Transforming PowerPoint into Standalone Learning Modules

Other posts in the series:

  • Creating Custom (Talking-Head) Videos with MediaSite

In this installment, we would like to show you how to turn your existing PowerPoint presentations into standalone learning modules.

(Before you start, please make sure that you have the latest versions of PowerPoint on your devices; CVM PCs should come with Office 2016, which is the latest release version.)


PowerPoint’s features differ depending on the platform. In terms of video:

  • On Mac/PC and Web, you can embed YouTube videos. Please note that embedded YouTube videos are currently not playable on PowerPoint for iPad/iPhone.
  • On Mac/PC and iPad, you can embed existing videos on your device and/or camera album.
  • On iPad only, you can directly record and embed videos using the built-in webcam.

Recording Video on Mac/PC 

Inserting Video on Mac/PC 

To insert a video that you have recorded into your slides using PowerPoint for Mac/PC, you would first go to the Insert tab, then Video –> Movie From File (Mac) / Movie on my PC (PC). Both the Mac and PC versions of PowerPoint allows you to format and edit video playback options.

Recording and Inserting Video on iPad 

On the iPad, recording and inserting a webcam video can both be done inside the PowerPoint app.

To do so, you would go to the Insert tab, then click the camera icon. The built-in camera interface will pop up, and you would switch to video mode by tapping the “VIDEO” text on the right side of the screen. (You may also need to tap the camera icon with circular arrows inside to switch to the front camera). Then tap the red record button to start recording. When you are done, tap “User Video” at the bottom right to insert the video.

Unfortunately, at this time it is not possible to adjust playback options using PowerPoint for iPad.


At this time, there is native support for recording and inserting audio narration on PowerPoint for Mac/PC only. To do so, first go to the Insert tab, then Audio –> Record Audio (MacPC).

On the iPad, you can work-around this limitation by creating a blank video with audio narration, then adjust the size of the embedded video so it’s small and out of the way, but still playable.


Add-ins bring additional functionality and content/activities types to PowerPoint. Some add-ins include polls, quizzes, and embedded websites. The ability to insert add-ins is available in PowerPoint for Mac/PC, Web, and iPad.

To insert an add-in on Mac/PC, first go to the Insert tab, then choose Store if you want to use an add-in that you have already installed, or choose My Add-Ins.

To insert an add-in on the iPad, you would also go to the Insert tab, tap the down arrow at the right end of the toolbar to collapse more options, then “Add-ins.” From there, you can choose My Add-ins to use one that you have already downloaded or See All to install additional ones.

Please note that not all add-in’s are usable or viewable on all versions of PowerPoint, and some add-in’s may require internet connectivity.  


In PowerPoint for Mac/PC, you are able to create app/web-like navigation options using the built-in linking functionalities. On the Web, you are only able to create external links.

To create a link, first select the text or the object that you would like to add the interaction to, then switch to the Insert tab, and find the Link icon. From here, you can add an external link (ex. a website), an email address, an external file (note that this does NOT embed the file inside the document), or a place in this document (MacPC).

More advanced users can find additional functionality using the Action tool (MacPC), or the Zoom tool (2016 on PC only).


Due to the limited storage quote of your Carmen courses, uploading PowerPoint presentations with embedded videos, which are likely to be large in size, may not be an ideal option, or it may not even be an optional at all. Fortunately, OSU provides two free tools that solves this situation – as a bonus, they play well together!


BuckeyeBox is OSU’s secure, unlimited online storage solution. With the implementation of Duo, BuckeyeBox now supports data classifications up to Restricted/S4, which is the highest classification at OSU, with some exceptions. Files stored on BuckeyeBox are accessible through web, PC/Web via first-party apps such as Box Sync/Drive and Box for Office (more below), as well as on mobile devices via options including the first-party Box app, the iOS Documents app, and the Office mobile apps (more below).

Files hosted in BuckeyeBox can be shared in a variety of ways: by creating sharable links, by sharing a file or folder directly with your students as viewers, or by inserting into a Carmen Module or Content Page using the Box Integration.

If you have never used BuckeyeBox, here is information to get you started.

Office 365

With Office 365 at OSU, you not only have access to the Office suite of apps on your work or personal devices (including tablets and smartphones), but also their well-featured counterparts on the web, plus additional services such as Planner, Sway, and Forms.

With the Office apps, you can not only create and edit documents stored locally on your devices, but also open, edit and save files stored on BuckeyeBox in one fluid workflow (Mac/PC via Box for OfficeMac/PC via webMobile via Box AppiOS via Office Apps).

In future updates, we also plan to talk about the ways Office 365 integrates with Carmen, including file sharing, assignment dissemination and collection, and collaborative projects.

If you have never used Office 365 at OSU, here is information to get you started.


Hopefully the information we have provided here is enough to get you started! As always, please feel free to schedule with the Office of Teaching and Learning for training and/or consultation. If you need assistance installing any of the OSU-supported technology mentioned below, please contact VIS.

Related Tools: 

  • If you are already a power user of PowerPoint for standalone learning modules, and you are look for something that provides more customizability and interactivity, you may look into a tool designed specifically for developing eLearning content called Adobe Captivate (not included in OSU’s licensing agreement with Adobe.
  • If you are looking for quickly adding some small interactive widgets within your Carmen content pages or other web pages, you may look into a web tool called H5P.

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