Got your attention with that image, didn’t I? What would a rock concert be without the special lighting, smoke machines, dancing, and other elements designed to draw the audience in? In much the same way, multimedia such as images, videos, and audio can increase learner interaction with announcements and increase the instructor’s social presence.
- Video is especially effective for concepts that are easier to show than tell. Two examples:
- A brief history of our economic system (tell)
- The use of formulas in a financial statement (show)
- Sometimes popular media (video clips from movies or of advertisements) capture beautifully a concept that otherwise takes a lot of explanation. The clips can also serve as a basis for discussion.
- Narrated PowerPoint can be used effectively in the same way as video to show a concept or explain a process. The number of slides and the length of the presentation should be kept to a minimum.
- Audio files can bring an instructor’s voice to the course. Short audio clips can be an effective way for the instructor to introduce video, give background on an article, leave feedback, etc.
- Short audio clips of interviews can bring the voice of a world-renown expert to the class.
The key to using any multimedia file is to keep the file short (about 5-7 minutes) or break it into chunks of approximately 5 minutes.
Here are a couple more important tips for using multimedia:
- Be aware of any copyright restrictions on media you want to use. McIntyre Library at UWEC has pulled together some Fair Use Guidelines for Educational Multimedia.
- After you have carefully selected media for your course, make sure that the widest possible audience can access it. Our standards are based on the Americans with Disabilities Act, which uses Section 504, Section 508, and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 as its standards.
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