Using Microsoft PowerPoint to create quizzes and scenarios

The humble PowerPoint presentation has the potential to be a dynamic tool for scenario-based learning.

You might consider using PowerPoint if…

  • You would like to build on your existing knowledge of using PowerPoint.
  • You would like to create a resource that can be used in a Lecture AND as a revision material that can be shared via the VLE (e.g. studentcentral).
  • You would like to ask students to create scenarios and you would like to provide an accessible tool without a steep learning curve.
  • You would like to ask groups of students to create scenarios collaboratively; with OneDrive collaboration tools students can collaboratively edit a PowerPoint presentation.
  • You would like to start with a familiar tool and then transfer what you (or your students) create to a more sophisticated tool such as H5P (PowerPoint is a good way to create images as the background for interactivity!).

The PowerPoint template was based on a BuzzFeed Quiz on British History ( All the specific content has been removed so that you can add your own questions and answers.

Download the PowerPoint file here: BuzzfeedQuizShow 2

The template is currently set as follows:

  1. On the first slide, answer A is correct.
  2. On the second slide, answer B is correct.
  3. On the third slide, answer C is correct.
  4. On the fourth slide, answer D is correct.

Screenshot of the carousel area of the Microsoft PowerPoint softwareSo the key thing would be for students to create their questions, duplicating the slides where needed and then to shuffle the slides by dragging and dropping the order in the left-hand carousel (part of the ‘Normal’ view in PowerPoint) prior to use for quizzing.

If you would like to learn more about how the interactions work then take a look at the Animations tab and look at the Animation Pane.

Each answer has three interactions:

  1. Clicking on an answer triggers a button-like animation.
  2. Followed by the change in colour from blue to either green or red-ish based on whether the answer is correct or incorrect.
  3. Followed by the reveal or either a tick or a cross based on whether the answer is correct or incorrect. It is essential to include a visual indicator like this for accessibility reasons as we cannot rely on colour alone to indicate the status of a question in cases of colour-blindness where it may be harder to differentiate between the two colours.

A screenshot showing the animation tab in MS PowerPoint software

Have a little play and see what you think. Thanks for reading!


H5P – Learning Objects

Supercharge your teaching with H5P

H5P makes it easy to create, share and reuse HTML5 content and applications. H5P empowers everyone to create rich and interactive web experiences more efficiently – all you need is a web browser and a web site with an H5P plugin.

Example of an embedded Interactive Video made with H5P: StudentCentral

Example (Multiple choice) embedded in a blog:

Branching Scenario module (with an example):

H5P Branching Scenario

How would you use this in your teaching?

  • Formative Quizes
  • Cross-platform (embeddable) content
  • Interactive video
  • Charts/Graph creation
  • Picture Galleries

Tools for branching scenarios and interactive storytelling

During the Sim Day sessions we shall look at Twine app, which is a free and easy-to-use online tool for creating ‘choose your own adventure’ text-based games. Twine, which offers both a desktop programme and an online browser-based tool, uses a simple block-based GUI which enables an author or instructor to map out a story with multiple branches, loops and outcomes. You can read more about Twine or our elearning blog.

Within the School of Humanities, Creative Writing students have used Twine to investigate a highly structured approach to storytelling, focusing on cause-and-effect rather than traditional prose. Medical students have also used Twine as a means to narrative enquiry. In one exercise, they were required to think of a clinical story from their personal experience which could have multiple outcomes and also impart some knowledge to the player.

Twine uses HTML, which means you can add images and video to your story if you know write the code. There are some Psychology based Twine games available to play. One of these is ‘Howling Dogs‘.

An alternative to Twine, is another free storytelling app, Inky. This is downloadable for Mac and PC. Like Twine, it offers a ‘choose your own adventure’ script engine, in this case entirely text-based. Using basic markup you can write a playable story which offers branching, looping and conditional choices. For example, the options chosen by a player can inform how the story plays out later in the game.

Inky offers a dual panel interface with the story script on the left and a gameplay preview on the right. The story can be exported and shared in a web version, which can be played directly within a web browser.

Inky software interface
Inky story writing dual-panel interface

Inky also offers potential for writing scenario based stories for Virtual Reality headsets. Inky has a plugin for the Unity game development platform, which makes it possible to import Inky stories into the platform and add 2D and 3D graphical elements.

Microsoft Forms

What is Microsoft Forms?

Microsoft Forms is an online tool included as part of staff and students Office 365 offering. Microsoft Forms allows you to build simple online forms, surveys and quizzes. The quizzes/forms are mobile friendly, you can add images and youtube videos, and any results are stored online in a spreadsheet.

Why use this for simulations?

Unlike our other quiz offerings (e.g. studentcentral quizzes) Microsoft Forms has a key feature – branching. This allows you to create a quiz where questions will be different based your answers. For example, when creating a quiz about first aid, you may create a question that asks ‘is the patient breathing’. Your answers might include; Yes, No or Unsure. With branching you can direct users to a different question based on their answer, for example:

Yes —–> Go to Q2

No ——> Go to Q3

Unsure ——-> Go to Q4.

You can add multiple branches to make the simulation a rich experience, and this may encourage learners to repeat the simulation giving different answers, and measuring their outcomes. It has limitations of course, ultimately this is a really simple tool for creating basic online simulations. The ability to add images and youtube videos (either your own or pre-existing’ could be useful in enhancing the simulation experience.


How do I get started?

  • Go to
  • Click Sign in (top right)
  • Sign in with your unversity email address (e.g. and your university password.

If you need any help whilst using Forms, try the online help (click the three dots in the top right corner of the screen) or talk to your LTA.

This article also discusses using branching in Microsoft Forms


Heres an example from the School of Health Sciences (beware – the topic is veruccas, and contains images!)

Thinglink and Nearpod

What is Thinglink?

Thinglink is an online tool that enables you to tag 360 videos and images with other information, you create ‘hotspots’ and add content that displays when the hotspot is activated. This can be done in a web browser across any device and includes VR headsets where the trigger is directed by your eyes.

Uses for the tool might include:

  • Virtual Tours
    • Galleries/student degree shows
    • Open day virtual tours
    • Laboritory familiarisation
    • Access to difficult sites – virtual away days
  • Virtual Learning Objects
    • Language tours
    • Health and Safety
    • Navigating and understanding objects/buildings and environments

Thinglink examples

Bio Labs

Air Quality station

What is Nearpod?

Nearpod is a cross-platform and easy to use way to engage your students with interactive activities, connect them through collaborative discussions, and gain instant insight into student learning through formative assessments. Content can be either teacher led or used for self study. You can incorporate a range of information slides including text, images, videos, sounds and virtual environments (including Thinglink content) as well a interactions that help students to collaborate and test their understanding.

Uses for the tool might include:

  • Supporting the delivery of Face to face lectures
  • An audience response tool
  • A mechanism for delivering virtual environments and 36o content (Thinglink and 360 tours)
  • A virtual Learning Object

Nearpod Examples

Sim Day example

The respiritory system (includes 3d model of the respiritoy system)

Language Learning – the icecream shop