How To Use Multimedia To Direct Attention In Online Learning

Online education has come of age—with four out of five adults now consuming some form of web-based learning. In fact, 83 percent of online learners say they “use multimedia learning to aid in the learning process”.

After an online course class I took this year, I decided to convert my professor’s English-level textbook into an easy to navigate Multimedia Visual (MV) file. Once I was able to find the knowledge and plagiarism portions from the textbook, I was all set to teach my “digital Literacy” class.

As a digital content and marketing strategist who works with education-focused organizations to help them develop online courses, I know a thing or two about how effective these digital classrooms are. I’ve read countless reports and I’ve come up with a few simple tips to get you in the classroom…in 15 minutes or less.

Consider The Audience

When choosing the right mobile application for your classroom, you’ll want to consider how the app will be used by your users. Is it going to be used primarily for the examination process? Is it going to include graphics, multimedia images and videos? Will it be used to keep your student engaged?

Think About The Curriculum

The best multimedia content for your course should align with the purpose of the class. For example, a digital audio/visual video for Latin X is not going to be effective if it’s not part of your curriculum because, by nature, the course consists of lectures. Knowing the content in advance makes it easier to accurately select a course resource.

Choose The Right Content Types

Once you have the right library of course materials, you’ll need to choose the right type of content. Images, high quality videos and PDF files come to mind. Another important consideration for you is that you’ll want to make sure your content is aligned with the course’s methodology and objectives. For example, if you are writing an English composition course for college students, then pictures and diagrams will likely not work as they will be assigned to help students with context for the English course.

After you determine the content type(s) that will work well for your class, they should be tailored to the environment and students (or students with similar abilities) you are trying to engage. After all, the goal of your multimedia is to serve as a medium to teach your instructor and your students while also engaging students themselves.

Determine Your Trigger

It’s a good idea to have a trigger for your online course. Some simple examples would be topics you cover in your course that could be perfect for a visual presentation. Use a vivid language barrier in your English course to visually show what it’s like to speak English without a native speaker present, or use a video or audio blog for your course on the hit podcast phenomenon, “Serial.” You will also want to consider themes in your course, such as the nature of online learning or how online learning keeps a professor up at night.

Also keep in mind that what is right for you may not be right for other campuses. For example, what works in your English course may not work at Florida State University because the majority of college students there may not be interested in English 101.

Develop A Content Strategy

Once you’ve identified your course’s focus (recipes for your visuals, best practices in your classroom), you can develop a strategy for how you are going to use them to benefit the class. For example, if you are teaching a seminar course on college students, then why not organize a discussion about how online courses will affect them? If you are using video for your digital communications course, then plan a keynote in your video for how digital media is transforming the jobs of the future and a post-perementary award where you are recommending your current students take the course.

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