Using Multimedia Strategically

Students discuss good and bad presentations and read tips for avoiding multimedia mistakes. Then, they revise one of their own presentations by adding or changing a multimedia element.


S&L5: Make strategic use of digital media and visual displays of data to express information and enhance understanding of presentations.


Estimated timeframe:

Activity steps

  1. Note: In order to complete this activity, students must have already created a multimedia presentation. See Workplace Safety Presentations and Career Exploration and Workplace Safety Presentations for examples of multimedia creation; this activity could build on one of those or on another prior assignment.
  2. Ask students to form small groups and discuss what makes a presentation good or bad. They can think about the best and worst presentations they have seen. They can consider classes, websites, job training, commercials, and other types of presentation. Ask students to record their discussion using a T-chart for “good” and “bad” presentation characteristics.
  3. Have students read “opens in a new window How to Design a Bad Presentation: Ways to Misuse Visuals, Text, and Animation in a PowerPoint Presentation”: (For Level C students, you may want to simplify the text, assign only sections, read the text aloud as a whole group, or summarize the tips.) Briefly discuss:
    • How do the tips from GuideStar compare to students’ own “good” and “bad” lists?
    • Were they surprised by anything in the GuideStar article?
    Connect the discussion to the Visuals and Multimedia section of the opens in a new window for Presentations.
  4. Review copyright and fair use, and provide examples of ways students can search for images, music, and video that is in the public domain or shareable under a Creative Commons license. Use GCFLearnFree’s tutorial as a reference: opens in a new window
  5. Finally, ask students to review their own completed presentation and revise it by adding at least one additional multimedia element or changing at least one existing multimedia element to make the presentation more effective. (For level E, make sure students are working at the appropriate level of complexity. Level E students may want to work on revising presentations that are presenting persuasive arguments or focus on the effective use of opens in a new window charts and info graphics to communicate supporting data.)
  6. Provide feedback to students using the Visuals and Multimedia criterion of the opens in a new window Rubric for Presentations. You can respond or ask them to write, collect the explain, and pass out feedback at a later class session. Alternately and if time permits, student can review each other’s work using the rubric.

Workforce readiness skills

Workplace Safety Presentations
Career Exploration and Workplace Safety Presentations
opens in a new window Rubric for Presentations

opens in a new window External Resources
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