The terms distance learning, online learning, and Webbased instruction have become buzzwords and catch phrases for the new phenomenon of learning. These terms used to describe an ever-changing environment represent approaches that focus on opening the access to education and training provision for adult learners, freeing the adult learners from the traditional constraints of time and place. Online learning is one of the most rapidly growing fields of education around the world, and its potential impact on all education delivery systems has been greatly emphasized through the development of Web-based information technologies, multimedia, communication technologies, and, more importantly, the Internet.
Background And Literature Review
Online courses with multimedia have the potential to generate new patterns of teaching and learning for students. This idea is strongly linked with developments in information and communication technologies; it is also close to the development of new learning needs and new patterns of information access and application and learning. There is evidence that online courses and advanced in multimedia technology can lead to innovation in mainstream education, and may even have effects beyond the realm of education itself. Multimedia and online courses therefore may play a decisive role in the creation of the global knowledge-based society (Michael & Tait, 2002).
In education, multimedia tools are used to create stimulating and interactive online education that incorporate audio, video, and animation capabilities. The definition of multimedia has changed over time. According to Ryan and Kasturi (2002), multimedia is defined as the combination of text, graphics, sound, animation, and video with computing technology to provide the user with a multisensory experience. Mayer (2001) states that multimedia are tools or products that utilize computer technology to enable the production, manipulation, and exchange of informative and educational materials to the user. Reed (2003) explained how teachers and students are able to take advantage of multimedia technology to access digital media such as audio, video, and data via the Internet. Walsh and Reese (1995) also discussed the growing popularity of video conferencing via compressed digital video technology. This technology has shown to provide students at different campuses access to live interactive course materials and content.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Instructional Design: Also known as instructional systems design is the analysis of learning needs and systematic development of instruction. Instructional designers often use instructional technology as a method for developing instruction. Instructional design models typically specify a method that, if followed, will facilitate the transfer of knowledge, skills, and attitude to the recipient or acquirer of the instruction.
Multimedia: The presentation of information made with a combination of data, images, animation, sounds, and video.
Digital Media: Refers to any type of information in digital format including computer-generated text, graphics, and animations, as well as photographs, animation, sound, and video.
Web-Based Learning: A form of computer-based instruction that uses the World Wide Web as the primary delivery method of information.
ICT: Information and communication technology is the term used to describe exciting and innovative ways to provide lifelong learners with global access to information, learning, and support facilitated through technology.
PowerPoint: A presentation authoring software creating graphical presentations with or without audio.
Online Learning: Instruction and interaction that are primarily based on the technologies available from the Internet and the World Wide Web.
Animation: A simulation of movement created by displaying a series of images through frames. Digital animation is a primary component of multimedia presentations.