Systems of Support Supporting Educator Excellence through Technology and Strategy

Using PowerPoint to Create Guided Notes

This post is meant to piggyback on our last two posts, so if you have read my post on finding copyright free images, or Jason G’s post last week on using guided notes, you may want to start there. You will find that we recommend replacing text heavy PowerPoint slides with visually engaging slides and using guided notes. Guided notes help to ensure students capture the most important information accurately and that they are paying attention during lectures (by having them fill in the blanks).

If you have a 32 slide presentation that you use during your lecture it may be a little overwhelming to think about replacing all the content with images and then creating guided notes to accompany it. The purpose of this post is to make the process as efficient as possible.

To being with, instead of going all in and redoing every slide deck you possess, I recommend taking things one presentation at a time. You will likely find that once you remove text you will have far fewer slides, which makes finding images less difficult.

PowerPoint also helps to make the guided notes creation process a little easier. Take the following slide as an example.

Image of PowerPoint Slide

As you can see it consists of the typical title followed by several lines of text. You may find that you have several of these slides. Before you begin deleting text and replacing with images be sure to first save your PowerPoint as an Outline/RTF (file – save as – Outline/RTF). This will put the content from all of your slides in a Microsoft Word Document. It keeps the formatting, so be prepared to find text ranging from size 20 – 80 font in your document (see image below).

Image of slide exported to outline

Next, select all text (ctrl + a on a PC) and change to a normal font size and style. Then simply begin removing words or sentences to create your short form or long form guided notes (short and long form guided notes were discussed in last week’s post).

Image of guided notes page

That’s it! Hopefully this will make creating guided notes a little simpler if you have several text heavy slides that you need to replace.


About Jason Carroll

Jason has trained thousands on Assistive Technology and Universal Design for Learning concepts throughout the United States and beyond. His focus is on integrating research based practices into the work he does and helping others ensure that what they are doing works. He specializes in assisting people to bridge the gap between operation of technology and actual implementation. Jason is a published author, has taught Instructional Technology and Universal Design for Learning at the University level, and spends a significant amount of time on e-Learning and blended learning initiatives. He is a graduate of the Assistive Technology Applications Certificate Program (ATACP) from California State University at Northridge and holds a Masters in Business Administration. Currently Jason serves as Product Marketing Manager for North America at Texthelp Inc. where he oversees new product launches and speaks nationally on a variety of Assistive Technology topics.

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