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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on January 11, 2008
WHY did it take so long for someone to write this book? Bozarth, the author of "Elearning on a Shoestring", is back with her common-sense approach to creating great online learning. As she notes time and time again, no tool will take static content and magically transform it into engaging training: that will always require effort, creativity, and design skill. The examples of effective treatments will rock those who have been exposed only to bullet-based presentations, and there is an excellent passage, with examples, of transforming (not just converting) classroom programs to engaging elearning courses. While this isn't a 'how to use PowerPoint' book, the CD does include some tutorials (narrated by the author) for complex operations.

I have been to several workshops that promised to teach me to use PowerPoint for elearning, only to spend hours inserting clip art and making text fly. This book shows how to use it to create LEARNING.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on February 10, 2008
I agree with everything the other reviewers have said to date. This well-written book (lots of active voice) is useful to anyone involved in training; chapter 2 takes Bloom's taxonomy to a very realtistc and pragmatic level that guides the reader to the most appropriate learning activities. I just finished a master program in distance education and I wish I had had this book in school. Bozarth's interpretations of Roger Mayer's principles of multimedia made more sense to me now than when I read Mayer's book in grad school. Not at all overly academic; very application-based on what most of us learned in school, but needed help in using the theories. Highly recommended.
Margaret Driscoll's "Web-Based Training: Designing e-Learning Experiences" with CD-ROM would make a great companion book to this one for anyone creating e-learning in a variety of delivery formats.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on November 25, 2008
I am working for a start-up company designing and helping to produce e-learning classes for their software product. Although I use another authoring product, Articulate, I wanted to see what one could do with just PowerPoint. I think the book promises a bit more than it delivers, although it had some good ideas. However, some of the suggestions based on current research were not fully explained or made clear. I found that I would have to go to the original research to fully understand her abbreviated summary. Also, some of her graphics are wrong. She shows a before and after screen and they are basically the same (figures 3.12/3.13 and figures 4.11/4.12). Oops! This happens twice in the book and you have to wonder who did the proofing.

Some of the interactive features that you can build using PPT are unfortunately not relevant because they are not supported by Flash. She says to keep watching for this feature. This was one of the things I was most interested in and somewhat of a dissappointment.

I think this book could have been a lot better, although it does contain some good information. However, it feels like some of her content was thrown in without enough explanation. If you are a beginner, you might need clarification from other sources.

So, I would definitely recommend reading this book, but I'm not sure I would recommend buying this book.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on January 16, 2008
This is a great book for people who have a knowledge of basic Powerpoint tools but want to take it to the next step in creating e-learning. It's easy-to-understand and follow and keeps driving home the point, "It's the design, not the software." People who may feel intimidated by e-learning design and development can use the tutorials and how-to's in the book to create quick, easy and effective e-learning modules. I received an advance copy and was able to use the principles in a graduate class I taught in the Fall. Students were amazed at what can be done with Powerpoint for e-learning purposes and were able to follow the step-by-step instructions. Their assignments reflected their ability to use the principles and guidance in the book, and I will be requiring the book for my upcoming graduate classes this Summer and Fall. The author is obviously knowledgeable, but more importantly, able to "speak" to readers less experienced. I recommend the book highly and also the resources on the author's website, [...].
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on January 11, 2008
Better Than Bullet Points: Creating Engaging e-Learning with PowerPoint

I would like to commend Ms. Bozarth and THANK HER for writing this book. The problem with virtually all (just my opinion here) user manuals for computer software programs is that they waste waaay too many words on the technical aspects and far too few words on just putting the program to practical use for the overworked employee who just wants to know how to do all the cool things these programs are designed to do. There are so many software programs that are severely underutilized because the material is presented in such complicated terminology that one who doesn't have a lot of time to read and analyze will quickly lose interest in trying to learn to apply certain program aspects that are not nearly as complicated to use as the user manual instructions present them. I have read nearly a third of the book and find it very helpful already...but then I have loved the possibilities of PowerPoint (and many other programs I have taken) ever since I took the first 1 day training session at NCSU's Computer Training Unit. This book will be invaluable to me in helping me get the most out of PowerPoint in the least amount of time.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on January 20, 2008
I pre-ordered Better Than Bullet Points because a preview of the contents seemed to fit my needs of creating engaging online courses. The book more than lived up to expectations; it is simply excellent in presenting its central thesis--"transform" your PowerPoint presentation, don't simply "transfer" it online and declare it a learning tool.

I have several well respected books on elearning, but their encyclopedic presentation is overwhelming. Jane's book is very well focused, flows topic to topic very naturally and logically, and most importantly, is substantive without dumbing down. And while she covers some PowerPoint techniques, the focus stays on pedagogy and field-tested design. Highly recommended for anyone who wants to get their first elearning program right the time. This is your user's manual.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 29, 2008
This is a great book for the trainer who needs to create a quality rapid elearning product but doesn't have the time or budget for expensive tools. Ms. Bozarth really knows the program and she has some great tips on how to create compelling animations and engaging content. Team this up with the tools from Wondershare and you will be able to create some amazing elearning.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
The purpose of the book is simple---to point out how we can use PowerPoint to make e-leanring more effective.

The material covers some pretty basic stuff (for people with some powerpoint experience) as well as teaching some tools that are not covered in standard powerpoint training (animation, making powerpoint interactive, narration, multi-media, other add-ons).

There are also sections on design and delivery and support. The CD provides some good examples and templates.

The user can get a lot of milage from this material, but it's not (and is not intended to be) a substitute for responsvieness, good design and a lot of hard work. Great for folks on a budget or who don't have a lot programming support for or access to more advanced applications.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on April 19, 2009
Raul Garcia Ortiz,

I recently read this book to satisfy a requirement for an E-learning course, I wish I would have known about this book five years ago when I wasn't familiar with the program called power point, as a school teacher I find this book quite useful because it breaks down in depth the many possibilities available with the power point program such as multimedia, animation, and pre-made game show templates which are available free of charge, it makes the use of Power point much more accessible regardless of the somewhat outdated graphics and layout of the book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 25, 2008
I loved this book. Jane Bozarth is informative, without being too wordy. I loved that she included info for both PowerPoint 2003 & 2007 since many of us are just making the transition. I got a lot of good ideas from this book that will work well for just-in-time training, as well as for certain special presentation situations. Thanks, Jane!!!
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