UMS Faculty Focus Blog

UMS Faculty Focus

The UMS Faculty Focus blog publishes articles on effective teaching strategies for technology-enhanced, classroom, online, blended, or flipped learning experiences.  Faculty e-Learning Grant recipients and other UMS faculty are welcome to contribute. Please contact the UC Faculty Development Center if you are interested in writing an article for UMS Faculty Focus at


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It’s a Google App!

It should be noted that it took me quite some time to catch onto the fact that Pear Deck is a Google App.  I stumbled upon this when I started running into some technical issues when creating a deck.  Being an avid Blackboard user I try to be diligent at always using Mozilla Firefox as my default browser.  Why these two programs jive so well - I will never know.  Everything was going fine…until it wasn’t anymore.  Firefox was getting the job done until I noticed certain slides did not appear when trying to add in interactive questions.  After a few minutes of clicking around I discovered a workaround of closing the presentation and coming back in which often resolves this issue.  This issue did, however, prompt me to contact Pear Deck Support with a few questions to which I was made aware that the tool is, in fact, a Google App and the preferred browser for the platform is Google Chrome.  While you can work in other browsers you will have better success by defaulting to Chrome.  That being said, Pear Deck’s Certified Educators recommend downloading the Google Slides Pear Deck add-on which will help to resolve issues with being able to easily edit and add interactive questions to slides.

Pear Deck Question Types

You have 5 options for how students can respond to your question.  They can respond with:

  1. A Draggable(TM) - Students respond by dragging an icon on an image of your choice.
  2. A drawing - Students respond by drawing on a canvas or background image.
  3. Text - Students respond by typing text.
  4. A number - Students respond by typing a number.
  5. Multiple Choice - Students respond by selecting one of your predefined answers.

Click on the question types for more information, examples, and a pictographic for each question type.

Want to learn more about question types and slide setup?  Click here -

A Few More Quick Tips and Observations

* You have the ability to import prebuilt presentations into decks.  You can import Google Slides, PowerPoints, PDFs, and Keynote presentations exported as PDFs.  Since we now know that Pear Deck is a Google App it won’t be a surprise to learn that Google presentations such as Slides will import very quickly into the tool, whereas, PowerPoint may take a few minutes depending on file size.  Again, the Google Slides add-on is recommended and will make for a smoother import experience.  More information can be found here -

* Since Pear Deck is a Google App everything that you create auto saves much like a Google Doc and does feature spellcheck which is an added bonus. 

* I have found that the best way to ensure your deck is functioning properly is to always test presentations to confirm question types are working as you had hoped.  Things always look a feel a bit different in the presentation view to the end user, so give it a try or have a colleague test out your presentation for continuity.

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