Monday, May 16, 2016

Google Slides Q & A - Collect audience questions

Google Slides is a very good free presentation tool.  It is particularly good if you want to:

  1. Collaborate with multiple presenters to build a slide deck
  2. Present to a worldwide audience via Google Hangout
  3. Present from a mobile device like a smartphone
And now Slides has added a new feature that makes it incredibly useful for almost any presentation setting.  Slides now can allow for collection of questions during a presentation. You can read more about this feature here, or watch the following video:

The steps are pretty straightforward:
  1. Create/upload a presentation (you can upload a PowerPoint presentation and it will be converted to Slides format 
  2. At presentation time, in the upper right corner use the drop down next to "Present" and select "Use new audience Q & A.."
  3. Click start new 
  4. The URL for the Q & A page will be displayed on your slide.
  5. Users can enter questions (anonymously or not)
  6. They can vote others' questions up or down
  7. You can see the most popular questions and answer them during or at the end of the presentation
This is a great tool to engage your audience and make your teaching more student-centered.

I recently used this tool for the first time at a keynote I was delivering at the Massachusetts General Hospital ECOTE 16 education symposium.  While using this feature was easy, I had a slight wrinkle.  I like PowerPoint due to the granular control on graphics, animations and transitions and also I present using a Surface Pro that lets me write on the slides as I present.  I did not want to give up on this functionality.  

So I ran Google Slides in the background!  I went through the present >> use audience Q/A steps, >> grabbed the URL for submitting questions and pasted this on my intro slide in PowerPoint.

It went like a charm.  I got the best of both worlds -- PowerPoint on a Surface Pro and Google Slides in the background to collect questions!  I was able to answer some of the most popular questions before running out of time.  But I was able to review all the questions that got asked which helps me prepare for a similar talk I might give in the future.

Here is a list of all the questions which I was able to get from the "tools" menu in Google Slides.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016