Dynamic and Interactive Content

Digital slides have evolved from photographic slides and overhead projectors, but little has changed since then. Slides are still limited in space and content is still relatively static. Even though one might add content such as video the modern computer is capable of much more. As discussed in the Multimodal Interaction section MindXpres doesn't limit interaction to just the mouse or keyboard. All sorts for hardware can be used to interact with a MindXpres presentation by both the presenter and the audience. Furthermore, the plug-in architecture allows developers to write custom visualisation plug-ins for all kinds of content. Combined with the new interaction modalities, MindXpres can offer much richer content visualisations. Content does not have to be static anymore and can be dynamic and react to user input. As MindXpres presentations are compiled to HTML5-based bundles developers can also make use of the many existing Javascript libraries for content visualisation when developing MindXpres component plug-ins. This page will highlight some of the more interesting plug-ins we have developed for data visualisation. More interesting content plug-ins that focus on audience interaction are presented in the Networked Presentations section.

Example Plug-in: Interactive Data Visualisation

One shortcoming in many existing tools is related to data visualisation and exploration. When creating a graph in for instance PowerPoint, the graph type or the data that is used to generate the graph can not be changed at run-time and the graph becomes what is essentially an image. Possible workarounds include the use of animations and creating multiple versions of the chart, but these are tedious and are often skipped because of the required work. However, research has shown the importance of data exploration and data-driven storytelling. To address this issue we have created an interactive data visualisation plug-in. The presenter starts by providing a dataset and can then define a series of views on the data to step through during the presentation. In between steps the presenter can change the chart type, change the data that should be used (e.g. filter the data or disable certain categories) and various other chart parameters. The presenter can not only predefine a sequence of views on the data but it's also possible to interact with the chart freely during the presentation in order to answer unexpected questions.

Example Plug-in: Interactive Source Code Visualisation

Presenting source code in existing presentation tools is not always optimal. Space is limited, and syntax highlighting and formatting is often lost when copy-pasting from the programming environment. To address this issue we have created a source code visualisation plug-in. Not only does the plug-in offer scrollable code, it also performs syntax highlighting and formatting automatically. Furthermore, it's possible to step through the code as it executes and presenters can plug in various visualisations to visualise the current state of the application. The video below shows a presenter stepping through the recursive version of the fibonacci algorithm while showing the values of the relevant variables above the recursion graph.

Example Plug-in: Enhanced Video Player

Although most presentations tools support the inclusion of videos, some features can be added to make them more suitable for education. At it's core the enhanced video player just plays back videos like any regular video component but adds some new functionality. For instance, the presenter can configure the plug-in to pause the video at predefined moments, add captions or highlights and resume play after a certain time period. Other features include the ability to set up bookmarks for the video which allows the presenter to jump to the relevant parts more easily.

MindXpres Enhanced Video Player Plug-in

More Plug-ins: Audience Interaction

Please refer to the Networked Presentations section for plug-ins related to audience interaction.

Relevant Publications

  • , and : "A Unified Communication Platform for Enriching and Enhancing Presentations with Active Learning Components", , Proceedings of ICALT 2014, 14th IEEE International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies, Athens, Greece, July 2014 (best paper award) Academia Icon Link Iconpresentation, audience response system, active learning
  • , and : "Towards Enhanced Presentation-based Teaching of Programming: An Interactive Source Code Visualisation Approach", , Proceedings of CSEDU 2015, 7th International Conference on Computer Supported Education, Lisbon, Portugal, May, 2015 (best paper award) Academia Icon Link IconSlideware, Presentation-based Teaching, Programming
  • , and : "An Interactive Data Visualisation Approach for Next Generation Presentation Tools - Towards Rich Presentation-based Data Exploration and Storytelling", , Proceedings of CSEDU 2016, 8th International Conference on Computer Supported Education, Rome, Italy, April, 2016 (Best Paper Award Nomination) Academia Icon Link IconPresentations, Slideware, Narrative Visualisation, Data Exploration
  • , and : "An Interactive Source Code Visualisation Plug-in for the MindXpres Presentation Platform", , (extended version of CSEDU 2015 paper), Communications in Computer and Information Science (CCIS), 583, 2016 Academia Icon Link Iconslideware, presentation-based teaching, programming
  • , and : "Interactive and Narrative Data Visualisation for Presentation-based Knowledge Transfer", , (extended version of CSEDU 2016 paper), Communications in Computer and Information Science (CCIS), 739, 2017 Academia Icon Link Iconslideware, presentation-based teaching, programming

 Feature Overview

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In MindXpres everything is a plug-in. From the way content is visualised and navigated all the way down to basic components such as images or text, anything can be configured or even replaced.
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The plug-in mechanism allows presenters to choose the presentation visualisation style that suits their content and use case. This includes classic slide sequences, zoomable user interfaces as known from Prezi or other innovative visualisation.
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Long gone are the days of static slides with bullet lists and images only. MindXpres plug-ins might provide rich media visualisations reacting to the presenter's or even the audience's input.
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MindXpres allows you to focus on the content instead of spending time on styling and layout. Pick a theme, provide the content and let MindXpres worry about the visualisation.
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Presentations can also be authored via a declarative language that functions similar to LaTeX. However, in contrast to LaTeX the language can be used to define more dynamic and interactive presentations with access to all MindXpres features and functionality.
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Instances of a MindXpres presentation can connect to each other which, for instance, allows audience members to have a mirrored view of what is shown by the presenter on their devices. Other use cases include audience-driven activities such as voting or crowd-sourced note taking.
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Regardless of the chosen visualisation style, the user decides in which order content is presented, either by predefining a path or by using one of the many interfaces to efficiently navigate the content in real-time.
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MindXpres presentations can not only connect to each other but all kinds of hardware can be integrated in the network for navigation, interaction or audience participation. Examples include customised presenter interfaces running on a mobile device, clickers for audience input or specialised hardware for gesture or voice recognition.
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MindXpres generates presentations based on web technologies allowing them to run offline or online, on both computers and mobile devices without the need to install any software. Furthermore, presentations can easily be put online and viewers can replay the presentation as it was given, or explore the presentation by themselves.
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Instead of storing presentations in separate presentation files, MindXpres stores all user content in a central repository. This makes it easier to reuse and share content at any granularity, and also allows users to keep content that is part of multiple presentations synchronised and up to date.