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Multimedia Presentations Workshop


Multimedia Skills

Sue Cunningham

Since people come from a range of backgrounds, with a range of skills, the first part of this presentation will look at a typical presentation package so that everyone is familiar with their basic features. The presentation package used will be Microsoft PowerPoint, which is perhaps the most widely used presentation package. It has a number of features which are available in some form in many packages. These include:

Most people use packages such as these to produce electronic overheads, rather than multimedia presentations, and there are simple rules they can follow to make their presentations clear and legible. For example keeping font size above 18pt, using good colour combinations such as dark blue background and yellow text etc.. Designing good multimedia is much harder, and, perhaps because of the diversity of possible presentations, there are no standard guidelines available to help them. Much of the multimedia that is available today is basically simple text and graphics with additional media added in, rather than multimedia designed from scratch. This can lead to multimedia being used inappropriately, just 'bells and whistles', rather than being used where it provides real learning benefits.

Multimedia presentations can offer real benefits over standard presentations, electronic or otherwise, increasing motivation, aiding retention and allowing students to see theoretical work in practice. In order for these benefits to be realised issues of staff training and portability of presentations need to be addressed, as well as the financial issues involved in suitably equipping lecture theatres.

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