Adding screen tips to an image in Microsoft Word or PowerPoint

If you have a word document that contains images – there is a simple way to add an element of interactivity to it, without having to alter the appearance of the document in any way.

The basic principle is to have an image (e.g. a photo) and as the learner moves their mouse over the image – it provides a screen tip which could name or describe that part of the image. This is a very basic form of interactivity, but it is very easy to do and is a good starting point for someone if they have existing Words based resources.

This technique can be used to improve the accessibility of a resource, (in that you are providing additional information to the learning – without cluttering the screen with too much information) or to add an element of differentiation (the learner that is struggling to understand the image, can hover their mouse to get more information).

This technique is part of the JISC TechDis accessibility essential series – and can be found at http://www.jisctechdis.ac.uk/AccessibilityEssentials/2007/AE2/modules/authoring%20accessible%20docs/use%20of%20screen%20tips.html

The following video shows how to do this.

In this video, the hyperlink points to the top of the document as that is where the image was. If you are using an image part way down the document, you can either insert a bookmark next to the image to link to, or give the image a heading (and use the styles to make sure it is a heading) and link to that.

You can also use this technique in PowerPoint by just linking to the slide that you are on, as shown in this video.

Creating a ‘Gap fill’ activity within Microsoft Word 2007

Gap fill activities created within Word are relatively low level interactivities, in that they don’t give the learner feedback, and are really only good for lower order thinking skills, however they are a very simple way of converting an existing ‘static’ word document into something with an element of student engagement. These video clips have been produced using Microsoft Word 2007 – the principles are similar in other versions of Microsoft Office, but the way of doing this is actually different.

This first video shows what the output will look like.

The second video will show how we create this effect in Microsoft 2007. The techniques may be slightly different in other versions of Word (or other Word processing packages) – but the principles will be same..

If you want to take this technique further, then my suggestion would be to switch to Excel, which then gives you options of providing the learners with feedback, simple scoring mechanisms and validating their entries etc. I blogged about this previously at https://davefoord.wordpress.com/2010/05/20/using-excel-to-create-a-matching-pairs-activity/

Using Excel to create a ‘drag and drop’ activity

Regular followers of this blog, will know that I am a big fan of Excel and use it lots as a teaching and learning tool. One way that I have used it, is when creating drag and drop activities.

I think this technique is excellent – as:

  • It is very quick for me to create
  • It promotes higher order thinking skills
  • It can be printed, used on a computer, or an Interactive Whiteboard
  • You can introduce an element of self-marking, by simply giving the learners a completed example by an expert (you) for them to compare their responses to.

These 4 videos will take you through the skills that are needed to create a simple drag and drop continuum activity.

The first video is an introduction showing, what is possible

The second video shows the skills required to draw the continuum

The third video shows the skills required to create the dragable shapes

The final video shows how to finish off the activity.

The videos above although produced by myself belong to the JISC RSC SE