How to Create Course Header Images in PowerPoint
By Sarah Wendorf, Instructional Designer
Want to add more visual elements to your course?
Using PowerPoint as a graphic design tool, you can create great-looking header images and title blocks for your course.
All it takes is changing the slide size and exporting your slides as .jpg images. Let’s get started!
Step 1: Set Up PowerPoint Slide Size
- Open up PowerPoint
- Click “Blank Presentation” to start
- Open the “Design” tab at the top
- Under “Slide Size” click the down arrow to select “Custom Slide Size”
- Set your width to 100 cm and height to 15 cm and click “OK”
This is a good size to start with for a header image at the top of your course in Moodle. It will export to a high-quality but small file size image when you are finished.
Step 2: Style Your Header Image
- Add your course code, course name, instructor name, and/or other details you wish to have in your header image
- Choose a background colour or theme to style your header image
- Resize any elements to best fit your image
Take it one step further by changing the colours of your chosen theme in the “Design” tab under “Variants”. Click the down arrow in the “Variants” section and go into the “Colours” menu to select a colour theme. You can select “Customize Colours” at the bottom to individually change any of the colour elements.
Step 3: Add Icons to Your Header Image (Optional)
Did you know that PowerPoint has a built-in image search that displays Creative Commons licensed images? Follow the steps below if you wish to add icons and other CC licensed images to your header.
- Click on “Insert”, “Online Pictures” to open up a search window.
- In the “Bing Image Search” field, type in a search term for an icon you wish to add (ex: “pencil icon”).
- The search will return items that are Creative Commons licensed as indicated by the checked check box above the search results.
- Double click on an image you wish to use and it will be inserted into your header image.
- Move and resize your image as necessary.
- Change the colour of your image by selecting the image, then in the “Picture Tools – Format” tab, select “Colour”. This list of colours is based on your chosen theme’s colours (pretty cool!)
- Select a colour and it will be applied to your image.
Step 4: Save as Image
- Once you are happy with your design, click on “File”, “Save As”, and give your file a name. Save your file first as a PowerPoint (.ppt) file
- Now click “File”, “Save As”, and instead of saving as a .ppt file, click on the “Save as type” drop down menu and select “JPEG File Interchange Format” to save as a .jpg image.
- When prompted for the export, select “Just this one” to save only the one slide as an image.
Step 5: Add Image to Moodle
- To add your new header image to Moodle, open your course in Moodle and select “Turn editing on” in the top right corner.
- Click “Add an activity or resource” and select “Label” at the bottom of the list. Click “Add”.
- In the “General” section, click the image icon in the toolbar above the textbox. Click “Find or upload an image”.
- Choose the .jpg file you saved and click “Open”. Click “Upload this file”. Add a description in the “Image Description” box for accessibility. This should be the same text you use on your image so a student who uses a screenreader could have it read aloud to them (aka “Alt Text”).
- Select the “Appearance” tab and change the dimensions to have 100% in the first box. Remove the value in the second box.
- Click “Insert” and arrange the image where you would like it to be in your Moodle course.
- Click “Save and return to course” when finished.
- When you input 100% as an image width in Moodle, your images will automatically resize according to the size of the screen that your student is viewing it on. This is called a “responsive image”.
- To view your image as a student would see it, click on your profile image in the top right and select “Switch role to…” and then select “Student” to view your course as a student would see it. This is how your image will look on your live course!
Extend Your Use of PowerPoint
I hope this was an easy to follow tutorial. There are many other ways you can use PowerPoint to enhance your course with graphics too!
Consider some of the other following ways to use PowerPoint for your course:
- Create infographics
- Create posters
- Create section / unit / weekly header images
- Create handouts and postcards
- Create printable or online templates
- Easily find and use Creative Commons images
- Have another idea? Leave a comment below!