Effective Communication Design

This week was an eye opener! I knew that it was important to create effective slides but my main focus had been on:

  1. Number of words on a slide (no more than 20)
  2. Contrasting font and background so the font could be read clearly
  3. Not too many slides
  4. Some animation (sliding in fonts etc.) to keep audience awake
  5. Only include keywords of topic on slide.

Therefore, my slides looked like the images below:


The above two slides were the end activity to an extensive Social Studies unit on ‘Conflict Among Nations’ where students had extensively researched EITHER the Vietnam War or the Korean War. Students would answer the individual summative questions based on whether their group had researched the Vietnam or Korean War.

Confusion caused by BEFORE Slides

I remember that students were confused about the following:

  1. Which questions were they supposed to do?
  2. Which questions could they skip?
  3. Where were they supposed to turn them in?
  4. Would they get extra credit if they answered questions for both wars even though they only researched one?

How to FIX the BEFORE Slides

After the learning from last week, I would correct several things.

  1. I would design the layout of the slides on paper first to make sure that the audience (Grade 8 Social Studies) and purpose (individual summative assessment after research/presentation and debate on Just War Theory and application to Korean and Vietnam War)
  2. I would have planned better to decide what key elements I wanted the students to focus on. For example, on the first slide the directions should have been on bullet points. In addition, the title did not need to be so large: the instruction points needed to be larger.
  3. In the next slide I should have EITHER separated the Vietnam War questions and Korean War Questions into separate columns or better yet separated the war questions into two different slides.
  4. As part of better planning and achieving object i.e. understanding of instructions I could have put in separation slides asking students to skip to questions for ‘their war’.
  5. The slide background should reflect their war or connect back to their debate.

Design on Paper

Designing on paper as a first step


This is the link to the redesigned 7 slides that split up the Vietnam War and Korean War questions.

  1. There are specific instructions for students asking them to skip to their relevant war (Korean or Vietnam) slide number.
  2. In addition, the introductory slides tells them how to turn in completed work.
  3. I tried to contrast the font color with the background so the questions stand out.
  4. The slides are less busy thus, hopefully, clearer.
  5. I used a theme from Slidesgo and then images from Unsplash photos and Creative Commons.

I ended up with the following changes:

For a more detailed look you can follow this link: ‘Conflict Among Nations’ Individual Assessment AFTER THE REDO

2 thoughts on “Effective Communication Design

  1. I remember this summative assignment of yours. Your revised slides look great. Instructions are clear making it easy for students to navigate through the slides. Well done !

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