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Best Practices | Office Mix

 Process for creating Canvas content using Office Mix



Instructors can create and deliver fully narrated and animated PowerPoint presentations online using Office Mix. Office Mix is a completely free add-on to PowerPoint that provides many options for creating interactive and engaging presentations. View an example Office Mix presentation. Some features of Office Mix include:

  • Works with existing PowerPoints
  • Publish presentation to the Microsoft Office Gallery
    • Cloud-based storage doesn’t take space in the course
    • Can set privacy settings
    • Provides analytics on who is watching and for how long
    • All interactive components maintained: videos, transitions, quizzes, polls, simulations
    • Able to add closed captioning
  • Option to also save as a video file
    • Download and save local copy
    • Viewable on any device
    • Loses some of the interactive features but maintains audio narration and inking


How It Works

1. Create a PowerPoint

Create a PowerPoint presentation or use an existing PowerPoint, including text, images, animations, transitions, and any other effects that you choose to create a compelling presentation. Make sure to use PowerPoint 2013 or later and that your file is saved with a PPTX extension.



2. Add Digital Content via Office Mix Add-on

On a Windows device, download the Office Mix add-on from Use a microphone (available for check-out from CIRT) to record slide narrations. You may also add video using a webcam and/or screen recordings of your desktop. If you want to use any of the other interactive features of Office Mix, such as inking, quizzes, polls, simulations, or web pages add those during this step also. View Getting Started with Office Mix for detailed video tutorials.


3. Upload and Embed in Canvas

There are several ways to export a mix, depending on how you want to use it.

  • Upload to Mix publishes your mix securely to your My Mixes page in the cloud on the Office Mix website. It converts your PowerPoint presentation (PPTX) file into a rich, interactive video with a unique URL. This is the recommended export option to take advantage of all the interactive features, storage benefits, and analytics.

  • Export to Video lets you convert your mix to a video that viewers can watch offline. This option saves the video to the location you specify; it is not stored on your My Mixes page on the Office Mix website.

Office Mix presentations can be added to your online course in multiple ways. The Office Mix app integration has already been added at the university level for all Canvas courses. This video tutorial will show you how to add your mix as an assignment in Canvas. Otherwise, you may also use the embed code or URL from your share options in Office Mix to add your presentation to a page in Canvas.


4. View Student Analytics

If you are using the Microsoft Office Gallery to store your presentation (see Upload to Mix section above), then you will have access to analytics about who has viewed your presentation and how much time they spent. Information can be sorted by slide, visitors (viewers), and by exercises (for mixes that contain interactive content like quizzes, polls, etc.). Use this information to see who is really watching your presentations and where they are spending their time, to improve your presentations.


Mac-Users: The Office Mix add-on is currently only available on Windows devices. Mac users may view Office Mix presentations that have already been created, but not create them. Mac Users can (1) create a powerpoint on their computer (or use Keynote and export to a PowerPoint file) and come into the CIRT lab to use a PC to record narrations and upload to their Microsoft Gallery or (2) check out a laptop from the CIRT lab to use.



In Practice

With Office Mix, the instructor can record their voice and write on presentation slides to create lectures that can be viewed by students online. Tips for creating engaging presentations:

  • Don’t read, talk! Let your personality show. Your main goal should be to keep your listeners interested and focused. Pretend you are actually lecturing to a class. Place a photograph of your family or pet near your computer and pretend you are talking to them.

  • Engage the learner. With Office Mix you can add in questions and polls that require students to respond. Give examples, or tell a relevant story.

  • Chunk content. Break down your content into smaller digestible bites and keep your presentations short (5-7 min). Instead of lecturing for 30-50 minutes like you may do in a face-to-face course, provide alternative representations of the content within the module and keep your narrated powerpoints specific to the content that benefits from verbal explanation.

  • Keep accessibility in mind. Use good slide design: limit number of fonts, size of fonts and color of fonts to 3 per presentation. Provide transcripts for non-text information. Consider graphic note-taking tools or worksheets if appropriate.


Additional Resources

There are many resources already created to help you get started with Office Mix and to show you how to add presentations to your Canvas course.

CIRT Support

  •  Contact or come into the CIRT lab for one-on-one guidance 
  •  Contact an instructional designer for a consultation on instructional tips and best practices  
  •  CIRT Event: Dynamic Content in Canvas 



Brown, S., Hiatt, K., & Workman, T. (2006). Best Practices for Narrated Presentations. Extended Education and Outreach Distance Education Luncheon.


Office Mix Help Guide, (2017). Retrieved from