Using Google Slides for group presentations

Many instructors want students in their discipline to be able to gather and organize material, perhaps for an oral presentation or for a poster. Instructors may also want to encourage group work as a preparation for future careers (and to reduce the amount of grading). You may find Google Slides to be a useful tool to use for this sort of assignment, because:

  • It’s free and FERPA safe for UCI students and faculty
  • It can be set to require student login, allowing the instructor to track student participation via Revision History
  • It can be used both in-class and at home, as long as wifi is decent
  • It runs in a browser or app on any mobile device

Consider these possible scenarios, where an instructor has assigned student groups of 4, and wants each group to produce a product.

Sample use case 1:

An instructor wants each group to fill in a slide that matches a very specific template (perhaps a pro-con table, or a list of references, or steps needed in a case study analysis). The instructor logs into Google with their UCI Google Apps account, then opens Slides (

slides 1

The instructor starts a new presentation, then creates a slide with her chosen template, and makes several duplicates of this slide within the one slide deck. She names the slides “Group 1,” “Group 2,” etc.

slides 2

She then shares the deck with everyone in the class – either by adding their emails, or by publishing the link in her EEE or Canvas web page. The settings are locked to “UCI Only,” so students must log in to access the slides.

slides 3

During class time, students sit in groups and work on their slides. At least one group member must have a laptop, but others can help organize the material or look up more resources on their devices. The instructor can walk around to each group to ask how things are going. In addition, the instructor can look at each slide on the deck on the podium computer and make sure each group is making progress.

Sample use case 2:

An instructor wants student groups to create their own independent presentations. A member of each group logs into their UCI Google Apps and creates a new slide deck. The student asks each member of their group for their UCI email, and shares the deck with them and with their instructor. The settings are locked to “UCI Only,” so students must log in to access the slides.

slides 4

After class, the instructor requires students to continue work on their presentations. Because students are logged in, the instructor can use Revision History to be sure all students participated appropriately. It is also easy for the instructor to comment on a slide before it is due, bring students back on track before they drift off topic (or use a terrible font).

Have you found a good use for Google Slides in your course you can share? Or would you like a quick info session on how to use Google Apps more effectively? Contact Adrienne at to schedule a meeting.