3 Alternatives for your learning objectives slide

Bullet points…agh!

When time is limited, cognitive dissonance seeps in. However, making a small change in the opening of your slide deck is easier than you think – seeing a new way can be a simple remedy.

This article gives you a few ideas to freshen up your required and important learning objective slide.

A special thank you to Dr. Stefanie Nigro, an Associate Clinical Professor at the University of Connecticut School of Pharmacy. These are real learning objectives, repurposed with permission.

The Starting Line

Here is a typical learning objectives slide:

This is a fairly standard-looking slide, with bullet points to highlight the objectives. While effective, the overutilization of bullet points promotes the learner to read off of the slide and disengage from the speaker (..that’s you). Fortunately, you have alternatives.

There are several options that help improve engagement while still getting your message across effectively.

Let’s review a few alternatives.


Numbered list

Content with Caption layout

Advanced templates


A quick update to try is changing your bullet points to a numbered list:

However, if this feels like you’re cheating, you can reformat the numbers using Shapes.

In this case, we’re using an oval shape to create our numbered list:

Content with caption layout

Another alternative is to change the layout of the slide. One particularly useful option is the Two Content slide layout.

This update makes it easy and simple to change from a Title and Content slide, which most of the slides end up being, to a Content with Caption slide.

Advanced templates

Templates can enhance or limit both creativity and learner engagement. While Microsoft Powerpoint has many different templates, sometimes it is helpful to see what other options are available.

This is where graphic design and presentation-focused websites come in. There are many sites you can find and here is merely a short list (in alphabetical order):





There are often reduced pricing options for students/educators, in addition to the usual free/basic tiers.

Here are a few examples of what you can find and create using these various sites:


Built using a template on Visme, this offers a very different look and feel compared to a traditional PowerPoint template.


The following slide is built with Canva and is essentially a mix of a few of the PowerPoint template slides that are shown above. One quick note: Including the image (stethoscope) could be distracting, so you’ll want to consider where you want to draw the learner’s focus to.


One last version, built with Beautiful.ai, is a powerful site used to create presentations. You’ll need a paid version or student (.edu) account to remove the branding though.

The Finish line

There you have it! A few new options for creating your learning objectives slide.

An important note – you can build many of these slides within PowerPoint as well, however, it’ll be much faster to use a template.

Good luck and happy learning!