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Khenn Adatan

on 19 September 2013

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Project-based multimedia learning is a method of teaching in which students acquire new knowledge and skills in the course of designing, planning, and producing a multimedia product.
Dimensions of Project-Based Multimedia Learning
Project-based multimedia learning has seven key dimensions: core curriculum, real-world connection, extended time frame, student decision making, collaboration, assessment, and multimedia. Like air, fire, water, and earth, it's possible to have one of these dimensions present without the rest.
Core curriculum
At the foundation of any unit of this type is a clear set of learning goals drawn from whatever curriculum or set of standards is in use. We use the term core to emphasize that project-based multimedia learning should address the basic knowledge and skills all students are expected to acquire, and should not simply be an enrichment or extra-credit activity for a special few. Often, these projects lend themselves well to multidisciplinary or cross-curricular approaches.
Real-world connection
Project-based multimedia learning strives to be real. It seeks to connect students' work in school with the wider world in which students live. You may design this feature into a project by means of the content chosen, the types of activities, the types of products, or in other ways. What is critical is that the students—not only the teacher—perceive what is real about the project.
Regardless of the teaching method used, data must be gathered on what students have learned. When using project-based multimedia learning, teachers face additional assessment challenges because multimedia products by themselves do not represent a full picture of student learning. Students are gaining content information, becoming better team members, solving problems, and making choices about what new information to show in their presentations.
Why Use Project-Based Multimedia Learning?
Project-based multimedia learning can add value to your teaching.
Hard skills (math, reading, and problem-solving skills mastered at a much higher level than previously expected of high school graduates);
Soft skills (for example, the ability to work in a group and to make effective oral and written presentations); and
The ability to use a personal computer to carry out routine tasks (for example, word processing, data management, and creating multimedia presentations).

Extended time frame
A good project is not a one-shot lesson; it extends over a significant period of time. The actual length of a project may vary with the age of the students and the nature of the project. It may be days, weeks, or months. What's important is that students experience a succession of challenges that culminates in a substantial final product from which they can derive pride and a clear sense of accomplishment.
Student decision making
In project-based multimedia learning, students have a say. Teachers look carefully at what decisions have to be made and divide them into “teacher's” and “students'” based on a clear rationale. For example, a teacher might limit students to a single authoring program to minimize complications that might arise were students allowed to use any software they chose. And yet she can also give students considerable leeway in determining what substantive content would be included in their projects. Though the teacher is clearly in charge, she tries to enlarge the area for students to make decisions about the form and content of their final products, as well as the process for producing them.
We define collaboration as working together jointly to accomplish a common intellectual purpose in a manner superior to what might have been accomplished working alone. Students may work in pairs or in teams of as many as five or six. Whole-class collaborations are also possible. The goal is for each student involved to make a separate contribution to the final work and for the whole to be greater than the sum of the parts. Collaborative projects not only involve many features of typical cooperative learning strategies but also transcend them in this focus on synergy and the production of a jointly authored multimedia product.
Activities for developing expectations
Activities for improving the media products
Activities for compiling and disseminating evidence of learning
In multimedia projects, students do not learn simply by “using” multimedia produced by others; they learn by creating it themselves. The development of such programs as HyperStudio, Kid Pix, and Netscape Composer has made it possible for students of all ages to become the authors of multimedia content. As students design and research their projects, instead of gathering only written notes, they also gather—and create—pictures, video clips, recordings, and other media objects that will later serve as the raw material for their final product.
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