Convert PowerPoint to eLearning in 5 Steps

Convert PowerPoint to eLearning in 5 Steps

Have you got a folder filled with PowerPoint presentations? Five steps will convert them into eLearning.

Click on the Infographic to the right for summary of the five steps to convert a PowerPoint presentation into eLearning.

Below is a more detailed guide with links to useful resources.


Gather the PowerPoint deck and other material in one place.

  • Get more than just the PowerPoint deck. The source content and background material can help make sense of the material and speed the process.
  • Ask for any assessments (quizzes) for the course. Often overlooked, assessments are a window into the really important content.
  • Look in the Notes section of the PowerPoint for extra content such as speaker notes, references, and so on.
  • Gather the references and links you find in one place. They may not go into the course itself, but you can quickly build a handy learner guide.
  • Check all images, graphics, videos for copyright. If you’re not sure, don’t use it. You don’t want to get sued for using copyrighted material.


Refine what you’ve gathered so the course covers the critical content a learner needs to be successful in role.

  • Speak with experts – managers, subject matter experts, people who are top performers. Ask them the barriers to success and how to overcome them. Ask for tricks and approaches that they find helpful.
  • If your experts are too busy – and they often really are – appeal to their vanity or explain they will save time in the long run as many staff can tap into their knowledge via the training.
  • Focus the training on what the learners don’t know but need to know. Focus on that gap.
  • Ensure every piece of content brings real value to the learner.
  • Be clear on the desired outcome of the training. When you evaluate the learning, what will be measured – Increased sales? Higher customer satisfaction score? Increased production? If content does not support the goal, remove it.
  • Whittle the content down as much as possible. Pareto analysis will help you identify the critical knowledge and skills. These critical need to knows (CNtKs) are the topics and sub-topics of your course.
  • If there isn’t an assessment (quiz) for the course, ask your experts to create one. It will focus the course on the CNtKs and remove the fluff.
  • Put the discarded content into the learner guide, or use it to create another course or deliver it via social channels as microlearning.


  • Scaffold and chunk the content so it helps learners bridge the knowledge gap and presents the content in more easily digestible pieces.
  • Connect each new topic to the previous and ground it in practical examples familiar to them.
  • Keep the learner – not the content – foremost as you structure the training. They’ll need extra hand-holding and signposts to make sense of the material.
  • Give the learners a chance to use the new information in a real-world scenario similar to what they face on the job is best. A simple, clear request to reflect on and apply what they have learned to their daily work works as well as a flashy interaction.
  • Keep each screen of the PowerPoint shorter than 3 minutes (350-400 words). For eLearning, your learners have a short attention span and frequent distractions. Chunking allows them to pick up where they left off more easily.
  • Ask your experts to review your content – most are keen to share their knowledge and experience. Reviews can be time consuming, so consider how much value every change will bring.


  • Create basic PowerPoint templates for your course. They’ll help structure the course for the learner and reduce development time.
  • Learners will not read screens filled with text. Summarise the main points on-screen or use visual elements that support the message. The audio should do the heavy lifting.
  • Minimise the use of animation. A lot of learners don’t like it and is makes development longer.
  • Courses without audio can work, but include audio if at all possible.
  • A simple way to capture audio is to record the expert as he/she presents each screen. (Learners pay more attention to the expert.) This can be done in PowerPoint, audio recording software, or even conferencing software such as Skype.
  • Record audio using a good quality headset or external mic. Poor audio undermines your message and is distracting.
  • Summative assessments – did you understand what you learned? – are vital to verify understanding. Assessments should not be optional.
  • The quickest method to build the course is to create a video directly from the PowerPoint deck. PowerPoint supports this.
  • If you will be using a learning management system (LMS) it will allow you to track who takes the course. Be clear on the reporting and upload options before you begin to build the course.
  • If you are not using an LMS, the assessment will be your tracking tool. Third party survey tools such as SurveyMonkey allowing for tracking and reporting.
  • Before you build the assessment, decide how learners will take it. If you do not already have a solution, aim for one that supports uploading the questions to speed the process.


  • Evaluation – did learning improve job performance? – often is overlooked. Improvement requires clarity on what did not work.
  • Ask learners their opinion of the training – happy sheets. If possible, adjust the training in response to the feedback or make a note of feedback for future revisions.
  • Evaluation is more than Did you like the training? It asks managers and the organisation if the training had a positive impact. It happens in the weeks and months after the training.
  • Agree to evaluation criteria, approach, and timing with stakeholders up front.
  • The Kirkpatrick approach to training evaluation is widely known, though others exist.
  • Incorporate the lessons learned into future updates of the training course and of all training content.