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Getting students to create a collaborative slideshow presentation

There are many tools we can use to create collaborative slides, such as Google Slides and PowerPoint. These tools allow us to create slide presentations and share them with others, who can view and also edit and co-create content. This co-creation of content can be a powerful way to get students to communicate better in a variety of ways, since they need to negotiate, debate, and discuss not only the content of the presentations, but also the flow of work and who is responsible for each stage of the production, from drafting to research, from creating a voice-over to designing a beautiful slide.

Getting learners to work on presentations will also create evidence of learning that can be used as part of their assessment. If you are working with teenagers, these presentations can also be showcased to their families as evidence of their progress, which is something they love!

Activity: Creating a slideshow presentation
Level: Intermediate to advanced
Material: Google Slides or some other slideshow tool


  1. This activity is quite open in the sense that the content is up to you. You can decide to use it as a one-off event or as a term-long project. Choose one or more topics you think your students will be interested in from the course syllabus and get them to discuss them.
  2. Introduce the idea of a presentation and ask students to work in groups. Ask them to decide who is responsible for each stage of the presentation: research, drafting, editing, etc.
  3. Ask students to decide on the format of their presentation: they can create a booklet using the slides, they can record a voice-over and create a mini-documentary, or they can present it live to the whole group.
  4. Set some milestones to follow up on the progress of their work. This will help them keep track of time and create a sense of progress. This is especially useful if you decide that the project is an end-of-semester presentation, for example.
  5. Set a deadline for their presentations. While one group is presenting, encourage the other groups to ask questions and make comments about the content of their peers’ work.
  6. Give feedback on the content of their presentations and on how well they organized the production of the presentation, including non-linguistic features of the work.

While this activity itself is quite simple, it’s also a blank canvas that can be used to showcase your learners’ creativity, especially if they are given a good deal of autonomy and are allowed to choose a topic they are interested in. Assigning different roles to different students is also quite interesting because it acknowledges the fact that people have different abilities but that these different abilities can be combined, and they can work towards a common goal. The development of language is not the presentation itself, but rather the process of production of the presentation.

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