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Queen's University

Centre for Teaching and Learning

Presentation Tools

What is a presentation tool?

Presentation tools are used to enhance lectures, seminars, or other presentations. Some presentation tools, such as PowerPoint, Smart boards and Mind Maps may be used to add visual content to a presentation. Other tools, such as Clickers, allows for engagement between the audience and presenter during presentation. Overall, presentation tools aid a presenter in organizing and expressing their thoughts and engaging with their audience.

Presentation Tools @ Queen's


PowerPoint is a Microsoft program that allows a user to design a series of slides. Slides may contain a broad range of content such as words, images, diagrams, or charts. Further, these slides can be viewed as a slideshow in presentations allowing the presenter to display their creation to the audience. Using PowerPoint allows you to add a visual expression of your content to your presentation supplementing your points and visually engaging your audience.


Smartboards are best described as in interactive whiteboard. A touch sensitive display board can connect with a computer and projector allowing for projection of and interaction with computer applications. Touching the board allows you to control the projected display the same way you would control a computer with a mouse. You can write, edit and dram both on displayed applications such as PowerPoint or Excel or on a blank white space. Finally, any alterations you make can be saved to your computer to be accessed later or distributed to your audience. Those who teach mathematics, chemistry and physics find the Smartboard especially useful for teaching detailed processes however the possibilities for use of Smartboard technology are endless.

Personal Response Units (aka Clickers)

Personal Response Units are best known for Clickers. About the size of a television remote, these small units communicate to a central unit by transmitting a radio frequency. Students purchase their own clicker and bring it to class. Professors can post questions to the class and the students may respond by clicking the appropriate buttons on their unit. Responses are collected from each student, statistics tabulated and results immediately displayed for the class to observe and discuss. Clickers allow for student input, communication with the classroom, frequent assessment and timely feedback.

Teaching Activities with Clickers

Provided in the chart below are a few examples of the many ways clickers might be used effectively in the classroom.

Activity Description
Opinion Polling Gain student opinion and all them to express their feelings. One of the most effective ways to accomplish this is to present a statement to which students may respond along a scale such as strongly disagree, disagree, agree, to strongly agree
Quizzes Test student knowledge before class begins or just after material has been presented. Presenting multiple choice questions or true and false statements are useful ways of accomplishing this. Clicker quizzes might also be effective in working through sample examination questions together before a major test.
"Best Answer" Debates A question, situation or case is presented to students with multiple options of answers – none of which are entirely correct or absolutely wrong. Students may then be asked to discuss and debate answers in small groups, then sharing their answers via clicker response.
Think-Pair-Share A question, situation or case is presented to students. Students are given a few moments to independently consider their answer. Students are then asked to pair with another or form small groups to share their thoughts with each other. Answers may be then shared via clicker response.

For more on clickers and their use in the classroom, visit:


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