I've found that including data in courses — numbers, statistics or percentages — usually goes two ways. Either too much data is placed on the screen or there's no connection between the data and what it means to the learner.
Fortunately, there are creative projects like Xplane's Did You Know 4.0. Using hand-drawn elements combined with upbeat transitions, it's a good example of how you can present numbers in your courses. And with over 2 million views, it proves that data-rich courses can be fun.
For those who are interested in building something similar, here's a free template and design elements to get you started:
- PowerPoint template (includes emphasis graphics and textured layouts)
- Emphasis graphics
- Callout graphics
Here's what you need to know about working with the template.
The colors were created using PowerPoint’s custom Theme Colors. You can change the colors by going to Design > Colors and selecting another theme. You can also create your own custom color themes.
The emphasis graphics were all created using PowerPoint’s Freeform and Scribble tools. The drop shadows don’t need that kind of detail so I used a regular rectangle to create the shape, used Edit Points to modify the curve and added some transparency.
A subtle gradient was added to the graphics. It’s not necessary, but since the graphic was peeling up off the slide, I thought the gradient worked. To see the settings I used, select the shape and go to Fill > Gradients > More Gradients.
You might notice that some drop shadows include Soft Edges while others don’t. I can’t decide which I like best here. My instinct is to add the soft shadow for realism, but there’s something appealing about leaving the hard edges and only using transparency. Anyway, both are included. Do you like one over the other?
Open the template's Slide Masters and you'll see the some pre-defined layouts. Each layout includes a colored shape and texture-filled shape.
There are three textured shapes:
- Crumpled Paper – made using PowerPoint’s default texture
- Custom1 – simple texture I created in Photoshop and saved out as transparent .png file
- Custom2- another texture I created and saved as a transparent .png
To modify, simply change the color of the colored shape.
For a bunch of hand-drawn icons, check out the following resources in the downloads gallery:
- 132 White Hand-drawn Objects
- 54 Miscellaneous Hand-drawn Objects
- 28 Hand-drawn Boxes
- 57 Hand-drawn Black Arrows
Have fun and please feel free to share your examples in the comments.
Post written by David Anderson