Here is a YouTube video I created showing how to add audio and publish. (I forgot to include the mic check part though - sorry about that!)
Here are text instructions explaining the same thing:
1. First plug in your microphone and ensure it is working - go to Control Panel -> Sound -> Recording. You should see your mic listed - it will probably say USB device and the brand name (Plantronics, Logitech, etc). If it is the default, there will be a green check mark next to it. Ensure that the green lines move when you speak into it. If necessary, you can double click on it to increase the level or unmute it if the green lines are not moving.
2. Ok, back to PowerPoint: click the Slide Show tab.
3. Choose Record Slide Show (for some reason, the audio quality is significantly better when recorded through here).
4. You have the option to record from the beginning or from the current slide. The current slide option is helpful, because you can just redo one or multiple slides; you do not have to redo the remainder of the presentation if you choose this option.
5. On the next dialog box, leave the default boxes checked to record slide and animation timings as well as narrations and laser pointer (I have not yet explored the laser pointer, but you definitely want narrations).
6. Click Start Recording. The PowerPoint will go into full screen and will automatically start recording, so make sure your headset is all ready to go. I don't know of a way to edit these files in PPT.
7. A recording short cut menu appears on the top left of your screen. Here is a poorly annotated description of the buttons:
8. FYI, you can record your animations - just click on the slide to make them appear.
9. To end recording, you can either click the X in the short cut menu or right click and go to End Show. It takes a few seconds for it to save, so be patient. Then save your PPT. The audio is saved within the PowerPoint presentation, not as a separate file.
10. Go to the iSpring Free tab (I'm assuming you have iSpring Free installed - if not, do so here or if you are a UWEC user and do not have administrative privileges on your computer, you can download it via Run Advertised Programs - here are instructions.)
11. I always choose Publish rather than Quick Publish so I know for sure where it is saving the project - I recommend using the Projects Drive or Archive Drive to store these files.
12. Upload the .swf file to D2L to share with your students. It will have created a folder with multiple files, but all you need for D2L is the .swf. I don't normally recommend uploading media directly to D2L, but there are currently no other options due to the .swf format.
Why use iSpring Free to publish your presentation?
- The file size is significantly smaller. I recorded just 4 minutes of audio into a PPT and it was 10 MB. The version published with iSpring Free was 2 MB. It will take less time to load and will take up less space in D2L.
- Your students will have a more consistent experience and you will get fewer questions. If you just upload the PowerPoint file, it will function differently for students based on the browser they are using (Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari). They will usually have the option to either save or open the file, in which case it will open as a .ppt and they will have to put it in full screen to hear the audio - some students may not even realize they are supposed to listen to the audio. They are also more likely to get pop-up blockers and have to click multiple times to access the file, resulting in frustration.
Note: Links to websites in iSpring presentations do not seem to work, unless the students go through 20 steps to allow them via their Flash player which is very confusing. If this is a big problem for you because you want the students to visit websites during your presentation, I'd recommend saving your PowerPoint as a PPSX (PowerPoint Show). This will prompt it to open in full screen mode automatically, rather than edit mode like a normal PowerPoint opens. However, it will open inconsistently for the students based on their browser - some will still require the file to be downloaded. So, saving it as a PPSX will help in some browsers, but not all. I would ideally recommend providing the links outside of the presentation.
Remember to provide a transcript or some sort of alternate way for students with hearing disabilities to access the audio content you are providing. It doesn't have to be captioned or word-for-word, but there should be some way for them to access the content.