Whether you realize it or not, multimedia is a pervasive element of our learning environments. Narrated PowerPoint presentations, YouTube, and various other combinations of images, text, and audio all illustrate the ubiquity of multimedia in contemporary learning and teaching. While multimedia can promote student engagement, support diverse ways of learning, and help students develop relevant contemporary communication skills, it can also contribute to cognitive overload and hinder learning. To leverage the benefits of multimedia while mitigating these potential drawbacks, it's important to consider both:
the design of the multimedia itself, and
how the multimedia fits into your larger course design
This page offers practical resources to help you create multimedia instructional materials effectively through a design perspective.
Ways to avoid cognitive overload in slide presentations, videos, documents, and other multimedia:
Omit extraneous material (such as images that are merely decorative and do not convey or reinforce core concepts). For example, the horse is a major distraction (unless I have explained how the horse itself relates to cognitive overload).
Combine a well-chosen graphic with a compelling oral narrative, but omit text. Consider a story-telling approach in which you convey a concept through a memorable, specific example, rather than elaborating abstract definitions.
Combine a well-chosen graphic plus clear and concise text, but omit narration. For example, a graphic can effectively convey a process or model. SmartArt in Office is often a quick way to create such graphics.
Consider that your own image doesn't necessarily help someone learn the content. Instead of using your webcam continuously in the bottom corner of the screen, try using your image full-size as you narrate a welcoming intro and supportive conclusion. But omit your image from the middle of the recording.
Print this concise version of Mayer's 12 Principles of Multimedia Learning as a guide when designing, creating, and curating multimedia instructional materials. Contact CAFÉ for more information about the research basis and effective use of these multimedia principles.
Know that some learners may have hearing, visual, or other issues. You want them to be able to access the same information in a timely manner. To do this, use the following guide to learn more about how to make information in images, narration, tables, and videos accessible to all learners:
Consider how you can provide materials that can be used on a variety of mobile devices. Chunk material into short segments focused on discrete topics. This is consistent with Mayer's research-based principles of multimedia learning and supports diverse learners, including working students, caregivers, and other busy learners.
You may have overlooked robust tools available within PowerPoint itself for recording instructional materials. Webcam recording can be included, as well as screen recordings, and it is easy to redo your narration or independently update the content of individual slides. Additionally, information you place in the notes field can be shown as you record and can foster accessibility when you share the .pptx file with others.
How to Record Your Narrated PowerPoint using PowerPoint 2016 - video tutorial includes, pen, highlighter, and laser pointer features.
Additional Microsoft Support for Recording Your PowerPoint SlideShow
How to Record Your Screen in PowerPoint
Get Microsoft Office 365 from Queens
If you end up with a very large .pptx file, you can upload it to OneDrive and share a viewing link with your learners.
If exporting as a video file, you can upload the video to Stream and autogenerate captions and an interactive transcript. Then share the link or embed code to the video.
Flipgrid is best known as a mobile-friendly, asynchronous video discussion platform. However, Flipgrid Shorts let you create standalone videos up to 10 minutes in length, edit the content, and autogenerate captions. This means you can go to one platform for both standalone content and discussion. Videos can be shared in the LMS by URL or embed code. A Short can include webcam recording, screen-recording (in some browsers), narrating an image, and/or adding text to a white or blackboard. When recording, click Pause to move, remove, or add items, then resume. Edit by selecting the portion you want to keep. Then "Add more" to your recording. If needed, reorder segments before finalizing. Learn more at:
Quick Guide to Using Flipgrid
Flipgrid Grid Showing Videos and Explaining Uses
You can record videoconference sessions, your screen, and/or webcam. You can even share your screen in a meeting room by yourself and record it. Upload your video to Stream to autogenerate captions and an interactive transcript, and insert interactive knowledge checks.
Faculty Guide to RingCentral Meetings
Student Guide to RingCentral Meetings
Available in both free and low-cost subscription versions. Recording is available in the free version. Editing is available through the low-cost subscription version.
How to Record Video with Free Screencast-O-Matic
How to Record and Edit Video in Paid Screencast-O-Matic
Library of Tutorials for Screencast-O-Matic
Videos can be shared by URL or embed code.
Available to faculty through the Digital Studio or a perpetual license can be purchased. Offers advanced editing, multilayered audio and video tracks, and interactive quizzes.
Quick Guide to Camtasia
Camtasia Tutorials by TechSmith
Creating Interactive Quizzes and Instructional Sequences in Camtasia
Recording devices for unique situations are also available for faculty to check out from CAFÉ or use in the Digital Studio. These include a lightboard, Swivl, and 360 degree immersive camera. More complex authoring software, Articulate Storyline, is also available. Contact CAFÉ for more information.
The more complex your content is, the more important it is to plan it out first. Commonly used templates include:
Simple Storyboard Templates
Advanced Storyboard Templates
Laura Lohman, PhD, SHRM-SCP, PMP
Director, Center for the Advancement of Faculty Excellence
Professor of Music