck and press the button to copy it. 
  • Look in the top right corner of the deck and press "Start Event."
  • Invite your group to play the game. They only need to use their mobile devices to scan the QR code. 
  • Start polling your audience!

This activity is one of those fun presentation games everyone will want to enjoy, so invite all of your team members and students to participate. This game can accommodate up to 250 players and takes 5-10 minutes to complete. Tell your group to use their mobile devices to submit their responses. 

8. Assumptions 

This interactive game is a great way to break up your presentation to see who's paying attention and who can answer questions pertaining to your topic. 

  • Ask your audience to stand up (for virtual presentations, make sure everyone's video is on). 
  • Show true or false statements on the screen one by one. 
  • Tell people to raise a hand if they think the statement is correct and sit down if they think it's incorrect.
  • Continue until one person is left standing.
  • Award the winner. 

This activity can be as short and challenging as you want. Also, if your presentation is long, you can play multiple rounds to break up your speaking time and test your audience throughout your discussion.  

how can online learning be fun presentation

9. Controversial Questions 

Want to see where your audience, students, or team lands on controversial topics? Then, energize your presentation with a fun, creative game called Controversial Questions. This activity has prompts that inspire lively debates, so it's a great way to get your group excited and chatty. 

However, to maintain a positive environment, make sure to find a tool that offers an office-friendly, classroom-friendly, and conference-friendly game. You don't want to sour the mood by creating uncomfortable division during your presentation. To make sure this game is fun and light-hearted, here's a popular one that's suitable for all audiences and ages: 

  • Sign up for a free account by inputting an email address and password here:  https://slideswith.com/pricing  
  • Click the game and press the button that says, "Copy and use this deck." 
  • Press "Start Event" (the button is in the top right corner). 
  • Have participants join the fun by asking them to scan the QR code with their mobile devices. 
  • Get controversial and play! 

This interactive game for presentations asks fun (but appropriate) questions like:

  • Does pineapple belong on pizza?
  • Does the person flying in the middle seat get both armrests?
  • Should the toilet roll go over or under? 

Players should use their mobile devices to submit answers. Up to ten people can play for free, and you can customize the game by updating the questions!

10. Word of the Day 

With this activity, you can keep your audience, team, or students engaged throughout your entire presentation. This  game requires listeners to be alert and recognize whenever you say the word of the day. 

Here's how to play: At the beginning of your presentation, tell your group the word of the day (it can also be a phrase if you'd prefer). Say that you'll weave the word into your presentation and that your audience must shout it out whenever you mention it. 

11. Mini Activity: Group Icebreaker

Whether you're doing an in-person or virtual presentation, you need to warm up your audience to get things started on a positive note. The best way to do that is with a quick icebreaker game. 

However, make sure your questions are fun, positive, and engaging. You can easily do this by finding a game that already has the best icebreaker questions included. Here's one that's ready to play (and requiring no tech skills to launch): 

  • Input an email address and password to make a free account here: https://slideswith.com/  
  • Click the deck and copy it (press "Copy and use this deck). 
  • Click the button in the top right corner that says "Start Event."
  • Invite participants to play by asking them to scan the QR code. 
  • Break the ice to warm up your audience!

Your group should use their mobile devices to submit responses to poll questions. Also, this game accommodates up to 250 players, but only ten people can join for free.

12. Process of Elimination 

This activity is one of the best games for presentations because it's simple yet fun and great at helping listeners get to know each other. You can play it at the beginning of your presentation or in the middle to give your group a chance to stretch their legs. 

  • Before your event, create a list of "yes or no" questions. 
  • Once you're ready to play, tell your group to stand up (if you're doing a virtual presentation, make sure everyone's video is on). 
  • Ask each question one by one. 
  • Tell attendees to stand if their answer is "yes" and sit if their answer is "no." 

The questions can relate to your topic or be totally random. Also, if you'd prefer to thin out the number of people standing, you can take a creative twist and ask your questions by saying something like this: "Stay standing if (insert scenario)." When phrasing each question this way, the game will end with one person standing. To acknowledge the winner, you can give them a round of applause or award them a prize. 

13. Conference Opener Icebreaker 

If you're speaking at a big conference, you need an interactive game for presentations that can get everyone involved and ensure every voice is heard. To achieve these goals, you should create an icebreaker game that works for large groups . 

Using an easy, intuitive template is the best step to take. That way, you don't have to start from scratch or spend hours making your game. For a template that requires no code or tech-savviness to build on, here's the best option: 

  • Sign up by making a free account here: https://slideswith.com/  
  • Click on the game. On the next page, click the button to copy and use the deck. 
  • Customize the template using the instructions HERE . 
  • During your presentation, press "Start Event" in the top right corner. 
  • Ask the group to use their mobile devices to scan the QR code and join the fun. (Also, make sure participants use their mobile devices to submit answers.) 
  • Play and engage your audience!  

This template has fun, interactive features built in to keep your large audience engaged. Those features include polls, word clouds, and ratings. Just make sure you sign up for a paid plan to accommodate the large number of people in your group—the free account only works for up to ten players. 

14. Two Truths and a Lie 

This classic game is a fun, energizing way to help your listeners get to know one another. It's perfect for small in-person or virtual groups and is an ideal activity for the beginning of your presentation. 

Here's how to play: Pick any topic (for the purposes of this article, the topic will be "movies"). In no particular order, say two movies you've really watched and one you haven't watched. Ask your audience to guess which statement is the lie. The winner picks the next topic and says two truths and a lie. 

Be Memorable With Presentation Games

Oftentimes, people forget presentations within a week or even days, and that's because the discussions are boring. But you don't work hard preparing a presentation for it to be forgotten. If you want your message to stick, all you have to do is make it enjoyable without being corny.  

If you want to be remembered and actually get people engaged, you need to make your presentation fun and enjoyable, without coming off as corny or desperate to please. Ivan Dimitrijevic, 10 Secrets of Making Every Presentation Fun, Engaging, and Enjoyable

Luckily, the interactive presentation games in this article are unique and exciting—they're far from corny. So, use them for your upcoming presentations to make your messages compelling and memorable. 

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11 Creative Methods for Crafting Interactive Presentations

how can online learning be fun presentation

Table of Contents

how can online learning be fun presentation

Microsoft PowerPoint is the quintessential presentation software that has set the standard for creating visual aids for speeches, lectures, and meetings. With tons of templates, themes, and tools, it allows you to create interactive presentation slides that grab an audience’s attention.

PowerPoint offers a rich feature set, including text formatting, animations, transitions, and multimedia integration, so you can make both straightforward and sophisticated presentations. 

It’s used across various sectors — educational, corporate, and more — because it’s reliable, compatible with numerous devices, and remains a go-to software for professionals who want a tried-and-true solution to get their point across.

Also read →   How to Create an Interactive PowerPoint Presentation

2. iSpring Suite

iSpring Suite authoring tool

iSpring Suite is a powerful tool designed for creating engaging presentations, especially for eLearning and corporate training. As it integrates seamlessly with PowerPoint, it enables you to transform conventional slides into dynamic online learning experiences with quizzes, role-plays, screen recordings, and interactions. 

Its responsive design ensures presentations are accessible across various devices. Besides, you can save them as SCORM and xAPI packages to upload to a learning management system (LMS) and track learner progress and results with ease. 

iSpring Suite is extremely easy to use, and with all its awesome features, it’s a must-have for anyone who wants to create immersive content for teaching and training.

how can online learning be fun presentation

Prezi is an online presentation tool that breaks away from the traditional slide-based format. It offers a dynamic platform for storytelling and information sharing. 

With Prezi, you can create non-linear presentations on an endless canvas that allows you to zoom in to and out from details and move around freely. This approach keeps your audience engaged and makes the entire experience more interactive and memorable. 

With its user-friendly interface, wide range of templates, and the ability to collaborate in real time, Prezi is a popular choice among professionals, educators, and students who want to go beyond static slides.

Visme

Visme is another online tool designed for creating presentations, infographics, and other visual content. Offering a wide range of customizable templates, graphics, and data visualization tools, it stands out with its emphasis on design and ease of use.

It’s Visme’s collaborative capabilities allow teams to work together seamlessly that makes it a good choice for businesses and marketers who want to transmit complex ideas in a more appealing format. 

With its comprehensive suite of design tools, Visme is a great alternative to traditional presentation software that empowers users to bring their ideas to life in a visually compelling manner.

5. SlideDog

SlideDog

SlideDog is a unique presentation tool that stands out for its ability to mix and match all kinds of multimedia and presentation styles within a single interface. Unlike traditional presentation software that locks you into one format, SlideDog lets you combine PowerPoint slides, PDFs, Prezis, web pages, video clips, and even live feeds in a single presentation.

The tool is easy to use with its drag-and-drop interface and has neat features like live sharing, audience engagement tools, and remote control via smartphone. It’s a flexible and innovative solution for anyone looking to bring some energy and interaction to their sessions without being limited to a single platform or format.

To learn about other tools that are available on the market, read this article on the best interactive presentation software .

How to Create an Interactive Presentation with iSpring Suite in 5 Easy Steps

As mentioned, iSpring Suite is a powerful tool for crafting presentations that captivate and involve your audience. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to unleash the full potential of this tool and make presentations interactive. 

Step 1. Install iSpring Suite

First, you’ll need to have iSpring Suite installed on your computer. It works as an add-in to PowerPoint, so make sure you have PowerPoint installed as well. Once installed, open PowerPoint, and you’ll see the iSpring Suite tab added to your ribbon, signaling that you’re ready to start.

iSpring Suite tab in PowerPoint

Step 4. Narrate your slides

A voice-over is a great way to guide your audience through the content and ensure they’re following along. With iSpring Suite, you can record audio narration for each slide, adding a personal touch and making your interactive slideshow more engaging. 

Or you can use a built-in text-to-speech tool that allows you to generate a natural sounding voice-over without a narrator. Just choose a language and voice, add text, and your narration is ready!

Text-to-Speech functionality in iSpring Suite

Content creator:

Helen Colman

She enjoys combining in-depth research with expert knowledge of the industry. If you have eLearning insights that you’d like to share, please get in touch .

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Interactive Presentation Ideas to Engage Your Audience in 2024

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9 Ideas For Making Virtual Learning Joyful and Fun

Finding the delight in remote learning.

Four separate images of online classroom meetings.

No one wants to see our kids sitting in front of a computer screen all day. In the classroom, we make learning fun using stations, hands-on learning, and small group work. There are opportunities to connect, laugh, and play. So, how can we make virtual learning joyful and fun? We were inspired by teachers across the web who are finding creative ways to do just that.

1. Scavenger Hunts

So much fun having a scavenger hunt in our class meeting today. This one was find something you can put on your head? A clothes basket? I guess so! We had some good laughs today! @GordonPrincipal @GORDONElemAP @ccpsGORDONElem pic.twitter.com/Qhzfph5raF — Amy Blaylock (@AmyBlaylock7) May 22, 2020

We love how Amy Blaylock challenged her kids to find something to put on their head during her virtual class meeting (extra creativity points to the kid who used a laundry basket!) The bright smiles on their faces are proof that virtual learning can be fun and full of laughs. Check out our list of scavenger hunt ideas for inspiration.

2. Theme Days

Day 7: Make Online Learning Fun Challenge It really helps if you have themed days for what color or even what shirt 👚 you will wear. (Parents/ This is helpful for kids, too!) ADVERTISEMENT There are so many pieces when… https://t.co/Dr3HKrukla — Gahmya (@gahmyateacher) August 31, 2020

Gaymya Drummond-Bey is running a Make Online Learning Fun Challenge on Instagram. She suggests planning theme days where the class wears the same color (school colors could be fun!). Here are more ideas for virtual theme days.

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3. Mix It Up

PreK can do "virtually" anything! @mhighbces @BCESMustangCity @FCPSchoolsTN pic.twitter.com/vmYpc6yXUn — Joni (@JoniRoni01) September 1, 2020

It’s a best practice to give kids multiple ways to learn a skill. We love how this student uses toys he has at home to learn, and the reminder that our kids can “virtually do anything.”

4. Hand Signals

My 2nd grade heroes are working so hard in Remote Learning! 💜🤗📚💜 #TeamSISD #PHEheroes pic.twitter.com/94iOWX57KQ — Ana Crawford (@acrawford_PHES) August 31, 2020

How cute are Anna Crawford’s second graders? We love how they end virtual meetings by making a heart with their hands. We use hand signals so our kids can share what they are thinking and feeling non-verbally. It’s hard to “read the room” when you are teaching virtually, and seeing each other on a screen can feel isolating. Using hand signals makes virtual learning more fun and interactive. 

5. Hands-on Learning

We had so much fun learning different ways to make 10 this week! 🔴🟡 Even though we are virtual, we can still be hands on 🤚🏼✋🏼 @BlazerWhite2 @Jamie_Staats @BolinElementary @Allen_ISD pic.twitter.com/C4NqPgWU6N — 1st Grade Blazers (@Bolin1stGrade) August 21, 2020

The first graders at Bolin Elementary are learning many different ways to make ten. Kids are learning virtually, but their teacher is also finding creative ways to help them interact with materials they have at home. Learning virtually is more fun when kids have hands-on opportunities to learn. We love using materials kids have at home like dice , LEGO bricks , and decks of cards . 

6. Bitmojis!

Easton’s Pre-K teachers @mhighbces and @JoniRoni01 are so creative and are making this online learning adventure so much fun! @BCESMustangCity #positionalwords #prekfun pic.twitter.com/eWTkbWns1A — Melissa Jones (@MrsMelissaPK) August 25, 2020

There’s a reason Bitmoji classrooms and stickers are so popular this year. Kids love them, and they make virtual learning more fun and interactive. Creating virtual scavenger hunts, field trips, and libraries are just some of the ways teachers are using Bitmojis to make virtual learning more fun. 

7. Play Games

Pulling out an old school game of memory. My Kg1’s loved it for Thursday fun #online -learning#oldschool ⁦ @DAAElementary ⁩ pic.twitter.com/4aN9uzNGir — Clare Hibbard (@ClareHibbard) May 14, 2020

There are a lot of online tools for playing games, but sometimes keeping it simple is the way to go. Our kids are adjusting to so many changes. “Unplugged Learning” gives them a chance to step away from the screen and playing games that students know and love (like Memory) is familiar and fun. 

8. Use Humor

Online learning can be intimidating. I love making fun introductions that make assignments more approachable for my students. #coltsdeserveit #AldineAtHome #AldineAnywhere #AldineMS_AISD @clynvan1 pic.twitter.com/5wMAE4LLU8 — AMSthespians (@amsthespians) September 2, 2020

Online learning can be intimidating! Lower the stakes and use humor. We love her expressions and how she’s created introductions to the content that make it fun and interactive. Check out our humor section for more inspiration!

9. Brain Breaks

Lesson planning for a 80-min online session is stretching my teacher brain to the max. Need a Brain Break! 🧠😴 How many breaks do you usually give your students? Find my template here ➡️ https://t.co/QnYr1rVLmb #BetterTogether #WeCanDoHardThings pic.twitter.com/wctaLb0r54 — Esther Park (@MrsParkShine) August 31, 2020

Esther Park reminds us that we need screen breaks to make virtual learning sustainable and more fun. Modeling self-care for our kids is so important right now. We love how she gives her kids choices. They can rock out to Go Noodle, stretch, rest, or close their eyes. Find more ideas for brain breaks here.

How are you making virtual learning more fun? Share on our WeAreTeachers HELPLINE  Facebook group.

Plus, 10 Ideas For Using Virtual Breakout Rooms During Distance Learning

9 Ideas For Making Virtual Learning Joyful and Fun

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From YouTube to your school

Anna Fiorentino

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Research shows online STEM demonstrations can be as effective as classroom teaching

YouTube has become the go-to for quick tutorials on almost any topic, from how to replace a zipper to how to install a water heater. But could some of the most memorable parts of a STEM course — live demonstrations — be brought to the screen effectively? In a new paper, Harvard researchers show for the first time that research-based online STEM demonstrations not only can teach students more, but can be just as enjoyable.

Researchers hope these findings will help spur the creation of a catalogue of free online STEM video demonstrations to supplement lectures at institutions that cannot conduct their own. “We have an incredible group of scientists who present live demos for our students, but very few schools have these dedicated resources,” said co-author Logan McCarty , director of science education in the Department of Physics, who oversees Harvard’s Lecture Demonstration team . “With YouTube and other online channels, we can share Harvard’s technical and pedagogical expertise with the world.”

The research was based on previous literature by Kelly Miller , a lecturer in applied physics and co-author with McCarty. The previous article, published in 2013 by Miller and Eric Mazur, Balkanski Professor of Physics and Applied Physics, showed that students often misunderstand lecture demonstrations. They turned to science demos after hearing time and again that they are students’ favorite part of the lecture. After all, who could forget a ball levitating on a sound wave or a laser bending into a tank of water?

“Our research suggests that when live demos are unavailable, videos can provide students with an equally effective — or possibly even more effective — learning experience,” said co-author Louis Deslauriers , director of science teaching and learning in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. “Even when live demonstrations are available, it may be helpful to supplement them with high-quality videos.”

Their paper in the February issue of Physical Review, Physics Education Research was spun into motion by first author Greg Kestin , a preceptor in physics who produces a series with NOVA called “What the Physics?!”

A sample of one of the video demonstrations shown to physics students. “Shoot the Monkey” illustrates gravitational acceleration by releasing a suspended stuffed animal while simultaneously shooting it with a cannon ball. The goal: to determine where to aim in order to hit the falling monkey.  Video by Greg Kestin.

“There was already a rich array of findings about how to bring multimedia into education to increase student learning and motivation,” said Deslauriers. “What Greg brings which no one else has is a unique combination of expertise in physics, video production, and cognitive psychology of multimedia presentations.”

The investigators identified several ingredients in improving learning through online demonstrations. A number of these advantages relied on the filmmaker’s ability to set the demonstrations in slow motion, the use of graphics to visualize abstract concepts, and the ability to direct attention to the most important features to prevent information overload.

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Helping teachers learn

For the study, they split an introductory physics class into two groups. The first watched a video of a short science demonstration in a classroom setting, while the other group saw the experiment live in the same classroom. They then flipped the groups and performed a second demonstration to reduce bias. Although the demos were virtually identical, the group who first saw the live presentation watched gestures, blackboard illustrations, and physical props, such as large wooden arrows, while the group who viewed video demos followed superimposed graphics, slow-motion video, and animations. In the end, students from both groups who watched the online video scored higher on tests on the material presented, without any reported decrease in enthusiasm.

“Students don’t always know where to focus their attention in live demonstrations, even with a chalkboard and props, but in a video format we can highlight and zoom in on particular parts by setting narration at just the right moment to reinforce learning. A video can also present contrasting cases, which is known as a potent learning tool,” said Deslauriers.

“Lecture demos have been a core component of STEM courses for over 100 years, but not every school has the resources for them,” said Kestin. “We wanted to understand how much students were learning in video demos in the hopes that with the right support we can bring the same excitement to schools everywhere.”

The paper’s co-authors also include former graduate student Kristina Callaghan , who now teaches physics and conducts science education research at the University of California, Merced.

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Learning through online presentations: STEM in 11 parts

By Peggy Ashbrook

Posted on 2018-05-27

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How does online learning through watching a webinar work for you? I am most engaged when I am able to participate in a live session where presenters might respond directly to my typed questions. But that means I have to be online at a set time so I often view the archived versions. Recorded sessions are more fun for me when I view with a colleague as we exclaim over insights, and I learn more when we discuss how the strategies might work in our programs. Program administrators support fun and effective use of webinars when they plan time for a group to view and work together.  

Slide introducing Modules 1 through 3.

  • Provide early childhood professionals with background information and research on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) learning for young children.
  • Provide evidence-based strategies to support STEM learning in varied environments, including early learning settings, homes, and community settings such as museums and libraries.

Each of the 11 part sessions of the series has hands-on work and discussion questions for participants, with supporting documents to print and use during each session.

From the first to the eleventh module you will see children using technologies (see examples on slide 1.15 in Module 4) in STEM (science, engineering, and math) learning situations. You will gather information about integrated S-T-E-M learning strategies and curriculum that other educators are developing based on research and find useful strategies for your teaching environment. Indoors, outdoors, in a library and at a museum, STEM is more than an acronym! Here are just a few of my favorite snippets from the eleven modules:

See slides 1.36-1.38 in Module 2: Creating Environments That Promote STEM Learning presented by Cindy Hoisington and do the exercise of examining photos of “Science Centers” to see if they are accessible, inviting, and engaging so children will want to do sustained work with the materials.

Slide introducing Modules 4 through 6.

The importance of family engagement is addressed in Module 9, presented by Claudia Haines: “Parents and caregivers, their children’s first teachers, are a vital part of children’s lives, regardless of their race, background, socio-economic status. Children are more confident and successful learners when parents and caregivers are involved.” Family fort night at the library is one example of a family engagement event. Growing relationships with families develop through learning about and integrating families’ and caregivers’ interests, strengths, and knowledge into their children’s learning.   Another key strategy is to educate adults. “Adult programs…are designed to give adults time to learn and play in low pressure situations without the expectation of teaching and guiding their kids at the same time.” See slide 1.20 to learn about communication tools that will help you meet families where they are.

Slide introducing Modules 7 through 9.

This set of modules is not a brief overview STEM but a thorough walk into STEM learning with activities for adult learners. There are explanations that help us understand the practices of science and engineering, like this description of a graphic design image used by a program to describe a design process: “Even though it looks like a linear process, it’s really important to note that design is really a very messy, organic, cyclical process that really must ebb and flow in order to be successful.” Paige Gordon, Module 11: STEM and Design Thinking in the Preschool Classroom.

Find your webinar buddy to watch and do the activities together, or use the Facilitator Toolkit to present these sessions for your program. Already a “STEM” expert? Download the resources to expand your own. Then visit the NSTA Learning Center and search for “STEM” in the elementary resources, and check “Type/Format” to find additional online learning presentations such as, “ STEM Starts Early: Guidance and support from the NSTA Early Childhood Science Education Position Statement,” a 90-minute webinar archived from April 15, 2015.  And add resources you find helpful in a comment below!

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Learning While Having Fun!

Learning while having fun presentation, free google slides theme and powerpoint template.

What has just happened? Someone listened to one of our unofficial mottos: learning can be fun! This editable template, which comes full of colorful 3D shapes, has a self-explanatory title. Show everyone that children can learn while having fun! Besides customizable slides, text and elements, we've also included some ready-made exercises and activities.

Features of this template

  • 100% editable and easy to modify
  • Different slides to impress your audience
  • Contains easy-to-edit graphics such as graphs, maps, tables, timelines and mockups
  • Includes 500+ icons and Flaticon’s extension for customizing your slides
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    7. Humor - Adding a little levity, when appropriate, is a great way to bring fun into your presentation. When our content writers are writing keynotes, they'll often take a "levity pass" to see if there's opportunity to bring in some humor and bring out the personalities of the leaders they are writing for. 8.

  20. Online demos can be as effective as classroom teaching

    Online demos can be as effective as classroom teaching — Harvard Gazette. A "discharging capacitor" demo performed in Physical Sciences 3, taught by Louis Deslauriers. In this demonstration a bank of capacitors are discharged through a thin piano wire causing a powerful explosion. Photo courtesy of the Department of Physics.

  21. Learning through online presentations: STEM in 11 parts

    This introductory session will define STEM and the way in which young children learn the concepts and practices of science, technology, engineering and mathematics through an integrated approach. The presentation will describe academic vs intellectual learning and how STEM both builds and uses higher order thinking for concept development.

  22. What can you do to make learning fun and engaging?

    Give a student individual time to think, let them pair up and discuss with a partner, and then have them share ideas with the entire class. You can assign partners or simply let students choose a learning buddy. You can also encourage students to change partners often. Set a timer and let them work with a person for two minutes.

  23. Learning While Having Fun!

    Someone listened to one of our unofficial mottos: learning can be fun! This editable template, which comes full of colorful 3D shapes, has a self-explanatory title. Show everyone that children can learn while having fun! Besides customizable slides, text and elements, we've also included some ready-made exercises and activities.

  24. Three presidents and one mission: Beat Trump

    Joe Biden, Barack Obama and Bill Clinton. Sometimes when a president needs a hand, only another president - or another two - will do. President Joe Biden's bid for a second term and ...