Multimedia

In this section you'll find resources about how to integrate multimedia into teaching and learning. The section includes information on multimedia learning theory, how to design multimedia and where to source images and sound files.


Multimedia learning theory

There is a growing body of evidence that use of ICT in the classroom can enhance learning (Meiers, 2009). Computer-based multimedia learning environments - consisting of images, text and sound - offer a potentially powerful setting for improving student understanding. However, all multimedia resources are not equally effective, so the challenge teachers face is how to assess and select multimedia resources that best promote meaningful learning. How can we use words and pictures to help students explore the life stories of significant Indigenous figures, learn how the language and techniques of filmmaking are used to tell stories, explore the characteristics of scatter plot graphs, explore the properties of right-angled triangles to calculate unknown quantities, better understand the current model of the Earth's structure or solve a product design brief?

Mayer and Moreno (2002) discuss the cognitive theory of how learners process multimedia information. This theory can be used to guide teachers to assess and select the most effective multimedia resources for learning in the classroom. The most substantial gains in pupil attainment are achievable where the use of ICT is planned, structured and integrated effectively. Also, teachers need to be aware that there are times when the use of ICT is appropriate for a particular task and other times when different media are more appropriate.

References

  • Mayer, R. E., & Moreno, R. (2002). Aids to computer-based multimedia learning. Learning and Instruction, 12, 107–119.
  • Meiers, M. (2009). The use of ICTs in schools in the digital age: what does the research say? NSWIT Digest, 2009(1). http://www.nswteachers.nsw.edu.au (retrieved February 23, 2009)

Resources

  • Richard E Mayer
    Richard E. Mayer is Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His research interests are in educational and cognitive psychology. His current research involves the intersection of cognition, instruction, and technology with a special focus on multimedia learning and computer-supported learning. He is the author of more than 390 publications including 23 books, such as Multimedia Learning: Second Edition (2009). This site provides a link to a reference list of a selection of his publications. (retrieved Jan 20, 2011)
  • Cognitive load theory and user interface design: Making software easy to learn and use. (pdf)
    This paper provides an overview to cognitive load theory and its role in guiding user interface design. (retrieved Jan 20, 2011)
  • Cognitive load theory as an aid for instructional design
    This paper summarises several findings in educational psychology that have led to the development and application of cognitive load theory to the format of instruction. (retrieved Jan 20, 2011)
  • Research into Cognitive Load Theory and Instructional Design at UNSW
    This paper provides a detailed discussion of cognitive load theory and its application to instructional design. (retrieved Jan 20, 2011)

Designing multimedia and web resources

Multimedia is media that utilizes a combination of different content forms displayed or accessed using computerized or electronic devices. In Education, multimedia resources allow the user to go through a series of presentations, text and associated illustrations about a particular topic in various information formats. Learning theory in the past decade has expanded dramatically because of the introduction of multimedia resulting in the development of specific areas of research (e.g. Cognitive load, Multimedia learning).

Multimedia represents the convergence of text, pictures, video and sound into a single form. The power of multimedia and the Internet lies in the way in which information is linked. Multimedia and the Internet require a completely new approach to writing. The style of writing that is appropriate for the 'on-line world' is highly optimized and designed to be able to be quickly scanned by readers. A good site must be attractive and innovative in its design, function in terms of its purpose, easy to navigate, frequently updated and fast to download. (from Wikipedia Multimedia, retrieved March 11, 2009)

Resources

  • Marvin - authoring software
    Marvin is the application software students are encouraged to use to create multimedia learning objects. It is an award winning training, education and presentation authoring application that uses customised 3D animated characters to communicate important information to the chosen target audience. Click on “Marvin Examples” to explore the sort of learning objects that can be created using the software. (retrieved Jan 20, 2011)
  • Web Design for Instruction: Multimedia
    This website provide links to a number of sections which focus on research on the use of multimedia and when it is appropriate to use animation, video and audio in a multimedia learning object. (retrieved Jan 20, 2011)
  • A Critical Discourse in Multimedia Design: A Pedagogical Perspective to Creating Engaging Online Courseware
    This paper discusses how multimedia instructional strategies and processes can be enhanced by incorporating the principles of cognitive psychology in the design phases. (retrieved Jan 20, 2011)
  • Digital Web Magazine: The Principles of Design
    This website provides a comprehensive discussion of the fundamental principles of design and their application to Web design. It also provides links to related resources on the web. (retrieved Jan 20, 2011)
  • Web Design for Instruction: Multimedia and Web Page Design Principles
    This page provides guidelines for multimedia and web page design and how the five principles of design, simplicity, consistency, clarity, balance, harmony and unity, should be applied . (retrieved Jan 20, 2011)
  • About.Com: Desktop Publishing: Web Design Tutorials
    Provides links to a number of tutorials, considerations and tips on website design. (retrieved Jan 20, 2011)

Digital image and sound libraries

  • Digital Imaging Basics
    This online tutorial reviews the basic concepts of digital imaging, including digital image production, resolution and file size, image editing and file management. (Retrieved Jan 20, 2011)
  • Pictures, Clipart and Other Images (doc)
    This word document provides tips on how to incorporate pictures into existing documents. It also includes a list of links to picture websites.
    (Retrieved Jan 20, 2011)
  • Google Image Search
    Google allows you to search for images as well as websites. Simply type a descriptor of the image that you would like in the search field and click the ‘Search Images’ button. (Retrieved Jan 20, 2011)
  • Stock.XCHNG
    A free stock photo site, one of the largest. (Retrieved Jan 20, 2011)
  • Istockphoto and Gettyimages
    These websites are commercial and recommended by Vilma Fyfe as “really great ... for some fabulous images”. (Retrieved Jan 20, 2011)
  • Corbis
    This is one of the commercial websites recommended by Atkinson and Mayer (2004) in “Five ways to reduce PowerPoint overload” as a source for photographs to turn your words into pictures. Images can be copied for free but will retain the company’s watermark. (Retrieved Jan 20, 2011)
  • Flickr
    Flickr is an online photo management and sharing application. Contributors can post their favourite photos and videos to share with a world-wide audience.
    (Retrieved Jan 20, 2011)

Examples and case studies

There is a growing body of evidence that use of ICT in the classroom can enhance learning (Meiers, 2009). Computer-based multimedia learning environments - consisting of images, text and sound - offer a potentially powerful setting for improving student understanding. The most substantial gains in pupil attainment are achievable where the use of ICT is planned, structured and integrated effectively. Also, teachers need to be aware that there are times when the use of ICT is appropriate for a particular task and other times when different media are more appropriate.

References

Examples

  • The Learning Federation
    The Le@rning Federation is a collaborative initiative of all Australian and New Zealand governments and develops digital curriculum content for all Australian and New Zealand schools. The content is free and is developed specifically to support students' learning of key concepts and skills detailed in all Australian and New Zealand curriculum documents. The section ‘For Teachers’ provides materials, ideas and sample curriculum content for use in the classroom. (retrieved Jan 20, 2011)
  • Making a difference. David Unaipon (Aboriginal studies)
    Students learn about the life of David Unaipon, an Indigenous Australian who was a widely respected inventor, writer and public speaker. He is featured on the Australian fifty dollar note. A number of statements are provided in an on-line notebook. Students respond to these statements, reflecting on what they have learnt and recording their thoughts, drawing evidence from the source material. (retrieved Jan 20, 2011)
  • Lights, camera, action: sound (English and literacy)
    Year 5 to 9 Students learn that sound is an important tool used by filmmakers to help tell a story. Students then provide the sound track for some film scenes. They are introduced to the concepts of film terms, genres, sound effects and music. Formative assessment of their learning is provided through a multiple choice test. Students cannot progress to the next stage until they demonstrate mastery of learning. (retrieved Jan 20, 2011)
  • Fashion design. Market research (English and literacy)
    Year 5 to 9 students learn about market research. A pronunciation of key terminology is provided. Students are introduced to the concepts of conducting surveys and interviews, creating customer profiles and presenting information. They are required to analyse the data collected and present the findings coherently. They also learn about the role a market researcher plays within a fashion design company. (retrieved Jan 20, 2011)
  • Making a difference: Barak (History)
    Year 9 and 10 students learn about the life of Barak, an Indigenous Australian who was an artist and a spokesperson for Indigenous rights and culture. Students are required to reflect on what they learn and record their thoughts and feelings in an on-line notebook. The notebook provides a number of statements and students respond to these on a Likert scale based on evidence found in the source material. (retrieved Jan 20, 2011)
  • Learning Federation - Maths (Mathematics)
    Includes Scatter plots and - Trigonometry: measuring with triangles. SCatter Plots : Year 5 to 9 students are introduced to the features of scatter plot graphs and learn how to construct and interpret them. Trigonometry : Year 7 to 9 students learn how the ancient Egyptians and Greeks both used similar right-angle triangles to solve many different measurement problems. (retrieved Jan 20, 2011)
  • Teens Health (Personal Development, Health and Physical Education)Years 7 to 10. The site provides users with perspective, advice, and comfort about a wide range of physical, emotional, and behavioural issues that affect children and teens. Developed by The Nemours Foundation, this site aims to provide relevant, practical and understandable information to its users. KidsHealth is the most-visited site on the Web for information about health, behaviour, and development from before birth through the teen years. (retrieved Jan 20, 2011)
  • Tectonic Boundaries (Science)
    Years 9 – 10. This site presents an interactive map displaying the major tectonic plates. Students investigate the boundaries between them and learn how energy released by the separation, collision or sliding of plates affects the Earth’s surface. Students’ understanding is tested through multiple choice questions. (retrieved Jan 20, 2011)
  • Directional design: cafeteria chair (Visual Arts)
    Year 9 and 10 students are required to design an environmentally friendly chair. They are given a design brief and description of the methods, materials and mission. They are given input from the stakeholders or clients then must design the most suitable chair by selecting the shell, frame, materials, colour and finish from a number of choices. Clients provide feedback on the final design. (retrieved Jan 20, 2011)