Shari Carpenter’s Visual Presentation students certainly have impressed her with their most recent projects. When she asked them to make PowerPoint presentations on their favorite movies, the students put so much work and effort into the projects, Carpenter decided to allow the students to use them as final exams.
Carpenter, an Associate Computer Science Professor at Rend Lake College, heads up the Visual Presentations class, the largest part of which is spent studying and working with Microsoft PowerPoint.
Microsoft PowerPoint is a presentation program designed for the rapid production of information dissemination shows. PowerPoint works on the metaphor of slides. Each slide can contain text, images, clip art, movies, audio, graphs and tables. PowerPoint demonstrations can become more professional-looking with the introduction of transitions and other effects. Different design views and information panels allow users to rearrange slides and add lecture notes to slides.
Carpenter said she originally planned to give her students about two weeks to complete their PowerPoint movie tributes, "but they ended up doing so much work ... it just seemed to snowball into a bigger project than what I thought they would do with it."
In fact, the projects became so detailed and engaging that finding memory space to hold and run the PowerPoint shows became a challenge.
Presentations created by the students centered on the Austin Powers movie "Goldmember," "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, "Shrek," "A Walk to Remember," "50 First Dates" and "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre."
According to Carpenter, the students were required to create a presentation of eight to 10 slides including slide transitions, custom animations, pictures and recorded narratives. The presentations had to be self-running, meaning the students had to set timings on their slides to make the presentation advance without any prompting from the student.
The students also created various tables and charts, detailing such things as the movies’ casts, release dates, theater attendance figures and other statistics. Soundtracks from the films also were included in the demos.
"You have put a lot of time and effort into this project," Carpenter told the students. "You have done an awesome job."