Integrating Technology in the Second Language Classroom

Jean LeLoup & Bob Ponterio 
SUNY Cortland 
© 2017

PowerPoint yes/no Feedback (hidden slides)

The setup

Here below we see a group of slides. The first two (slides #1 & #2) pose a question and offer possible answers. When the student clicks on an answer (either on the image or on the text), we want to jump to the slide that provides the appropriate feedback (#3 or #4): Great job! or Try again. From these feedback slides, we want to return to the correct (originating) question slide.

Of course, we never want to accidentally fall through to a feedback slide inappropriately as this would certainly confuse the student. Instead, we want to skip over those feedback slides to whatever comes next (#5).

In addition, in this case, we do not want to create separate feedback slides for each question. It is more efficient to have a single yes/no feedback group for the entire presentation. However, we could also have used separate feedback groups for each question in order to make the feedback more specific to the error.

ppt yes-no image

How do we do this?  The simple part is creating the question slides and a set of two feedback slides, as seen above.

Next we can prevent the presentation from accidentally displaying the feedback slides. PowerPoint lets us do this by hiding these slides.  Right-click on each of the two feedback slides that you want to hide and select Hide Slide.  Now you cannot just fall through to this slide. Instead a presentation will skip over them unless you jump to them specifically.

We want to have control over what the Powerpoint presentation does, so we will avoid default functions that might lead to unexpected results. One way to prevent a mouse click on the feedback slide from doing something we don't want is to use an Action Button covering the entire slide to intercept any mouse clicks.

Once the student has seen a feedback slide, we want to jump back to the original question slide. We can create an Action Button that is invisible and that covers the entire slide. Use the menu to select Insert / Shapes / Action Buttons, then draw the button covering the entire slide.

After you create the button covering the slide, you can right-click on the button and select hyperlink to open a window allowing you to change the Action Settings. If you hyperlink to "Last Slide Viewed", clicking anywhere on the screen will now take to back to whichever slide was viewed just before coming to this feedback slide, thus completing the "question-response-feedback-question" loop.

Of course, the Action Button now covers up the content of the slide, so we need to make the button invisible (transparent). Right-click on the button and select Format Shape.  Under Fill, change the transparency to 100% by dragging the slider. Voilà! an invisible button covering the whole slide!

Do the same thing for the other feedback slide as well. You can copy and paste a button from one slide to another to save time.

(Note that you could insert and modify shapes and access the Shape Fill format through the Format menu. There's more than one way to skin a cat.)

Use hidden slides and hyperlinks to provide optional, interactive information

Let's take our Victor Hugo Powerpoint from a previous lesson and add some additional interactive information about Hugo's Life.

Sample Victor Hugo Powerpoint

hugo ppt

We will insert three additional hidden slides with information about Hugo's life.

Early life

Victor Hugo grew up during the reign of Napoleon (until Waterloo in 1815) and later during the Restoration of the French monarchy (Louis XVIII & Charles X). 


Victor Hugo was a prolific writer who is well known today for his many major French novels, plays, and poems.

He was the leader of the movement called French Romanticism.

He also played an important role in French politics, mostly supporting the poor - Les Misérables - and had to live part of his life in exile.


Hugo returned to France from exile in 1970 and was welcomed as a national hero and treasure.

His 79th birthday was celebrated with a parade lasting six hours. It passed before his home where he watched from his window.

When he died at the age of 83, the entire country went into mourning

We can hide those three slides and hyperlink to them from Action Buttons on the Hugo's Life slide. Finally, we can use an invisible Action Button covering each of the hidden slides to return to the last slide viewed.

Take a look at the modified Powerpoint: New Victor Hugo Powerpoint

Creating an Interactive PowerPoint Lesson for the Classroom :

Using Invisible Buttons in a PowerPoint Slide Show :

Powerpoint 2016 - Action buttons :

How to Create an Interactive PowerPoint Elearning Module:


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