Impact of Technology and Multimedia

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October 8, 2013 by idinnovation

A student’s ability to begin instruction is particularly important in a skills training environment as time, effort and money can be wasted if students do not have the entry level skills required to be successful (Simonson, Smaldino, Albright, & Zvacek, 2012).  New technologies have the potential and capabilities to support sustained educational communication (Garrison, and Cleveland-Innes, 2005). Ayer and Smith (1998, as cited by Hewitt-Taylor, 2003) note that learning that occurs in the distance learning environment generally occurs using learning resources, which may include: written materials, computer software, or other media, which the course designers believe, will enhance student learning. Technology tools should be used throughout the course, instructors should encourage learners to use tools that support collaboration, team work, and project coaching (Boettcher & Conrad 2010).

Boettcher & Conrad contend that simulation and virtual worlds, prerecorded tutorials and YouTube websites that can be used for posting short videos are becoming standard elements of online courses they are not essential for successful course development (2010). Video use in online learning can assist learners in understanding concepts that are complex in nature and procedures that are difficult to explain with only text and graphics in addition to video’s face-to-face context effectively captures cultural context  that not only enhances the learning experience but also engages the student.  Furthermore, the addition of multimedia triggers auditory and visual messages and can help augment and improve the learning processes in action according to constructivist (Hartell and Yuen, 2006).

Appropriate use of multimedia in a learning environment can greatly improve the experience of online learners.  As technology begins to improve in on-line learning environments educational institutions will need to utilize innovative and cleaver methods in engaging learners. The designer must be careful because adding interactivity will not necessarily result in effective management of essential processing.

As instructional designers, I think it is imperative that technology be used in a way that complements learning and in a way that is consistent with the way in which people learn. Technology should not be used as the means to decide which direction the educational plan goes but rather a means to complement and provide a medium in which learning can occur based on educational learning models and principals. It is imperative that you always ask yourself if the animations or graphics being used are essential to communicating the message and if they assist with the transfer of knowledge without causing cognitive overload.

As an instructional designer, you must always be cognizant of the technology that is both available to the organization and the student.  The instructor should ensure that content is created in the correct and appropriate format, access to the media is available, and the server has adequate bandwidth to upload and download the files.  As long as these factors are met the advantages of using streaming video some of which are: distributing live events, the delivery of long media, multicasting to many viewers, instant play, and the easy creation of streamed files.  As with all technology there are limitations associated with the use of technology; in regards to streaming video the instructor should consider learners with inadequate band-which, competing technology control standards and users who have 56K, cable and DSL connections who can sometimes have difficulty viewing streamed video. (Hartell and Yuen, 2006).

As I move forward in my career as an instructional designer, it is my hope that I achieve advanced user status in Captivate, Articulate Storyline, Camtasia Studio and  HTML. While I have moved past my first course, it is important to remember that the first offering is just that, as we continue to teach/design in the online environment there will be many opportunities  to test, explore, and refine the use of these  tools and the many others that are available (Boettcher & Conrad 2010). It is through the culmination of my skills in the systematic design process and learner interactivity that I hope to develop learning tools that enhance learning, create interactive learning communities and maintain current with new technological tends and innovations.



Boettcher, J. V., & Conrad, R. (2010). The online teaching survival guide: Simple and practical pedagogical tips. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Garrison, D. R., Cleveland-Innes, M. (2005): Facilitating cognitive presence in online learning: Interaction is not enough, American Journal of Distance Education, 19:3, 133-148 Retrieved on October 8, 2013, from

Hartsell, T., & Yuen, S. C.-y. (2006). Video streaming in online learning. AACE Journal, 14(1), 31–43.

Hewitt-Taylor, J. (2003). Facilitating distance learning in nurse education. Nurse Education in Practice3, 23-29.

Simonson, M., Smaldino, S., Albright, M., & Zvacek, S. (2012). Teaching and learning at a distance: foundations of distance education (5th Ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.

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