In April 1996 a workshop was held at the University of Manchester to look at the issues surrounding multimedia presentations, what they are, how and where they can be useful, how they are generated and the support required to create and deliver them. During the discussions a 'wish list' of features that would be included in an ideal presentations package was created.
As a follow up to this workshop, an evaluation of several popular presentations packages has been prepared, largely based on the recommendations of the workshop. Since the workshop, many of these packages have seen new releases, and a number of the features on the 'wish list' have been incorporated or improved. In general the packages are now more flexible, in particular in allowing hyperlinking. Although different packages do have different features, all the packages implement a basic set of functions sufficient to allow the creation of most types of presentation. In practice it is likely that most people will not choose a particular presentation package, but use whichever package is supplied with bundled office software.
In addition to looking at the software used to develop multimedia presentations, the April 1996 workshop also looked at the issues surrounding the delivery of multimedia presentations. These issues will be further discussed in a second workshop to be held at Loughborough University on 28 April 1997. Managing, Delivering and Supporting Lecture Room Services for the Multimedia Age will address the issues relating to the provision and support of equipment and associated technology for lecture rooms as the demands of teaching staff and the resources they use change. A full report will be available after the workshop.
The software evaluation and reports from both workshops will be available from the SIMA Web site at:
For more details please contact:
SIMA Multimedia Support Officer
Computer Graphics Unit
University of Manchester
Manchester M13 9PL
Tel: +44 161 275 6095
Fax: +44 161 275 6040