Multimedia

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Examples of individual content forms that can be combined in multimedia
 
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Interactivity

Multimedia is content that uses a combination of different content forms such as text, audio, images, animations, video and interactive content. Multimedia contrasts with media that use only rudimentary computer displays such as text-only or traditional forms of printed or hand-produced material.

Contents

Multimedia can be recorded and played, displayed, interacted with or accessed by information content processing devices, such as computerized and electronic devices, but can also be part of a live performance. Multimedia devices are electronic media devices used to store and experience multimedia content. Multimedia is distinguished from mixed media in fine art; for example, by including audio it has a broader scope. In the early years of multimedia the term "rich media" was synonymous with interactive multimedia, and "hypermedia" was an application of multimedia.

Terminology

The term multimedia was coined by singer and artist Bob Goldstein (later 'Bobb Goldsteinn') to promote the July 1966 opening of his "LightWorks at L'Oursin" show at Southampton, Long Island. [1] Goldstein was perhaps aware of an American artist named Dick Higgins, who had two years previously discussed a new approach to art-making he called "intermedia". [2]

On August 10, 1966, Richard Albarino of Variety borrowed the terminology, reporting: "Brainchild of songscribe-comic Bob ('Washington Square') Goldstein, the 'Lightworks' is the latest multi-media music-cum-visuals to debut as discothèque fare." [3] Two years later, in 1968, the term "multimedia" was re-appropriated to describe the work of a political consultant, David Sawyer, the husband of Iris Sawyer—one of Goldstein's producers at L'Oursin.

Multimedia (multi-image) setup for the 1988 Ford New Car Announcement Show, August 1987, Detroit, MI Ford Show 1987.jpg
Multimedia (multi-image) setup for the 1988 Ford New Car Announcement Show, August 1987, Detroit, MI

In the intervening forty years, the word has taken on different meanings. In the late 1970s, the term referred to presentations consisting of multi-projector slide shows timed to an audio track. However, by the 1990s 'multimedia' took on its current meaning.

In the 1993 first edition of Multimedia: Making It Work, Tay Vaughan declared "Multimedia is any combination of text, graphic art, sound, animation, and video that is delivered by computer. When you allow the user – the viewer of the project – to control what and when these elements are delivered, it is interactive multimedia. When you provide a structure of linked elements through which the user can navigate, interactive multimedia becomes hypermedia." [4]

The German language society Gesellschaft für deutsche Sprache recognized the word's significance and ubiquitousness in the 1990s by awarding it the title of German 'Word of the Year' in 1995. [5] The institute summed up its rationale by stating "[Multimedia] has become a central word in the wonderful new media world". [6]

In common usage, multimedia refers to an electronically delivered combination of media including video, still images, audio, and text in such a way that can be accessed interactively. Much of the content on the web today falls within this definition as understood by millions. Some computers which were marketed in the 1990s were called "multimedia" computers because they incorporated a CD-ROM drive, which allowed for the delivery of several hundred megabytes of video, picture, and audio data. That era saw also a boost in the production of educational multimedia CD-ROMs.

The term "video", if not used exclusively to describe motion photography, is ambiguous in multimedia terminology. Video is often used to describe the file format, delivery format, or presentation format instead of "footage" which is used to distinguish motion photography from "animation" of rendered motion imagery. Multiple forms of information content are often not considered modern forms of presentation such as audio or video. Likewise, single forms of information content with single methods of information processing (e.g. non-interactive audio) are often called multimedia, perhaps to distinguish static media from active media. In the fine arts, for example, Leda Luss Luyken's ModulArt brings two key elements of musical composition and film into the world of painting: variation of a theme and movement of and within a picture, making ModulArt an interactive multimedia form of art. Performing arts may also be considered multimedia considering that performers and props are multiple forms of both content and media.

Major characteristics

Multimedia presentations may be viewed by person on stage, projected, transmitted, or played locally with a media player. A broadcast may be a live or recorded multimedia presentation. Broadcasts and recordings can be either analog or digital electronic media technology. Digital online multimedia may be downloaded or streamed. Streaming multimedia may be live or on-demand.

Multimedia games and simulations may be used in a physical environment with special effects, with multiple users in an online network, or locally with an offline computer, game system, or simulator.

The various formats of technological or digital multimedia may be intended to enhance the users' experience, for example to make it easier and faster to convey information. Or in entertainment or art, to transcend everyday experience.

A lasershow is a live multimedia performance. Classical spectacular laser effects.jpg
A lasershow is a live multimedia performance.

Enhanced levels of interactivity are made possible by combining multiple forms of media content. Online multimedia is increasingly becoming object-oriented and data-driven, enabling applications with collaborative end-user innovation and personalization on multiple forms of content over time. Examples of these range from multiple forms of content on Web sites like photo galleries with both images (pictures) and title (text) user-updated, to simulations whose co-efficients, events, illustrations, animations or videos are modifiable, allowing the multimedia "experience" to be altered without reprogramming. In addition to seeing and hearing, haptic technology enables virtual objects to be felt. Emerging technology involving illusions of taste and smell may also enhance the multimedia experience.

Categorization

Multimedia may be broadly divided into linear and non-linear categories:

Multimedia presentations can be live or recorded:

Usage/application

A presentation using PowerPoint. Corporate presentations may combine all forms of media content. Steven Koonin BP 2005-02-22.jpg
A presentation using PowerPoint. Corporate presentations may combine all forms of media content.

Multimedia finds its application in various areas including, but not limited to, advertisements, art, education, entertainment, engineering, medicine, mathematics, business, scientific research and spatial temporal applications. Several examples are as follows:

Creative industries

Creative industries use multimedia for a variety of purposes ranging from fine arts, to entertainment, to commercial art, to journalism, to media and software services provided for any of the industries listed below. An individual multimedia designer may cover the spectrum throughout their career. Request for their skills range from technical, to analytical, to creative.

Commercial uses

Much of the electronic old and new media used by commercial artists and graphic designers is multimedia. Exciting presentations are used to grab and keep attention in advertising. Business to business, and interoffice communications are often developed by creative services firms for advanced multimedia presentations beyond simple slide shows to sell ideas or liven up training. Commercial multimedia developers may be hired to design for governmental services and nonprofit services applications as well.

Entertainment and fine arts

Multimedia is heavily used in the entertainment industry, especially to develop special effects in movies and animations (VFX, 3D animation, etc.). Multimedia games are a popular pastime and are software programs available either as CD-ROMs or online. Some video games also use multimedia features. Multimedia applications that allow users to actively participate instead of just sitting by as passive recipients of information are called interactive multimedia. In the arts there are multimedia artists, whose minds are able to blend techniques using different media that in some way incorporates interaction with the viewer. One of the most relevant could be Peter Greenaway who is melding cinema with opera and all sorts of digital media. Another approach entails the creation of multimedia that can be displayed in a traditional fine arts arena, such as an art gallery. Although multimedia display material may be volatile, the survivability of the content is as strong as any traditional media. Digital recording material may be just as durable and infinitely reproducible with perfect copies every time.

Education

In education, multimedia is used to produce computer-based training courses (popularly called CBTs) and reference books like encyclopedia and almanacs. A CBT lets the user go through a series of presentations, text about a particular topic, and associated illustrations in various information formats. Edutainment is the combination of education with entertainment, especially multimedia entertainment.

Learning theory in the past decade has expanded dramatically because of the introduction of multimedia. Several lines of research have evolved, e.g. cognitive load and multimedia learning.

From multimedia learning (MML) theory, David Roberts has developed a large group lecture practice using PowerPoint and based on the use of full-slide images in conjunction with a reduction of visible text (all text can be placed in the notes view’ section of PowerPoint). [7] The method has been applied and evaluated in 9 disciplines. In each experiment, students’ engagement and active learning has been approximately 66% greater, than with the same material being delivered using bullet points, text and speech, corroborating a range of theories presented by multimedia learning scholars like Sweller and Mayer. [8] The idea of media convergence is also becoming a major factor in education, particularly higher education. Defined as separate technologies such as voice (and telephony features), data (and productivity applications) and video that now share resources and interact with each other, media convergence is rapidly changing the curriculum in universities all over the world.

Educational technology

Multimedia provides students with an alternate means of acquiring knowledge designed to enhance teaching and learning through various mediums and platforms. This technology allows students to learn at their own pace and gives teachers the ability to observe the individual needs of each student. The capacity for multimedia to be used in multi-disciplinary settings is structured around the idea of creating a hands-on learning environment through the use of technology. [9] Lessons can be tailored to the subject matter as well as be personalized to the students' varying levels of knowledge on the topic. Learning content can be managed through activities that utilize and take advantage of multimedia platforms. [9] This kind of learning encourages interactive communication between students and teachers and opens feedback channels, introducing an active learning process especially with the prevalence of new media and social media. [10] Technology has impacted multimedia as it is largely associated with the use of computers or other electronic devices and digital media due to its capabilities concerning research, communication, problem-solving through simulations and feedback opportunities. [11]

Social work

Multimedia is a robust education and research methodology within the social work context. The five different multimedia which supports the education process are narrative media, interactive media, communicative media, adaptive media, and productive media. Contrary to long-standing belief, multimedia technology in social work education existed before the prevalence of the internet. It takes the form of images, audio, and video into the curriculum.

First introduced to social work education by Seabury & Maple in 1993, multimedia technology is utilized to teach social work practice skills including interviewing, crisis intervention, and group work. In comparison with conventional teaching method, including face-to-face courses, multimedia education shortens transportation time, increases knowledge and confidence in a richer and more authentic context for learning, generates interaction between online users, and enhances understanding of conceptual materials for novice students.

In an attempt to examine the impact of multimedia technology on students’ study, A. Elizabeth Cauble & Linda P. Thurston conducted a research in which Building Family Foundations (BFF), an interactive multimedia training platform, was utilized to assess social work students’ reactions to multimedia technology on variables of knowledge, attitudes, and self-efficacy. The results states that respondents show a substantial increase in academic knowledge, confidence, and attitude. Multimedia also benefits students because it brings expert to students online, fits students’ schedule, allows students to choose courses that suit them.

Mayer's Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning suggests, "people learn more from words and pictures than from words alone." According to Mayer and other scholars, multimedia technology stimulates people's brains by implementing visual and auditory effects, and thereby assists online users to learn efficiently. Researchers suggest that when users establish dual channels while learning, they tend to understand and memorize better. Mixed literature of this theory are still present in the field of multimedia and social work.

[12] [13] [14]

Language communication

With the spread and development of the English language around the world, it has become an important way of communicating between different people and cultures. Multimedia Technology creates a platform where language can be taught. The traditional form of teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) in classrooms have drastically changed with the prevalence of technology, making easier for students to obtain language learning skills. Multimedia motivates students to learn more languages through audio, visual and animation support. It also helps create English contexts since an important aspect of learning a language is developing their grammar, vocabulary and knowledge of pragmatics and genres. In addition, cultural connections in terms of forms, contexts, meanings and ideologies have to be constructed. [15] By improving thought patterns, multimedia develops students’ communicative competence by improving their capacity to understand the language. [16] One of the studies, carried out by Izquierdo, Simard and Pulido, presented the correlation between "Multimedia Instruction (MI) and learners’ second language (L2)" [17] and its effects on learning behavior. Their findings based on Gardner’s theory of the "socio-educational model of learner motivation and attitudes", the study shows that there is easier access to language learning materials as well as increased motivation with MI along with the use of Computer-Assisted Language Learning.

Journalism

Newspaper companies all over are trying to embrace the new phenomenon by implementing its practices in their work. While some have been slow to come around, other major newspapers like The New York Times , USA Today and The Washington Post are setting the precedent for the positioning of the newspaper industry in a globalized world.

News reporting is not limited to traditional media outlets. Freelance journalists can make use of different new media to produce multimedia pieces for their news stories. It engages global audiences and tells stories with technology, which develops new communication techniques for both media producers and consumers. The Common Language Project, later renamed to The Seattle Globalist, is an example of this type of multimedia journalism production.

Multimedia reporters who are mobile (usually driving around a community with cameras, audio and video recorders, and laptop computers) are often referred to as mojos, from mobile journalist.

Engineering

Software engineers may use multimedia in computer simulations for anything from entertainment to training such as military or industrial training. Multimedia for software interfaces are often done as a collaboration between creative professionals and software engineers.

Mathematical and scientific research

In mathematical and scientific research, multimedia is mainly used for modeling and simulation. For example, a scientist can look at a molecular model of a particular substance and manipulate it to arrive at a new substance. Representative research can be found in journals such as the Journal of Multimedia .

Medicine

In medicine, doctors can get trained by looking at a virtual surgery or they can simulate how the human body is affected by diseases spread by viruses and bacteria and then develop techniques to prevent it. Multimedia applications such as virtual surgeries also help doctors to get practical training.

Associations and conferences

In Europe, the reference organisation for the multimedia industry is the European Multimedia Associations Convention (EMMAC).

Scholarly conferences about multimedia include:

MENOS

Multimedia Exchange Network over Satellite (MENOS) is a communications protocol for exchanging multimedia content using communications satellites, most commonly used by professional broadcasters. [18] [19] [20]

See also

Related Research Articles

Website set of related web pages served from a single web domain

A website or web site is a collection of related network web resources, such as web pages, multimedia content, which are typically identified with a common domain name, and published on at least one web server. Notable examples are wikipedia.org, google.com, and amazon.com.

Tutorial

A tutorial is a method of transferring knowledge and may be used as a part of a learning process. More interactive and specific than a book or a lecture, a tutorial seeks to teach by example and supply the information to complete a certain task.

Computer-assisted language learning (CALL), British, or Computer-Aided Instruction (CAI)/Computer-Aided Language Instruction (CALI), American, is briefly defined in a seminal work by Levy as "the search for and study of applications of the computer in language teaching and learning". CALL embraces a wide range of information and communications technology applications and approaches to teaching and learning foreign languages, from the "traditional" drill-and-practice programs that characterised CALL in the 1960s and 1970s to more recent manifestations of CALL, e.g. as used in a virtual learning environment and Web-based distance learning. It also extends to the use of corpora and concordancers, interactive whiteboards, Computer-mediated communication (CMC), language learning in virtual worlds, and mobile-assisted language learning (MALL).

MHEG-5, or ISO/IEC 13522-5, is part of a set of international standards relating to the presentation of multimedia information, standardised by the Multimedia and Hypermedia Experts Group (MHEG). It is most commonly used as a language to describe interactive television services.

Hypermedia, an extension of the term hypertext, is a nonlinear medium of information that includes graphics, audio, video, plain text and hyperlinks. This designation contrasts with the broader term multimedia, which may include non-interactive linear presentations as well as hypermedia. It is also related to the field of electronic literature. The term was first used in a 1965 article written by Ted Nelson.

Application software computer software designed to perform a group of coordinated functions, tasks, or activities for the benefit of the user

Application software is a program or group of programs designed for end users. Examples of an application include a word processor, a spreadsheet, an accounting application, a web browser, an email client, a media player, a file viewer, an aeronautical flight simulator, a console game or a photo editor. The collective noun application software refers to all applications collectively. This contrasts with system software, which is mainly involved with running the computer.

Adobe Shockwave is a discontinued multimedia platform for building interactive multimedia applications and video games. Developers originate content using Adobe Director and publish it on the Internet. Such content can be viewed in a web browser on any computer with the Shockwave Player plug-in installed. Macromind originated the technology; Macromedia developed it further, releasing Shockwave Player in 1995. Adobe Systems acquired Shockwave in 2005. Shockwave supports raster graphics, basic vector graphics, 3D graphics, audio, and an embedded scripting language called Lingo.

M-learning or mobile learning is "learning across multiple contexts, through social and content interactions, using personal electronic devices". A form of distance education, m-learners use mobile device educational technology at their convenient time.

Web conferencing Forms of online many-to-many communication

Web conferencing may be used as an umbrella term for various types of online collaborative services including web seminars ("webinars"), webcasts, and peer-level web meetings. It may also be used in a more narrow sense to refer only to the peer-level web meeting context, in an attempt to disambiguate it from the other types of collaborative sessions. Terminology related to these technologies is inexact, and no generally agreed upon source or standards organization exists to provide an established usage reference.

Interactive media media requiring interaction from the user to be understood, executed, or experienced

Interactive media normally refers to products and services on digital computer-based systems which respond to the user's actions by presenting content such as text, moving image, animation, video, audio, and video games.

Digital storytelling is a short form of digital media production that allows everyday people to share aspects of their story. The media used may include the digital equivalent of film techniques, stills, audio only, or any of the other forms of non-physical media which individuals can use to tell a story or present an idea.

Educational technology is the use of both physical hardware, software, and educational theoretic to facilitate learning and improving performance by creating, using, and managing appropriate technological processes and resources.

The ATOM Awards are a group of awards offered to Australian and New Zealand "professionals, educators and students", honouring achievements in the making of film, television, multimedia, and from 2007 multi-modal productions.

Computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL) is a pedagogical approach where in learning takes place via social interaction using a computer or through the Internet. This kind of learning is characterized by the sharing and construction of knowledge among participants using technology as their primary means of communication or as a common resource. CSCL can be implemented in online and classroom learning environments and can take place synchronously or asynchronously.

A web documentary, interactive documentary, or multimedia documentary is a documentary production that differs from the more traditional forms—video, audio, photographic—by applying a full complement of multimedia tools. The interactive multimedia capability of the Internet provides documentarians with a unique medium to create non-linear productions that combine photography, text, audio, video, animation, and infographics based on real time content. This way the publications progresses over several weeks.

In the context of e-Learning, interactivity is defined as "the function of input required by the learner while responding to the computer, the analysis of those responses by the computer, and the nature of the action by the computer."

E-learning theory describes the cognitive science principles of effective multimedia learning using electronic educational technology.

Glogster is a cloud-based (SaaS) platform for creating presentations and interactive learning. A platform that allows users, mostly students and educators to combine text, images, video, and audio to create an interactive, Web-based poster called glogs on a virtual canvas. Glogster facilitates the conveyance of social information in many different fields such as art, music, photography. Users also have access to a library of engaging educational content posters created by other students and educators worldwide. Glogster enables interactive, collaborative education and digital literacy.

Pedagogical agent concept borrowed from computer science and artificial intelligence and applied to education

A pedagogical agent is a concept borrowed from computer science and artificial intelligence and applied to education, usually as part of an intelligent tutoring system (ITS). It is a simulated human-like interface between the learner and the content, in an educational environment. A pedagogical agent is designed to model the type of interactions between a student and another person. Mabanza and de Wet define it as "as a character enacted by a computer that interacts with the user in a socially engaging manner". A pedagogical agent can be assigned different roles in the learning environment, such as tutor or co-learner, depending on the desired purpose of the agent. "A tutor agent plays the role of a teacher, while a co-learner agent plays the role of a learning companion".

In its most basic sense, multimodality is a theory of communication and social semiotics. Multimodality describes communication practices in terms of the textual, aural, linguistic, spatial, and visual resources - or modes - used to compose messages. Where media are concerned, multimodality is the use of several modes (media) to create a single artifact. The collection of these modes, or elements, contributes to how multimodality affects different rhetorical situations, or opportunities for increasing an audience's reception of an idea or concept. Everything from the placement of images to the organization of the content creates meaning. This is the result of a shift from isolated text being relied on as the primary source of communication, to the image being utilized more frequently in the digital age. While multimodality as an area of academic study did not gain traction until the twentieth century, all communication, literacy, and composing practices are and always have been multimodal.

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