This report is also available as an Acrobat file.
Multimedia Presentations Workshop
Working Group 3 - Strategy
Chair: W T Hewitt
This group looked at general reasons why people do not use multimedia presentations (MMP) , and how to help make the most of MMP.
The discussion revealed a number of reasons why the take up of MMP was small:
The group however identified a number of reasons for investing in MMP:
- It is complex and time consuming to create an MMP. It has a "techie image".
- Lecture theatres are generally inadequately equipped.
- Using my software on the lecture theatre PC takes a long time to get going.
- The effort is not recognized in the individuals promotion prospects.
- The cost effectiveness of CBT/CAL had yet to be proven satisfactorily.
- For students to follow up such MMP a lot of "expensive computers" were needed.
- There is evidence that it improves the learning process, and therefore improves the pass rate.
- It would improve an institutions results in the Teaching Quality Assessments (TQA).
- It attracts students, and as more an more school children get exposed to computers, they will expect it when they come to University.
- With the move towards more distance learning MMP would augment the traditional talk and chalk style presentation.
- There is some good competition available, e.g., the Microsoft CDs, which could be used as an effective teaching resource.
- It would attract fee paying conferences.
It was recognized that upgrading a typical lecture theatre could cost of the order of £30K-40K, and combined with the large cost of preparation of material it was important that these costs were recognized at an institutional level, and included in the institution's Teaching & Learning Strategy.
In essence the group believed that Institutions need to treat MMP as a loss leader, and lead the community down this path.
Discussion about existing CBT/CAL materials revealed a number of problems:
This led us to the Golden Rules of MMP Development:
- There was a concentration on closed modules, and what was required was "clips" or extracts that could be more easily incorporated into the individuals existing materials.
- The preparation to delivery ratios of MMP vs a traditional lecture are enormous (100-500:1 for MMP, against 8:1 for chalk and talk).
- Thus the cost benefits of CBT/CAL, i.e., the MMP were not proven.
- Don't re-invent the wheel
- Use low cost CAL, e.g., MS Excel
- Produce bespoke material only as a last resort
- Share your work with others
The last rule suggesting that a repository of clips would be very useful. In this clips includes images, sounds, video clips, program fragments, working programs, scripts and data files.
With the move towards distance learning, CBT/CAL, and the increasing availability of material on the Internet, we concluded that there was still a role of the one to many lecture, though it will change to focus on charting a path for students through the plethora of material available from a wide variety of sources, including books, CDs, Internet, …
We questioned the value of just putting "OHPs" on the network. For there to have any value to the student they must be augmented in some way.
- There is still a role for the 1-n lecture
- The role of academic will change, but will still be to chart a path through the available resources
- Institutions should recognise the cost and value of MMP - Particularly in career development
- A cost benefit analysis of CBT/CAL is needed: - Need to show that it will improve teaching
- Each institution should have a number of MM equipped lecture theatres. These will:
- Cost £30-40k, (PC/MAC, 1K x768 resolution)
- Improve quality of presentation
- Do things which you can't do with OHPs
- Have a high PR value
- Improve results in the TQA
- Lecture room allocation must include use not only size i.e., small teaching groups may have equally valid requirements for multimedia presentation facilities, therefore such facilities should not be limited to theatres holding several hundred people.
- MM Trolley's should be provided so that multimedia presentations can be held in rooms not permanently equipped for such presentations. They may also act as a first step towards fully equipped lecture theatres.
- MMP will require institutions initially to be loss leaders.
- Institution wide strategy required
- A Central Unit should be set up to disseminate good practice
- Provide several Case Studies
- Encourage re-use of material, via a repository
- Employ people to find good examples and material. Good examples need to cover good multimedia design and presentation, including guides to how much material can be well presented in a lecture. MMP allows you to convey a greater amount of data, hence presenters may end up cramming in too much so students don't take anything in.
- MMP needs to lose its Techie' image
- Make it simple to start (small number of tools). Presenters should be able to start to create MMPs using skills they already posses, such as Word Processing etc..
- Access to staff development for the MMP process. As staff develop more advanced multimedia there will inevitable be a requirement for new skills and to learn how to use more tools.
- Lecturers to understand the T.L. process for MMP
- Survey of existing tools and say what tools are required.
- MMP support material such as printed notes and files on a public server. Although there appears to be strong support for MMPs among students, there is still a very strong preference for printed notes. If notes and files are networked, students would be able to follow up material presented in the lectures in their own study time. There is therefore a requirement for suitable public MM machines, both for learning and development.
- Research needs to be carried out to determine what sort of follow up material should be available for students after a MMP.
Virtual Environments Visualisation