Media is a Latin word used to describe ways to convey information. Media can be related to newspapers, magazines, radio, television, audio-video programmes, computers, and others. Many prefixes are used with the word media such as multimedia, electronic media, and interactive media. The most common reference used in education is multimedia, which is the integration of text, audio, video, graphics, and animation into a single medium. Instructional multimedia is the integration of various forms of media in the instructional process. It is the technology that combines print, radio, television, animation, photographs, and other forms of illustration (Usha, 2003). Interactive refers to the way the user engages in the integration of different media (text, audio, video, graphics, and animation) to enhance the user’s learning process. The use of multimedia as an educational medium is becoming increasingly popular in various fields of study including medicine, science, engineering, and arts. Interactive multimedia courseware (software used by students in their learning) in particular, developed on a CD-ROM, is adding a new and interesting dimension to both teaching and learning. This new approach can effectively complement the conventional methods of teaching and learning. The multisensory input of this media provides possibilities for higher performance ratings and higher retention (Usha, 2003). With effective feedback, this method makes learning and teaching more meaningful. Students with different learning abilities can work at their own place, time and pace; and with interactively and selfassessment it can make learning a highly personalized, independent, and a rewarding experience. Today, new media and technologies for learning technical courses have influenced education in higher learning institutions. This trend has posed an immense challenge to academicians who wish to employ multimedia in their teaching activities.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Delivery Control: The means to provide a learner greater navigational and freedom when interacting or engaging in the learning environment. Learners may go onto any section in a multimedia material they wish and in any order in the learning environment.
Interactivity: Refers to the way the user engages in the integration of different media (text, audio, video, graphics, and animation) to enhance the learning process.
Courseware: Software packages that students use in their learning to supplement or replace traditional course activities.
Multimedia: Is media that uses multiple forms of information content and information processing (e.g., text, audio, graphics, animation, and interactivity) to inform or entertain the (user) audience.