Integrating Technology in the Second Language Classroom

Jean LeLoup & Bob Ponterio 
SUNY Cortland 
© 2010

Interactive Text Animation in PowerPoint 2007

Getting started

In another lesson we used hyperlinking between slides to provide interaction. Here we want to do all of our animation inside of a single slide.

First decide on an interactive task. We will play a song and ask the student to identify the group that is singing.

Initially, the choices will be visible, but the answer or the "No" feedback will fly in only when the appropriate action button is clicked.

Plan out where everything should be located. Question, answer, feedback. This is basically what you would put in a storyboard, so it includes all of the objects in the slide (buttons, text, sound, and what they will do).

Get started

Insert a new slide using the Layout that you prefer (Home / New Slide). We'll ask a question and provide a cue to get the student started in the answer. This will also give us a place to put the correct answer when the student finds the answer.


Next we'll insert our three blank Action Buttons using Insert / Shapes / Action Buttons and then selecting the blank Custom button. We can right-click on these buttons and use Edit Text (or just double-click and type) to place the names of the three bands on the buttons. Choose good colors for your buttons and slide background.

Now for the complicated part!

We now need to set up our feedback text boxes and then associate them with the correct button and select the approbate action.

To make an animation within the PowerPoint slide, we first need something to animate. We could use text, images, or anything on the page. Use Insert / Text Box to make the three text boxes for the correct answer and the two wrong answers. Format the text using text size, color, bold, etc. Whatever you think is best. Then move the three text boxes to their final positions.

Now, we need to set up the animation for these three text boxes. We will make them fly in from the right of the screen to avoid making them pass over any other text (generally an ugly distraction to be avoided).

Display the Custom Animation task pane in PowerPoint. You can do this by selecting Animations / Custom Animation.

Next, select the text box that you wish to animate. We'll start with the Mecano! text box.

In the Custom Animation task pane, select Add Effect. Use Entrance / Fly In. Change From Bottom to From Right. Of course, if you prefer, you can use a different effect.

Now we will link this effect to the appropriate Action Button. The default trigger for the new effect is Start: On Click. The only other options under Start are With Previous and After Previous, but we can find more options by selecting the Mecano text box drop-down box (see the image to the right). The drop-down box gives access to additional Effect Options and Timing options.

By selecting Trigger, we see that the default trigger is set for the Fly In Effect. The animation will occur in the normal, linear sequence of clicks on the slide.

To change this click sequence, we will open the Triggers. This gives us two additional options, Animate as part of click sequence or Start effect in click of. A drop down box gives is a list of objects on the page that can be clicked. Here we can select the Action Button that corresponds to the Mecano answer.

Do the same thing for the two other feedback Text Boxes and their corresponding Action Buttons.

If you wish, you can take it up a notch by adding additional effects that will take place in sequence with the three main feedback effects that are started when the student clicks on each of those three buttons. As we see in the Custom Animation window to the right, for each of the three Animation Triggers, we now have a series of effects.

First we added a clip-art smiley to the Mecano button trigger. We set this to start after previous so it will appear right after the correct answer flies in. We positioned this new effect chronologically in the sequence of effects right after the Mecano shape Fly In effect by using the Re-Order buttons at the bottom of the Custom Animation window.

This will let you position an effect with the correct trigger and order the effects under each trigger.

Next we added a Fly Out effect to one of the No feedback effects. We positioned them right after their associated Fly In effect, set them to Start After Previous, and gave them a Delay of a couple of seconds.

You can use multiple effects triggered by student input to make all sorts of things happen, but don't overdo it.

Finally, we need to insert the sound on the slide. We'll use Windows PCM wav format for maximum compatibility, converting the clip to mono, 22050 Hz.

It is possible to use mp3 sound format for linked files, but use wav format for embedded sounds. If the sound file is linked, a copy of the sound file must remain with the PPT file. If the sound is embedded, however, the sound is contained within the PPT presentation file.

Insert the sound from file (Insert / Sound / Sound from file). We'll make the sound play when clicked, though we could have it play automatically if we wished.

Caveat: embedded vs. linked !!!

PowerPoint can be a bit confusing when handling sound files. It will, by default, use an absolute link to a file that is larger than a set default size. When this happens, it is not easy to see whether your sound is embedded or linked. If you don't check, when you move your presentation to a different computer, the sound may no longer work. To correct this problem, first tell PowerPoint to embed larger sound files within the presentation. Double-click on a sound object. This will open the Sound Options ribbon. Now change the Max Sound Files Size to a size that is larger than your sound files. We will use 6000 KB. Note that the maximum possible is 500,000 KB.

Now when you insert your new sound object (maquillaje.wav), it will be embedded in the presentation instead of linked. Embedding sound may slow your presentation down a bit, so take the time to think about whether embedding or linking is best for your venue. And remember that mp3 files (maquillaje.mp3) are linked, not embedded.

We will also prevent an accidental click from advancing our slide or terminating our presentation by unchecking On Mouse Click under Animations / Advance Slide.

Because we have prevented background clicks from advancing the presentation, we need to add an Action Button to advance the slide explicitly.

Here is the Whoisthesinger-ppt2007.pptx file with embedded sound.


Using Sounds and Video in PowerPoint 2007 (from U of Wisc. Eau-Claire):
MS Office Online PowerPoint documents :
How to Add a Sound to a Presentation in Microsoft PowerPoint 2007 :

PowerPoint Sound Tips and Tricks from
Creating Powerpoint presentations with embedded audio files from the U. of Illinois
Use embedded and linked sound files in PowerPoint from Microsoft

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