Creating Instructional Tutorials Using Powtoons

 

It is a process for creating quality instructional tutorials for flipping grammar in the classroom. I personally like Powtoon because it allows me the ability to easily use animation for teaching the parts of the sentence as well as showing how the parts of speech function in the context of sentences. Powtoon is a free site, but I have chosen to pay for the Pro version so that I can hide the watermark as well as have the option of downloading my video so that I can upload it into my class Learning Management System. With Powtoon, I can choose my own avatar, and I can upload my own voice recording that explicitly teaches the skills in the way that I want.

As I begin creating my instructional tutorials, I implement some design principles and techniques for enhancing the quality of the tutorial for a deeper cognitive understanding. The following are 3 principles that I adhere to regularly:

  • Multimedia Principle where decorative and representational graphics should be used minimally.
  • Modality Principle when spoken words are needed for memory support and to avoid cognitive overload.
  • Redundancy Principle where the use of graphics with text in conjunction with audio narration that repeats the on-screen text is avoided to prevent information overload.

Steps for Creating Instructional Tutorials using Powtoon:

Writing a script is the first step to creating an instructional tutorial. Whatever skill or concept that you want to teach, you first need to put it on paper in exactly the manner in which you would teach it face-to-face. I use Google Docs for my scripts where I can copy and paste sample sentences or other images right into my Powtoon for quicker progress. Here is an example of what my script looks like on this Google Doc.

After I have my script typed, I then use Screenflow to record myself reading the script. You do not need a paid version of this program because you are only using it to record your voice. It allows you to revise and edit your recordings with ease by splitting clips to delete the parts you do not want or rerecord when you don’t like the result. Upon completion, you can then export the video where it is saved as an MP4.

Since Powtoon only allows you to upload MP3s, I use a site called Online Convert that is a free file converter. It is a quick upload of my file and easy conversion that only takes seconds. Once it’s completed, it immediately opens in my iTunes and all I do is drag it to my desktop so it can be uploaded into Powtoons.

Once I have my tutorial set up to be created, I first begin by choosing the “soundtrack” option as you can see on the image to the left. I then upload my MP3 where you see the “voice over” button on the image to the right; this replaces any existing music. After clicking on “Apply,” I am ready to begin adding my slides with animation to match my voice recording.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Having the timeline turned on allows you to add animation to match your instruction. I use a lot of circles, lines, arrows, and color to help emphasize or point out the specific parts of the instruction that I want to bring attention to. More importantly, it gives the auditory learners a chance to hear the instruction and the visual learners to see it as many times as needed as opposed to the one time delivery of face-to-face instruction in the classroom.

Some helpful hints when creating instruction tutorials:

  • keep the tutorials under 5 minutes
  • use a casual, conversational voice
  • using an avatar helps the learner to feel guided through the instruction
  • don’t use music along with an instructional voice, for it takes away from deeper cognitive learning

Here is a sample tutorial to show you the end product:

 

Here are more tutorials like the one shown above.

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Kim Pruitt

Post author: Kim Pruitt

I am currently a 5th grade ELA teacher at Presbyterian Day School implementing technology for a blended learning environment. I received an Elementary Education Degree at Mississippi College and my Masters in Instructional Design and Technology at the University of Memphis. I have attended Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Project Zero and I use thinking routines through digital writing, collaboration, and reflection to develop deeper cognitive learning.

2 thoughts on “Creating Instructional Tutorials Using Powtoons

  1. Kim Pruitt

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