Multimedia is a combination of text, graphic, animation, audio, and video which are everything we can see and hear in our daily life (Vaughan, 2006). Multimedia applications can be used in many areas, for example like educations, businesses, homes and public places. This paper surveys the multimedia applications for educational purposes. There are six main elements in multimedia applications for educational purposes which are texts, images, audios, videos, animations and user control. Besides that, this paper also discusses the advantages and disadvantages of multimedia applications in education. There also have few characteristics in education which are screen design, interaction and feedback, navigation, video and audio elements on the development in education. In education, multimedia applications are used as a source of information to deliver learning resources for students. Multimedia applications also used to improve the learning process and increase the interaction between students and teachers or lecturers. Teachers or lecturers can make the lesson more interesting by using the multimedia applications. A multimedia applications can highlight certain important points rather than writing on the white board. There is no doubt that the role of multimedia applications for educational purposes. This new context of learning definitely will influence the way of teachers or lecturers teach and the way of students learn. They continually search for more effective ways to engage their students during learning as well as to increase student learning outcomes.
Keywords: learning, multimedia applications, educational purposes.
According to Vaughan (2006), multimedia is a combination of text, graphic, animation, audio, and video which are everything we can see and hear in our daily life. Multimedia also refers to the uses of computer technology to create, store and experience multimedia content (Singh, 2007). Multimedia applications play a crucial role in education which range from preschool education to postgraduate students and corporate training packages.
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Multimedia applications can be defined as an application that uses a combination of many media sources such as texts, graphics, audios, videos and animations. It is often use to deliver information which is more powerful than printed learning resources such as printed text book. It also allows users to interact with the information quickly and accurately. Educational multimedia applications enable students to get information in various formats. Examples of multimedia applications are World Wide Web, courseware, interactive TV, computer games, and virtual reality.
In education, multimedia application is used to provide computer based training courses and reference books such as encyclopedia. A computer based training courses lets the students go through a series of presentation, text about a particular topic in various information format (Singh, 2007). Multimedia applications are used by teachers and lecturers to convey information such as lecture slides, assessment materials and others learning resources. It can also use by students to learn new skills and knowledge without lecturers guidance.
According to Steinmetz and Nahrstedt (1995), “Multimedia applications are moving from a single PC environment to either a multi-user environment or to a personalized user environment.” The rapid innovation and development in information and communication technologies has been increased the used of multimedia applications in our daily life and brought the changes to computing, entertainment and education. However, educational multimedia applications will not going to replace the roles of teachers or lecturers, it will only allow students to learn more when compare with traditional teaching methods.
Multimedia applications for educational purposes are similar like the printed text books and other teaching materials, but they can be come in a wider range of sources. The potential of multimedia applications for educational purposes is well-recognized by the universities, school, government and private organization. Educational multimedia applications can be more focused on specific objectives or in more comprehensive ways (Norhayati & Siew, 2004).
There has been an increase in demand of educational multimedia applications at all level of citizens for them to apply their knowledge in different field of study and situations. Multimedia applications had greatly influenced the education in many ways. They give teachers or lecturers to prepare study materials for students in a more clearly and comprehensive way such as demonstrate and visualize the study material in a multimedia presentation (Milkova, 2012). Multimedia applications can also be used as a source of information. Multimedia applications can be developed to enhance the learning process and increase the interaction between students and lecturers. Lecturers can make the lesson more interesting by using the multimedia presentations. As the information is presented in variety ways, multimedia applications enhance the user experience and make the learners easier to grasp the information (Singh, 2007).
THE ELEMENTS OF MULTIMEDIA APPLICATION IN EDUCATION
Although the definition of multimedia application is simple, making it work can be complicated. We need to understand how to make each multimedia element together using educational multimedia computer tools. The elements used in multimedia applications have all existed before. Educational multimedia applications combine those elements into a powerful new tool, especially in the hands of teachers or lecturers and students. Multimedia applications can be used in many areas, for example like educations, businesses, homes and public places. For educational purposes, students can explore variety of information for further understanding by using multimedia applications. Educational multimedia applications are used to improve learning effectiveness. A multimedia learning environment involves numbers of elements in order to enable learning process taking places. There are six main elements in multimedia applications for educational purposes which are texts, images, audio, video, animations and user control.
Firstly, text is an important element in multimedia applications; it can use to provide information and emphasize specific point by using different styles, fonts, and colours. Secondly, image is an object that has more significant impact than merely reading about text in an educational session. Image can be added to multimedia applications by using colour scanner or digital camera. Examples of image are photographs, artworks, drawings. Thirdly, audio can be used to emphasize certain points and enables teachers to presents a lot of information at once rather than use printed learning resources. Audio allows students to use their imagination without being biased, so it will greatly increase the learning outcome. Fourthly, video can be used to present the information beyond the scope of the ordinary lecture room such as medical operations. The use of video to deliver information can be very powerful and immediately, it allows teachers or lecturers to highlight certain key points or tell the students what are going to do next and understand the real life situation. Fifthly, animation is used to demonstrate an idea or illustrate a concept; an object that appears blurry in video can be presented clearly in animation because it can view the changes of the object over time. Lastly, user control uses to provide students with the option to skip particular parts of the multimedia application and allow them to navigate other areas of that program. All of the elements are combined to provide a platform for students to maximize the effectiveness of educational purposes (Yadav, 2006).
ADVANTAGES OF USING EDUCATIONAL MULTIMEDIA APPLICATIONS
The growth in use of multimedia applications for educational purposes has accelerated in recent years, and looks set for continued expansion in the future. The multimedia applications play an undeniable role in education. Multimedia applications have many advantages that allow teachers and lecturers to provide other advice which tailored to particular group of learners’ needs (Cairncross and Mannion, 2001). Teachers or lecturers discover the ways to boost student’s interest and motivate them by using educational multimedia applications. Students can also active involve in the learning process by using multimedia applications such as CD-ROM based textbook, tutorials and laboratory experiments (Yadav, 2006). Multimedia applications increase the learning effectiveness and are more attractive than traditional-based learning methods. This new learning environment definitely influence the way of teachers or lecturers teach and the way students learn.
Teachers or lecturers continually search for more effective ways to attract their students during learning as well as to increase student learning outcomes. People learn better from words and pictures than from words alone. Therefore, educational multimedia applications use a combination of multimedia elements to present and emphasize particular points only, thus it is more effective because the students are easier to put attention on it rather than on static printed learning materials. Students often split their attention when they are forced to focus information that is far apart, or it is presented at two separate points at the same time. Therefore, when the related content is presented in words and picture at the same time, the learning outcome is more effective. Research found that students will participate in the lesson more actively when teachers or lecturers integrates multimedia element in learning process because they will pay more attention as the lesson becomes more interesting (Fatimah Puteh & Siti Shuhaida, 2009). For example, when the animation and narration are presented simultaneously, students are easier to understand and that information can be quickly integrated into long term memory. A multimedia presentation is an example of multimedia application, it can highlight certain information that teachers or lecturers wants to deliver.
Multimedia applications are used to grab student’s attention and generate interest during learning process. It can improve the student’s attitude toward content and learning. Multimedia applications enable students increase their memory of content and foster deeper learning when compared to traditional teaching ways that use by teachers and lecturers. Multimedia applications for educational purposes also can make the learning fun and decrease the anxiety and tension toward certain scary subjects.
There is no doubt that the important role of multimedia applications for educational purposes because it can influence the way of teachers or lecturers teach and the way of students learn. Multimedia applications are easy to use by the students or lecturers. Students are able to navigate and retrieve the information quickly because they have the ability to interact with the multimedia applications. Students can learn more when they can control pace of the presentation such as slow down, start and stop at certain information as they want. Multimedia applications are tailored the information need to the individual because it can be presented in different ways to engage students with different learning styles and strengths. Every student may have different preferences and modes to learn about something. As an example, a student prefers to read certain learning materials from prints, while another student may prefer a visual presentation. Therefore, multimedia applications for educational purposes are effective to all particular students and lecturers because it is tailored to their needs.
DISADVANTAGES OF USING EDUCATIONAL MULTIMEDIA APPLICATIONS
Multimedia applications for educational purposes that delivered the learning materials via videos or images need computers, projectors and other electronic devices, so the expenses for these applications can be very expensive. Normally multimedia applications for educational purposes are more expensive than printed text book because it requires expensive hardware. Multimedia applications also not so easy for configuration and requires special hardware to run it.
When lecturer uses educational multimedia application, he will shift his role from instructor to facilitator. As the amount of multimedia elements increase, it will slow down the delivery and pace of the learning process. For example, a student was allowed to complete the lesson at their own pace as they navigate the stage of learning materials or students works in a group to view multimedia applications, some of them maybe are not proficient with the technology, thus they need to spend more time on learning computer skills rather than access the information. Sometimes educational multimedia applications are not effective for those who have weak learning skills.
From student’s perspective, there is disadvantage exist in educational multimedia applications. Multimedia applications have the limitation such as making an e-learning accessible to all students. For example, some of the applications may not suitable to certain students. A hearing impaired student cannot heard the streaming of audio, thus these multimedia applications are not accessible to all students (Nedeva, Dimova, & Dineva, 2010).
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Another disadvantage of multimedia applications for educational purposes is that students feel isolated and unsupported by teachers or lecturers when they don’t understand certain topics. Teachers or lecturers are not always available when students need help from them; as a result they need to work independently without assistance. Hence, educational multimedia applications are least effective to those who need guidance and assistance from teachers or lecturers.
CHARACTETISTICS OF EDUCATIONAL MULTIMEDIA APPLICATIONS
Firstly, screen design is use to coordinate text and graphic elements in order to present sequenced content to facilitate learning and enhance student‘s understanding. Each instruction that display on screen in a multimedia application must provide effective instruction and navigation tools to the students. Screen design also use to boost the interest of the students and convey the required information to them. In short, a good screen design should require focusing student’s attention, maintaining their interest, promoting processing and engagement between student and lesson content, help student find and organize the information and facilitate lesson navigation.
The second characteristic is interaction and feedback, it allows student to interact and control the flow of information and stage of learning with the multimedia application. Interaction and feedback also enable student active participant in the instruction learning process and provide feedback immediately following a student response. Feedback is information about the correctness or appropriateness of student’s response which usually displayed on screen.
Third characteristic of multimedia applications for educational purposes is navigation. Navigation feature can enhance learning outcome and make an interactive multimedia applications easy to use by the students. Navigation provides students some control over the events and allows them to jump into new sections or revisit the information from earlier screen. Students can also learn and understand more when they can control the multimedia applications such as slow down, start and stop at certain information as they want.
Lastly, video and audio elements on the development in education have advantages to present the information to those students who have poor reading and learning skills. Students are easier to understand the lessons which use audio and video to convey the information rather than static learning materials. When audio and video is used to support text, it can provide an opportunity for the students to pause and repeat the sound. (Stemler, 1997)
Multimedia applications are excellent tool for educational purposes. It can improve the effectiveness of learning outcome by deliver the information to the students. Multimedia applications can use to deliver information in an interesting way by combining the elements of texts, images, audios, videos, animations and user control. Multimedia applications have a lot of advantages for the education purposes which can help students have further understanding on certain information or topics. Screen design, interaction and feedback, navigation, video and audio elements are the characteristic of multimedia applications. There is no doubt that the multimedia applications can be used as a tool to assist teachers and lecturers to achieve educational effectiveness. However, multimedia applications for educational purposes have its disadvantages too. Developing a good multimedia application has high cost that involves time and effort of the developer. There are few characteristic that a developer tries to improve the effectiveness of educational multimedia applications which are attract student’s attention, help students organize the information and facilitate lesson navigation and integrate all the information into knowledge.
Cairncross, S., & Mannion, M. (2001). Interactive Multimedia and Learning: Realizing the Benefits. 156-164.
Fatimah Puteh & Siti Shuhaida Shukor. (2009). The Integration Of Multimedia Elements In Classroom Teaching Among TESL Teacher-Trainees. 1-6.
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Nedeva, V., Dimova, E., & Dineva, S. (2010). Overcome Disadvantages of E-learning for Training English as Foreign Language. 275-281.
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