MULTIMEDIA PRODUCTION
 Teacher's guide

Introduction
Instructor Requirements
Structure - lessons, resources, tests, com-site

Lesson Overviews and Suggested Activities

Introducing Students to the Course
Introduction to New Media
Introduction to Multimedia
Introduction to Hyperstudio
Planning, Designing and Producing your First Project
Understanding and Working with Images
Understanding and Working with Audio
Using Sound in Hyperstudio
Working with Digital Video
Assessment
 


INTRODUCTION

This adjunct course was originally developed for WebCT delivery in the summer of 1997 (but is still current) for the Communication Technology Program in the UAE.  As of June 2001, I am slowly updating it to take advantage of more recent delivery technologies available. You may find that a few components such as the quizzes are missing, but I'm working on it!

This is a project based course, and as well as teaching the basics of multimedia production, it can introduce faculty and students to the concept of combined open learning. It is not about learning how to use Hyperstudio as a specific authoring program, but rather, it gives students the opportunity to easily plan and assemble their first multimedia program without a high learning curve typically associated with programs such as Director. Students dive right in, and this is more of a 'practical-theory-practical' learning strategy as opposed to a traditional 'theory-practical' approach.

This doesn't even have to be a multimedia course. As it is project based, it can work as a multimedia literacy project in virtually any subject area! Students will learn about the content of their projects in a very deep and significant way as they research and assemble them.

A projector and networked Mac lab is recommended as the software illustrated is primarily Mac-based, although PC labs or autonomous work stations will also suffice.  On a network, the network version of Hyperstudio should be installed along with the RealVideo and Hyperstudio browser plugins for Netscape or MS Explorer.

This guide is based on the first year of running the course and will offer a few suggestions on how to deliver it.  You should familiarize yourself with the material in the course overview before continuing. The online information summarizes what was covered in the classroom. It functions as remedial review and prepares students for the content in their final online test.

It is my sincere hope and intention that the online material be added to over the years to improve upon and maintain a quality open learning environment for the students in learning multimedia skills using Hyperstudio. I hope you enjoy using this material as much as I have enjoyed creating it! If this is your first time teaching multimedia, you'll be amazed at how motivated your students will be to finish their projects.


INSTRUCTOR REQUIREMENTS

Instructors only need a basic understanding of computer graphics and multimedia production (the students will teach you!).  Printed material including tutorials for your class are available from Hyperstudio by clicking here, and should be enough to provide instructors with a basic background on the software used for the course.  If other programs such as CoolEdit 16, SoundEdit16, Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Premiere are to be incorporated (not necessary), relevant faculty may need to be consulted.

The course is meant to foster experiencial and some collaborative learning, and the amount of face to face communication required is left up to the discretion of the instructor.
 


STRUCTURE

It may be a good analogy to think of the online material as containing the text book, a library, a post office and a telephone. Many of the exercises are already built-in, and it is hoped that instructors will add to or expand upon them (approval is required for modifications).

The course is project based and students work towards completing a multimedia program for final assessment.  The intensity and number of demonstrations and tutorials on Hyperstudio is left to the discretion of the instructor.

In the original version,  the main page or menu contained 4 icons - lessons, resources, tests and com-site.  Let's look at each area beginning with lessons.
 


LESSONS
  • The lesson area contains the online student information for each topic.  It is up to each individual instructor on how they want to implement this.  The content could be projected on a screen as part of a lecture and/or be assigned as reading material before or after a lecture.
  • Most lessons contain links that can be used for further research, assignments or discussions.
  • Some lessons contain self-tests so that the students may try out their knowledge.  The self-tests will help prepare students for the written exam (available in the tests section). I am currently working on transferring these over from WebCT.
RESOURCES

The resource section contains links to other sites and a WWW search engine.  Students can find tutorials, audio clips, clip art, animations and more in this section.

TESTS

The tests section was originally where the students accessed their "written" mid-term or final examination. The tests are not currently available in this version. I will have test downloads for you to post on your server soon.

COM-SITE

The com-site area originally contained the following:

  • An email section where tutors and students can communicate through electronic mail.
  • A bulletin board which can act as an information centre and/or provide an asychronous forum for collaborative discussions.
  • A homepages section if students wish to create their own homepages.
  • A synchronous chat facility for live online discussions and debates.
  • A calendar where events or tasks can be scheduled.
These features are not available in this version, but could easily be set up on your server by your local network adminstrator if required.

Introducing Students to the Course

Suggested Activities

  • Initiate a class discussion on what online learning is all about.  What are the benefits? 
Using a projector:
  • Take students through a demonstration of the interface and various areas.
  • Create the student accounts in the class (don't let them see the designer's password).
  • Illustrate and use some of the features - have students chat in the synchronous chat area, send email or post information on the bulletin board.
  • Illustrate how you can track their progress through student tracking, and emphasize the importance of completing all readings and tasks.
An assignment for the next class may be to have students post a short message about their expectations of the course in the bulletin board area.  You may want to encourage them to "play" in the resources section.
 


An Introduction to New Media

Definitions, History 
The New Media Industry 
Uses of the Internet 
Internet Restrictions 
Future Implications 
Things to do 

Overview

Originally taken from a Mass Media course I was developing, this lesson looks at the history of the computer, examines its present day use (re: Internet and multimedia) and looks at future implications.

Objectives 

Students will be able to: 

  • understand the basic historical development of the computer 
  • realize the importance and impact of computer technology and the Internet 
  • have a basic understanding of what the New Media Industry does 
  • realize the some of the possible future implications of technology 
Suggested Activities

In-class or online (asychronous) discussions may include:

  • the growth of the Internet and its impact on life and learning
  • careers in multimedia
  • a personal survey on computer usage
  • technology and the future


An Introduction to Multimedia

What is multimedia? 
What is it used for? 
What types of multimedia programs are there? 
What are multimedia elements? 
What do we need to make it? 
Jumping right in! 
Things to do 

Overview

Students are introduced to the concepts of multimedia and will begin to gain an understanding and appreciation of what it is used for and how it works. 

Objectives

  • Students will be able to: 
  • define what multimedia is and describe some of its applications 
  • understand the three different basic interactivity models 
  • describe the elements and basic tools required for multimedia production 
  • realize the importance of organization and planning 
Suggested Activities

Using a projector:

  • demonstrate a variety of multimedia programs (CD ROM)
  • demonstrate a variety of interactive models (i.e. - Powerpoint vs a Hypermedia game)
  • viewing the planning process at MCLI and discussing the imortance of planning (to be re-visited in the planning lesson).
Assignments could include:
  • the self-test for the lesson
  • an asychronous online discussion on what students would personally like to use multimedia for
  • a group debate based on the classroom demonstration (i.e. - the effectiveness of linear, branched and hypermedia programs).
  • a posting of all of the multimedia tools they are familiar with, and which elements each tool works with (i.e. - Photoshop for images, graphics, photography).


An Introduction to Hyperstudio

More about Hyperstudio 
Basic concepts and terminology used in Hyperstudio 
Things to do 

Overview 

Students will start to become excited as they see what they can do with Hyperstudio.  It is important that they have a good understanding of the difference between stacks and cards. A classroom demonstration and a tutorial exercise is recommended at this point. Be sure to download the Hyperstudio pdf tutorial (icon at the top of this page). Other than familiarizing yourself with the contents, very little preparation is required. Students will download a different version (designed for ESL students) for their use. 
 

Objectives 

Students will be able to: 

  • identify and understand HyperStudio terminology including:  cards, stacks, buttons and objects. 
  • understand the basic authoring concepts in Hyperstudio
Suggested Activities

There are a few ways of providing an introductory tutorial:

  • using a projector, bring the students through the tutorial in the Hyperstudio manual one step at a time
  • allow students to go through the self-paced "Hyperstudio Step-by-step" tutorial in the program itself
  • have students print out the PDF tutorial (or have the printing department do it) and do a self-paced tutorial
Other activities may include:
  • the self-test
  • viewing the Hyperstudio movie
  • browsing through the Hyperstudio links in the resource section


Planning, Designing and Producing

Start at the beginning 
Creating an outline 
Creating a detailed storyboard outline 
Learning through experience 
A word on project organization 
Things to do 

Overview

This topic and the related activities may cover two or more sessions. Students will learn more about the importance of organization and begin to think about structuring their ideas into viable plans using a flowchart and storyboard sequence. 

Objectives 

Students will understand the concepts that will give them the ability to: 

  • create a simple but organized program outline 
  • create a series of storyboard cards 
  • begin to apply  visualized and written concepts for creating a simple multimedia program 
  • apply experiential learning to resolve design challenges 
  • organize their project folders
Suggested Activities

With a projector:

  • take students through the process of setting up project folders step-by-step
  • view a few multimedia programs and discuss program hierarchy and functionality design
  • continue with Hyperstudio demonstrations and/or tutorials
  • view and discuss the evaluation form for the final project
Assignments could include:
  • posting the chosen topic and related strategies
  • creating a basic navigational chart or map
  • viewing the online multimedia sample
  • creating a series of storyboards
  • an asychronous discussion on how this simple plan compares with the one at MCLI (link in Introduction to multimedia) for larger, more complex projects.


Working with Images

Vector and bitmap images 
Image resolution 
Monitor size and settings 
File size 
Bit resolution/color depth 
File formats 
Conversions and resizing 
Scanning 
Importing clip art from the WWW 
Using images in Hyperstudio 
Things to do 

Overview

Students will learn about images, including the size and quality needed for incorporation into their project.  If required, instructors may wish ask a collegue with a graphic design background to assist with this class. This may also be an ideal time to introduce the concept of importing movies or videos into Hyperstudio.

Objectives

The student will be able to: 

  • understand and determine image size and resolution required for producing multimedia 
  • understand color depth 
  • understand and select various graphics formats 
  • resize, scale and convert images 
  • produce a high quality scan 
  • import clip art (and other files) from the Internet 
Suggested Activities

Using a projector:

  • illustrate color depth, image size and file size
  • illustrate how to flatten PSD files and import them into Hyperstudio as backgrounds (although all artwork can be created in Hyperstudio, most ComTech students will be familiar with Photoshop)
  • illustrate how to import graphic objects into Hyperstudio
  • continue with Hyperstudio demonstrations and/or tutorials including using and creating animation
Other activities or assignments may include:
  • using the resource section to search for and "borrow" art from the Internet which is relevant to their project theme 
  • post a short description of copyright and fair use policies based on a reading in the resource section
  • resize images - from small to large and large to small and comment (or post) the findings
  • convert images to different formats
  • read the suggested article on scanning
  • begin to create the computer graphic images required for student projects


Working with Audio

Frequency 
Digital recording and playback 
Sampling rates
Sampling resolution 
Recording - levels and editing 
File formats
A word about MIDI 
Things to do 

Overview

Now students will begin to understand how to create and incorporate digital audio into their projects.  The instructor may want to use SoundEdit16 to produce audio, or wait until the next lesson is complete and use the recording feature in Hyperstudio only. 

Objectives

Students will be able to: 

  • understand the basic concepts of frequency 
  • understand the basic concepts of digital recording or sampling 
  • select and manipulate software options for optimum quality recording 
  • recognize and understand various sound formats 
Suggested Activities
 
  • listening to the audio samples in the lesson to recognize sampling rate effects
  • browsing through the resource section and listen to and/or download sound files
  • a hands-on workshop featuring SoundEdit 16 (for PC labs, programs such as Cool Edit 16 or Sound Forge can be substituted)
  • beginning the audio assignment
  • a demonstration of midi technology with a keyboard and/or sound module


Using Sound in Hyperstudio

Importing sound files 
Saving sound files in a stack 
Playing an audio CD 
Playing midi files 
Recording your own sounds 
Other info 

Overview

Students will have gained a general understanding of digital recording theory from the previous lesson, and will now continue to (or begin to) integrate audio into their projects using Hyperstudio. 

Objectives 

Students will be able to: 

  • import sound files into Hyperstudio 
  • record audio directly into Hyperstudio (microphone required)
  • play CD music tracks from a Hyperstudio project 
  • play converted midi files from a Hyperstudio project 
Suggested Activities

Using a projector and external amplified speakers:

  • demonstrate how to record and/or import sounds into Hyperstudio
  • demonstrate different audio types and conversion i.e. - midi files to movie files
  • illustrate the different options for using sound in Hyperstudio
  • begin or continue the audio assignment


Working with Video

Reading - A Guide to Digital Video, courtesy Hypertech

Overview and Suggested Activities

Depending on the time factor and the equipment available, there are several strategies for implementing video into Hyperstudio projects:

  • if a caputure card is available, capture previously shot (and perhaps edited) footage or "live" camera video directly into Hyperstudio
  • import video clips from the web or other sources into Hyperstudio
  • incorporate movies produced with other media production technology such as Adobe Premiere or Avid 
I teach a separate course on digital video production, and this module serves as an introduction to it.
 


Assessment and Evaluation
 

Suggested weighting and methods:
 
navigation chart   5%
storyboard 10% 
on-line quizzes 5%
project work  20% - (design, audio, etc.)
attendance and participation 5% 
mid-term exam  15% - (online test) 
final exam  40% - (final multimedia project)

The final project should be marked by a panel of experts according to the criteria set out in the evaluation form

 

Michael Shaw
1997, 2001