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2.Initial Development
3.Establishing the Project
4.Awareness Raising

5.Staff Experience

6.Multimedia Magic

Case Studies

Encouraging staff to fully exploit the multimedia lecture room

5 Staff Experience and Attitudes

In order to gain more 'in depth knowledge' from staff of their current perceptions and knowledge of multimedia, Jo circulated an e-mail around the College in order to raise the profile of the project and to invite information relating to staff current use (see Figure 5). To avoid confusing the meaning of the term 'multimedia', examples of use were provided.

Although e-mail became the College's primary method of communication from January 1st 1998, other methods of advertisement were also used in order to ensure that all staff were aware of the project. Prominent posters were placed on staff notice boards inviting comments and advertising participation opportunities.

At first, staff were reticent in providing the information. However, with persistence and considerable one-to-one contact providing reassurance, the information was forthcoming over a period of a month. In order to informally monitor the spread of information relating to the project, the e-mail system was used to determine how many staff read the information and how many responded. It was quickly apparent that staff could be divided into four groups in their response style:

  • Those who didn't use e-mail, i.e. didn't access the information at all
  • Those who deleted e-mail before reading, i.e. those who read the title and then deleted the message without reading the contents
  • Those who read e-mail but did not respond, i.e. those who read the contents of the e-mail but did not respond at all - perhaps the most frustrating category!
  • Those who read e-mail and responded.
Over two hundred staff read the e-mail, but only about thirty replied. Some of these responses indicated good, inventive use of multimedia equipment and others indicated substantial use of video equipment. A small number admitted that they were relatively unskilled in this area and indicated a willingness to learn from scratch.

Following a personal one-to-one approach, several others replied that had, initially, had reservations. Some staff were reluctant to admit a lack of knowledge and awareness in the area of multimedia. In a day of increased pressure at work and more demands being placed on lecturing staff, many felt threatened by any variation in teaching and learning styles. Some staff indicated that they had used the facilities in the Hall while others provide more general comments on their own expertise.

Here are examples of the responses obtained:

"A few details of my use of multimedia:

Use of data projector within the Library to demonstrate CD ROMS to groups of students and also to demonstrate searching on the web.

Use of the equipment in the Hall for Library induction - used PowerPoint and flat bed scanner.

Use of computer and projector in Lecture Theatre 2 to demonstrate CD-ROM.
Departmental Librarian

"Multimedia teaching is very positive for students with disabilities, visual images being particularly enabling for dyslexics. Issues for me:-

I would use PowerPoint presentations often if the data projection was more readily available and we weren't so tied to a room (in a 3 hour session that means no break) to look after it.

b) I use OHP's a lot, but the cost of colour OHP's (better for dyslexics and conference presentations) are prohibitively expensive - ditto slides!)

The advantage of OHP's is that black and white are comparatively cheap, once one has a supply of the photocopier transparencies, one can just get on and make one's own.

I would like to get into more PowerPoint presentations which could make use of sound and the other facilities too."
Education Tutor

"I use video regularly, video-cameras occasionally, computers regularly as part of PGCE teaching."
Education Tutor

"No exciting use of Hall facilities. Found that the OHP facility at the podium was fuzzy and students complained that they could not read it"
Health Studies Tutor

"I use multimedia for presentations and am starting to use it more in lectures. At present, the use is minimal, but I would hope to use it on a regular basis, i.e. as a regular part of lectures. Any further development in my understanding would be greatly appreciated"
Sports Studies Tutor

"I use cassettes, tapes and videos"
Business Tutor

"I need to take opportunities to develop skills and practice"
Education Tutor

"I should like to learn more about multimedia approaches".
Psychology Tutor

"Yes, I do use multimedia facilities, at various locations. The things that I use are:-

Computers, demonstrating software and PowerPoint presentations, plus some electronic packages authored using Toolbook.

The data projector attached to a PC.

VCR attached to a television

Video editing to produce video materials

PC to produce hand-outs for all lectures"
I.T. Tutor

"I use the OHP in every lecture, usually to show at least five transparencies of maps, tables, lists, etc. My use of slides is less than many other colleagues in Geography, e.g. 10% - 20% of lectures. The same sort of rate would apply to videos.

I would like to use more exotic forms of presentation, but these are bothersome to provide, I understand".
Geography Tutor

"At present, I have one standard learning and teaching styles lecture which I deliver using a hyperstudio stack. .....In the lecture, I present a number of pages of information, much like PowerPoint, and I also have links to other pieces of software.

At present it is not realistic to construct lectures in this way unless I know that I will be repeating them, as the initial investment in time is substantial (reducing as I get slicker with the software). We are just beginning to include Internet use in primary I.T. training, and we hope in the course of the present semester to develop a range of help pages for supported self-study. These are likely to include text and graphics, but I doubt we will be inserting video clips just yet. Ask again next year, and the position may well be different"
Education Tutor

"Last year, we used the hall for a multimedia presentation...... It went quite well but we had problem in swapping between computer and video so we used two data projectors. ..... On the whole it was a positive experience but we really needed more practice at using the equipment"
Science Tutor

"I would like to use multimedia but need some serious lessons in how to do it!"
Business Tutor

"I use the data projector twice a week in conjunction with PowerPoint presentation in lectures. These presentations are then available on the Art & Design network. We are planning to use the video to record student's activity such as peer assessment and learning teams this semester. I make use of interactive CD-ROMs for skills training in specific software applications. At the beginning of the semester, I use a digital still camera to take photos of students in our field to get to know their names. I am in the process of developing means for publishing past lecture notes on the Web. I occasionally use the data projector for showing videos."
Art & Design Tutor

"Last semester, I used the data projector linked to a multimedia PC on four or five occasions to show computer animation of biological principles to students".
Science Tutor

"We make frequent use of tape recorders, CD's videos, etc in teaching and always video students assessed performances for our external examiner and the students to view. Students find this particular useful. We also video students teaching in school and giving presentations in College. We are looking forward to being able to edit music on a computer."
Education Tutor

"I use video on a regular basis to show pre-recorded programmes to video students or assessment purposes, giving a presentation and I get students in school to make a video of a lesson and use it in College with the whole group. Computers are used to consider how History through I.T. can be taught in the secondary school. I am also testing out some software for TLTP on my undergraduate modules this semester but that is problematic due to how many computers can be made available, who an instruct the students to access the programme if I am not available. Also, the logistic of whole group I.T. work seem rather defeating.
History Tutor

"I use the Data Projector and large monitors for PowerPoint (combining text and graphics), Toolbox (text, graphics, animation) and demonstrating MS office, paintbrush"
I.T. Tutor

"Currently fairly limited use, mainly because of the extremely limited nature of facilities in the teaching rooms, e.g. I use PowerPoint, but have to have slides transferred to acetate as facilities are not available. Given up using slides due to the weight and cumbersome nature of College equipment."
Education Tutor

"I do not use the facilities in the Hall as they are unreliable. I would like to use the data projector in all locations but facilities available do not permit this."
Psychology Tutor

"I regularly use video in the Hall to enliven lectures. I have also in the past used a statistical database on the PC using the data projector facility. In the future, I intend to use an interactive CD package and the Hall/G14 would provide suitable facilities. I use the data projector for some sessions in another module in order to demonstrate the appropriate software that the students will be utilising in their modules. I would like to develop my use of the data projector elsewhere in my teaching, ..... where PowerPoint presentations, would add quality to the impact and clarity of the material being presented"
Business Tutor

"I have used the Hall for a public presentation and utilised a combination of PowerPoint, video, slides and CD music. It was very successful. I am hosting a National Conference in September and will be using all the multimedia facilities"
Sports Studies Tutor

"I often use video and OHP materials......Some of the main history teaching rooms are so badly equipped in terms of black-out that it is virtually impossible to show slides, etc."
History Tutor

"I use OHPs in all my sessions. I find that having pre-prepared slides enables me to concentrate on what I am saying and I can make my writing much clearer. I use graphic calculators in most of my mathematics sessions. I use computers in a number of my sessions and have tried an LCD display in conjunction with an OHP but the results were not too clear. In a computer-programming module, I used a programmable toy called a ROAMER, which gave a good idea of what a computer program is and can do. "
Education/I.T. Tutor

"I do not use multimedia resources yet but expect to develop the need to use the data projector in the future"
Science Tutor

"I use the data projection facilities"
Sociology Tutor

"I use multimedia in various ways to support lecture ad seminar sessions..... My limitations are to do with organising my own time in terms of preparation of materials."
English Tutor

"The physical educationalists use video on a weekly basis for the modules relating to the 'Reflective Practitioner' as well as the practical modules, where students can refer to the video for reference or if they were absent."
Sports Studies Tutor

The responses provided a good cross-section of the skills among staff in general. Also evident were some of the misconceptions associated with the use of multimedia and also reasons why staff did not feel comfortable with using it.

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