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Presentation Software

textbook cover image
Electricity (http://www.flickr.com/photos/andrewfysh/8526727289/in/photostream/) by Andrew Fysh (http://www.flickr.com/photos/andrewfysh/) is used under a CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en_CA)

Description: An introduction to creating electronic presentations using Microsoft PowerPoint 2010

Author: ABT Collaborative

Adoption (faculty): Contact us if you are using this textbook in your course

Adaptations: Support for adapting an open textbook

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Review this book

Reviews for 'Presentation Software'

Number of reviews: 2
Average Rating: 3.15 out of 5

1. Reviewed by: Joshua Labove
  • Institution: Simon Fraser University
  • Title/Position: Teaching Assistant, Sessional Lecturer
  • Overall Rating: 3.8 out of 5
  • Date:
  • License: Creative Commons License

Q: The text covers all areas and ideas of the subject appropriately and provides an effective index and/or glossary

The text does include an index, though I did not always find it clear or intuitive. Chapter and section headings were often generic such as "overview", "practice activities", and "learning assessment". This speaks to a larger problem with the text in that it is largely a guided practice through making a PowerPoint and missed opportunities to explain any number of important considerations in making presentations for PowerPoint or through other software suites. Instead, the text lacks creativity and simply acts as a tutorial through PowerPoint, hardly going beyond material already available through the application itself or online for free.

Comprehensiveness Rating: 3 out of 5

Q: Content is accurate, error-free and unbiased

Several screenshots and graphics look and feel dated, but not inaccurate. Given the nature of technology and the comprehensiveness of materials on this subject already available, I wonder what niche or value this book serves in particular.

Given the topic, there is no bias presented and the tutorials do all work correctly. The few that I tried all worked without any errors or difficulties.

Content Accuracy Rating: 4 out of 5

Q: Content is up-to-date, but not in a way that will quickly make the text obsolete within a short period of time. The text is written and/or arranged in such a way that necessary updates will be relatively easy and straightforward to implement

As previously suggested, given the topic, screenshots and cues may quickly find themselves out of date. At present, the images are captured from an earlier Windows OS so they are not inaccurate or out-of-date, but simply not current and certainly dated. On a similar note, I would have liked to see split-screencaps or cues for both Windows and Mac environments.

Relevance Rating: 2 out of 5

Q: The text is written in lucid, accessible prose, and provides adequate context for any jargon/technical terminology used

To the text's credit, the writing here is clear--although not incredibly stimulating. While there is very little jargon, the writing and layout is very formulaic, with a series of bullet points leading to practice activities. More explanation could be provided rather than simply guiding students to click, add, type, or drag. What are these things and what ends do they serve?

Clarity Rating: 4 out of 5

Q: The text is internally consistent in terms of terminology and framework

Framework may be a bit ambitious--this book's whole goal is to get a student through making a PowerPoint from the basics to the more elaborate. It moves through these steps with excellent consistency.

Consistency Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: The text is easily and readily divisible into smaller reading sections that can be assigned at different points within the course (i.e., enormous blocks of text without subheadings should be avoided). The text should not be overly self-referential, and should be easily reorganized and realigned with various subunits of a course without presenting much disruption to the reader.

This is more challenging that it should be. The book is designed to be 'worked through' and is weakest when you try to subdivide the text in to smaller parts. For one, you discover the table of contents is too skeletal to help pull out subunits and the text is so focused on a final goal of an advanced PowerPoint the text ends up becoming self-referrential.

Modularity Rating: 2 out of 5

Q: The topics in the text are presented in a logical, clear fashion

The book is a bit thin, and I would encourage more presentation of the topics and the concepts before jumping in to practice. Still, what is presented is clear and easy to follow.

Organization Rating: 4 out of 5

Q: The text is free of significant interface issues, including navigation problems, distortion of images/charts, and any other display features that may distract or confuse the reader

I find no errors with the interface in wiki form or the website version. The floating Table of Contents in the web version is helpful.

Interface Rating: 4 out of 5

Q: The text contains no grammatical errors

I find no grammar issues.

Grammar Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: The text is not culturally insensitive or offensive in any way. It should make use of examples that are inclusive of a variety of races, ethnicities, and backgrounds

I find no references that are offensive or exclusive in any way.

Cultural Relevance Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: Are there any other comments you would like to make about this book, for example, its appropriateness in a Canadian context or specific updates you think need to be made?

As I have stated, the text is relatively modest in its goals: teach novices how to make a PowerPoint and negotiate some of the application's more advanced functions, but it hardly offers anything that is not presently available in libraries, learning commons, teaching/learning centres across Canadian research universities. While the text may have an application within a vocational/technical environment, it is likely they will find this book to cover simply the prerequisites before more advanced topics and study.

2. Reviewed by: Kevin Amboe
  • Institution: Simon Fraser University
  • Title/Position: Sessional Instructor
  • Overall Rating: 2.5 out of 5
  • Date:
  • License: Creative Commons License

Q: The text covers all areas and ideas of the subject appropriately and provides an effective index and/or glossary

The text does not include an index, or glossary. Within each unit, there are common sections such as practice assignment, and learning assessment. The textbook could be a self paced course / tutorial for students to learning the mechanics of using PowerPoint 2010.

There are several vignettes of good design; however, they are provided at introductory level only and not easily identifiable.

The Table of contents lists all topic areas covered although some unit names describe a section of the unit, not the full unit.

There are areas where greater depth would assist students in learning the software. (The Save As command is mentioned; however, when you might need to use the command is not acknowledged.)

The 7x7 rule is mentioned 11 times and not defined.

The textbook does provides minimal information on actually presenting the created presentation and does not provide information on connecting the presentation to a projector, or accessing Presenter View.

Comprehensiveness Rating: 2 out of 5

Q: Content is accurate, error-free and unbiased

The processes and mechanics of using PowerPoint 2010 are accurately described. There are some issues with viewing the textbook in different mediums. The wiki web version seemed to display the best. Trying it on several computers and with different browsers provided different experiences where the space was missing after BOLD words.

The material is straight forward and without opportunity to be biased.

There are several examples of duplication of text in multiple units. The presentation checklist is in both Unit 5 and Unit 6. P 113 is a duplicate of p 45 – 'plan, design and deliver a presentation'

Content Accuracy Rating: 3 out of 5

Q: Content is up-to-date, but not in a way that will quickly make the text obsolete within a short period of time. The text is written and/or arranged in such a way that necessary updates will be relatively easy and straightforward to implement

PowerPoint 2010 is already out of date. PowerPoint 2013 is available and has greater consistency across platforms.

This text only deals with PC version and not Mac version. It would be valuable to focus on creating good presentations and move the mechanics to the practice assignments.

Chapter 4 How to project in Black and White seems disconnected as it is not common practice to present in black and white, or that projectors are not capable of colour.

There are many books on presentation style and many strong design principles. Animations and clip art were much more popular several years ago.

p 11 refers to making transparencies that is not a common practice and is essentially obsolete.

There are several references to the weekly schedule, discussions and emails from instructors. As a textbook, it should be generic and remove these personalizations.

Relevance Rating: 2 out of 5

Q: The text is written in lucid, accessible prose, and provides adequate context for any jargon/technical terminology used

The text is written in easy to understand language. Most descriptions of specific menu options are denoted in bold. There appears to be some linking and navigation of some words throughout the text; however, they do not work in all mediums.



Clarity Rating: 3 out of 5

Q: The text is internally consistent in terms of terminology and framework

The break down of the book into units is useful to group similar activities.

There are examples where terminology is not used consistently. (View Area and View Buttons refer to the same menu)

The language use between Practice Activity, Quiz, Assignment and Learning Assessment is not consistent although if students linearly completed the book, it would be self evident.

Consistency Rating: 2 out of 5

Q: The text is easily and readily divisible into smaller reading sections that can be assigned at different points within the course (i.e., enormous blocks of text without subheadings should be avoided). The text should not be overly self-referential, and should be easily reorganized and realigned with various subunits of a course without presenting much disruption to the reader.

The text is designed as a 'workbook' style textbook and intended to be worked through sequentially.

Several later practice assignments rely on previous assignments.

Modularity Rating: 2 out of 5

Q: The topics in the text are presented in a logical, clear fashion

One can follow the text sequentially; however, it may not be a logical progression of learning to create a presentation.

Section 4 refers to Viewing and Saving Presentations but also has a subsection for Printing a Presentation.

On p 26 referring to printing, provides a one line recommendation on setting the orientation (that is not part of the print window; however, it does not fully explain the print options window.)

Creating a video version is the first sub topic in Create a Web Presentation

Organization Rating: 2 out of 5

Q: The text is free of significant interface issues, including navigation problems, distortion of images/charts, and any other display features that may distract or confuse the reader

The text font is easy to read. The images are reasonable quality.
Some images are provided inline with text and others have no text beside them. Images do not have a figure name, or description allowing easy reference to specific images.

There are embedded links in the versions; however, I was only successful with one of the links provided. The inconsistency of the interaction with the text from different sources (wiki, web, PDF) may be a challenge for students.

Interface Rating: 2 out of 5

Q: The text contains no grammatical errors

There are a number of spelling errors.
The PDF and web version often do not display a space after a bolded FILE menu

P 78 typo inpidual instead of individual
P 89 typo includes – web ‘back to top’
P 89 non bold Add Animation
P 104 typo – Feedback P/Comment

There are several examples of duplication of text in multiple units. The presentation checklist is in both Unit 5 and Unit 6. P 113 is a duplicate of p 45 – 'plan, design and deliver a presentation'

Grammar Rating: 2 out of 5

Q: The text is not culturally insensitive or offensive in any way. It should make use of examples that are inclusive of a variety of races, ethnicities, and backgrounds

The text is non content based and has not cultural references or offenses.

Cultural Relevance Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: Are there any other comments you would like to make about this book, for example, its appropriateness in a Canadian context or specific updates you think need to be made?

The textbook follows a specific learning path using PowerPoint 2010. It should be updated to be a 'Designing Presentations' textbook. Move all the designing and planning aspects to the beginning of each unit, then have the specifics of creating the presentation held within the Practice Activities (including references to the help system and tutorials.)

The Practice Activities could be made generic enough to function with any version of PowerPoint or other presentation software - such as 1. Open a new presentation, 2. Choose a theme, 3. Insert a Title, 4. Insert an Image etc.

As an instructor, the textbook could be integrated for a self study / pre-requisite assignment to 'Designing Presentations'

A section in each unit could be written from the perspective of 'Expert Advice' that provides the why of learning each set of skills and where they would be useful.