Interactive multimedia has been called a “hybrid technology.” It combines the storage and retrieval capabilities of computer database technology with advanced tools for viewing and manipulating these materials. Multimedia has a lot of different connotations, and definitions vary depending on the context. For the purposes of this Guide, in the context of upper secondary and post secondary education, interactive multimedia is defined by three criteria:
- Interactive Multimedia is any package of materials that includes some combination of texts, graphics, still images, animation, video, and audio;
- These materials are packaged, integrated, and linked together in some way that offers users the ability to browse, navigate and analyse these materials through various searching and indexing features, as well as the capacity to annotate or personalise these materials;
- Interactive multimedia is always “reader-centred.” In interactive multimedia, the reader controls the experience of reading the material by being able to select among multiple choices, choosing unique paths and sequences through the materials. One of the key features of interactive multimedia is the ability to navigate through material in whatever ways are most meaningful for individual users.
Effects on learning
- Interactive media is helpful in the four development dimensions in which young children learn: social and emotional, language development, cognitive and general knowledge, and approaches toward learning.
- Using computers and educational computer software in a learning environment helps children increase communication skills and their attitudes about learning.
- Children who use educational computer software are often found using more complex speech patterns and higher levels of verbal communication.
- A study found that basic interactive books that simply read a story aloud and highlighted words and phrases as they were spoken were beneficial for children with lower reading abilities.
- Children have different styles of learning, and interactive media helps children with visual, verbal, auditory, and tactile learning styles.