Multimedia uses in the Classroom

The “what” and “why” of Multimedia

Multimedia refers to a various content types, such as images, video, and computer graphics.  Integrating multimedia into the teaching and learning process has become more feasible and can transform static educational content into interactive content.  Authoring tools allow instructors and students to create media that is multisensory and interactive.  

How to use multimedia in your class?

The instructor or the student can create multimedia content.  Instructor created content can be used as an engaging in-class presentation, an online simulation embedded into the course site, or an online lecture presentation to “flip the classroom.”  Multimedia content created and directed by the student increases motivation and ownership over the project.  However, project guidelines, instructions, and criteria are important to guide students during development.  

Additional class uses for multimedia include:

  • Present topics and concepts outside of class
  • Create podcast or vlog to introduce, reflect, or continue classroom conversations
  • Create group presentations or projects using a variety of multimedia tools
  • Develop an exposé using video footage or images, conduct interviews, and add commentary
  • Design online simulations, case studies, or scenarios using multimedia toolkits, such as Adobe Captivate or Articulate Storyline (for types of scenarios, visit this article from eLearning Brothers)

Caveats to Consider

As with any learning object or tool, it is important that it meets or supports the learning goal.  Here are some key questions to ask when designing your multimedia activities:

  1. Does the activity meet a course objective, such as collaboration or digital literacy?  
  2. Will the students have access to software licenses or will they have to purchase the products as part of the course?  Is there free software that will work in place of expensive products?
  3. While some multimedia tools are easy to use, they still require some time investment to learn. Will the instructor or student have enough time to learn these tools to finish the assignment?  Will these tools be used throughout the course or just once?

Types of multimedia assignments:


  • Computer Game:  Students can write, design, and program a computer or online game.
  • Interactive Stories:  Students will decide what will happen throughout a story, such as a comic or book.  Clicking on icons, the user will decide the fate of the character and the ending of the story.  During development the students can work in groups to write the story and possible outcomes, record any audio and video, and create the interactive media.
  • Podcasts:  Recorded and distributed online, podcasts can cover a range of topics.  Podcasts allow students to develop literacy, speaking, and listening skills, gain feedback from an audience, and collaborate with peers as part of group podcast.  Students can use a basic microphone and record audio using a free multi-track audio editor, Audacity, to create their podcasts, which may be uploaded online or to iTunes.
  • Flip Video:  Using a flip video camera or built-in smartphone camera, students can now create video podcasts or journals, conduct quick interviews, or document a school related trip or project.  For example, an English student could attend a speaker series with a well-known author and record part of the session or ask the author questions at the end of the session.  The interview could then be used as part of a blog post, presentation, or opening to a class discussion.
  • Multimedia Presentation (i.e. PowerPoint):  Students can build multimedia presentations that include video clips, audio, text, and images.  Audio can be recorded and synced to slides, and the presentation exported and embedded into a website or uploaded to the course LMS.
  • Tutorials:  As with blogs, students can write, record, and post tutorials about certain concepts, such as using a screen capture software like Jing to show how to solve a math problem.


Multimedia Resources

Camtasia:  Quickly capture video with your webcam or screen capture, edit video content with a variety of effects, and easily share your video with anyone, anywhere.

VoiceThread:  An online media presentation tool that allows for collaboration via text, video, and voice commenting.

Adobe Presenter or Articulate Presenter:  Create eLearning content using the Presenter add-on for PowerPoint.  During a PowerPoint presentation, quiz questions and simulations can be embedded using the Presenter tools.  The final presentation can be exported as HTML5 and uploaded to an LMS or embedded into a website.

Articulate Storyline 2:  Incorporate user interactions using buttons, markers, and hotspots, which can be customized as much or as little as preferred.  Build an immersive user experience with simulations and video.

Adobe Captivate 9:  Similar to Storyline, Captivate 9 allows users to go from storyboarding to responsive eLearning design quickly and easily.  This presentation tool can create stimulating content and quizzes to eLearning courses that are HTML5 and SCORM-compliant.

Video hosting with YouTube:  Once you have captured video using a smartphone or onboard computer camera or webcam, the instructor or student can use a variety of software to edit videos into engaging educational content.  One of the easiest places to host these videos is YouTube.  For more information on hosting video and creating playlists visit this article located on American Honors Helpdesk.

Embedding Video and Media in your Course:  American Honors Helpdesk article on using YouTube or Vimeo to embed video and media into your course site.

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