I have been using Google Slides increasingly for presentations, as I find it works more smoothly for public displays, although I don’t think it has all the features of PowerPoint yet. An interesting feature that I would like to explore in the academic year allows students to submit their questions to the slides via a web-enabled device. This is done via an Audience Tools area. This article discusses the use of this feature in more detail.
If you click on a question (there is no assumption that you would choose all of them), it appears as a new slide, which allows you discuss the question with the class.
I think this feature would work well also for presentations, as it gives you the option of collecting all questions and addressing them at the end of the presentation; this can be a good way of managing time. It also allows the audience members to not forget the question they wish to ask, especially if your policy is to allow questions only at the end of a presentation. It could help students who are too shy to raise their hands; on the other hand, I think we need to be careful of providing too large a safety net, as helping students manage their discomfort with public speaking is one of our roles as instructors. Below are other suggested uses highlighted by the author:
- Leave questioning open for the whole class period. In a large lecture, students who may be hesitant to raise their hand and ask a question may feel more comfortable submitting their question anonymously.
- Have students work in groups and submit questions about the material after a lecture.
- Have students share examples (anonymously or with their names) from their own experience about whatever the instructor is discussing.
- Have students, in groups or individually, create 25 word summaries and submit them via Q & A.
- Collect questions all during class, and then have students work into groups and choose a question to answer as a group.
I particularly like the last application, as it allows students to engage in more active learning.