4-1-7 Multimedia Selection for Instructional Design
Medium
Text
Graphics
Advantages
 Least expensive
 One of the fastest delivery
forms
 Can be precise
 Can have multiple
interpretations
 Cross-platform
 Low-tech
 High-level Interaction
 Easily modified
 Abstract Ideas
 Low fidelity
 Can be adapted
 Time independent
 Concrete and
representational
 Visual; effective for visual
learners
 Motivating
 Doesn’t require literacy
skills
 Show relationships
 High fidelity
 Some can be readily
made
 Can be cost effective (eg.
Digital photo)
 Some are universal (eg.
Washroom, information
signs)
 Quick to process
 Cultural implications
Limitations
Example of Good Use of
Text-based Materials
Example of Poor Use of Textbased Materials
 flow chart for scientific
process
 illustration of anatomy or
almost anything concrete
 graphic organizers
 Art History
 Demographic charts and
graphs
 Too much extraneous detail
(e.g., Showing a whole
machine when the
instructional focus is just on
one piece of it and you can’t
really separate it out of the
whole)
 Can be boring
 Requires literacy
 Can have multiple
interpretations
 Must be adapted
 Limited by language
 Tends to be sequential
 Time-consuming to
create from scratch
 Can have large file sizes,
bandwidth issues
 Contextual requirements
 Multiple interpretations
 Difficult for visually
impaired learners
 There can be problems
with inconsistency and
style distractions
Sound
 High impact
 Engaging
 Establish mood, setting,
place, time
 Grabs attention
 Emphasizes certain points
or concepts with sound
effects
 Provides authenticity (eg.
Heartbeat)
 Can provide access for
non-readers or poor
readers
Can provide alternative
access (e.g., dubbing)
to non-speakers of a
particular language
 can be distracting (eg.
Doesn’t match up with
mouth moving or text off
screen is being read)
 quality needs to be good
to be effective
 replay can be difficult;
time dependent
 need equipment
 need to think about the
environment in which it
will be listened to
 difficult or costly to
modify
 spoken sound can be
very large file
 incompatibilities exist
between browsers
 teaching something that
requires sound (eg. Bird
calls)
 music class
 ‘beep’ in evaluation tool
 mismatch between music style
(e.g. rock and roll) and visual
information
Animation
Video
 can compress and expand
time
 can be interactive
 can describe complex
processes
 motivating; eye is drawn
to movement
 shows movement
 can integrate audio and
visual
 can deal with sensitive
material
 can show processes that
can’t be shown by video
or photo
 high fidelity
 takes you somewhere you
can’t go
 demonstrates something
you couldn’t otherwise see
 safe environment
 captures real world events
 compresses time;
provides multi speed view
(eg. Time lapse)
 provides minimal cognitive
load (eg. Setting,
 action, mood in one
glance)
 appeals to wider audience
 can be distracting
 adults can perceive it as
juvenile
 can be time consuming to
create and watch
 viewer may perceive a
loss of control if multiple
animations are
simultaneously displayed
 can make people sick
 style of animation
appeals to people
differently (e.g.,
Japanese animation)
 can be too graphic
 difficult to learn and
expensive to produce
 rendering time
 large files
 requires some media
literacy (i.e. what’s real)
 requires a debrief
 filtered representation of
the world
 passive
 expensive to produce
 difficult to modify
 time-consuming to
produce
 requires time to preview
for instructional use
 movement of planets
around Sun
 lightning strike hitting earth
 teaching drill & practice
skill
 case studies
 dissection
 frog pithing
 safety (eg. Bike safety)

‘powerpointlessness’
 can be falsified
 inappropriate (eg.
Pornography)
 can be used for babysitting
(i.e., unrelated to topic)
 talking heads
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Models &
Manipulatives
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good for kinesthetic
learners
authentic
3D; higher fidelity;
gives a sense of
size and proportion
concrete to abstract
safety
allows low/high
interaction
allows low/high
fidelity
motivational
good for all ages
minimal cognitive
load
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sometimes
expensive and timeconsuming
storage problems
requires f2f
breakable
require supervision
requires
organization (eg. All
pieces are not
there; not enough
for everyone)
artificial
element of
competency with
interactive models
no affective domain
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3D models for
science/health
concepts
chemistry
architecture
simulators
CPR
Math
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used inappropriately
List some effective media combinations if used synchronously:
 video conferencing & Powerpoint
 closed captioning TV; video and text (Note that video can work in combination with other media, but only if attention / concentration is not split. For
example, most people cannot read text and watch video at the same time and understand both if they are on different topics .
 text & sound (if the sound is optional, e.g., Sound magazine)
List some poor media combinations if used synchronously:
 graphic and text (Although this can be good (labeled diagrams, for example), it can be poor if the graphic distracts attention away from the text when
both are important.
 animation and text (same comment as with video)