Designing Multimedia Computer Environments for Learners

University of Maryland, College of Education, EDHD-499D & 779D Spring 2002


Full Course Description

This course focuses on how new computer technologies for learners can be created and used in an educational setting. The following topics will be explored: understanding the learner as a technology user, defining learning outcomes to be supported by technology, differing approaches to the technology design process and methods of technology integration in the classroom. In the first half of the semester, students will read current publications on technology design methods and educational theories. During class sessions, the readings will be discussed in relation to small group design projects. During the first part of the semester, student teams will develop new multimedia environments for learners using the web, video, and hypermedia.

In the last third of the semester, students will choose a technology to develop a learning experience for the classroom. (Note: for Computer Science students programming will be required, for Education or non-technical majors no programming will be required.) Students will use their understanding of the technology development process to create a new learning tool of their choice. Students will conduct real-world task analysis of learners, define learning outcomes supported by computer technology, implement multimedia environments with learners, and finally develop a technology integration plan for the classroom. Students will be responsible for not only creating a final technology project, but a paper describing how the technology will be integrated in the classroom.

Students with all levels of technology experience are welcome to take this course. In addition, students from all disciplines (e.g., computer science, education, library studies, art, psychology and more) are welcome to take this multidisciplinary course.

Course Project Descriptions

There will be three team design projects for the course. For each project, there will be a maximum of 5 teams of 4 people in a team. These teams will be interdisciplinary and will be specified by the Professor for the first 2 projects. For last project, teams can be created by the students. Throughout the projects, teams will be expected to use the following multimedia tools: Director, Premiere, Web, Photoshop, along with a scanner, digital camera, and video.

Design Project 1: What Does Learning Mean? (4 weeks, 25 points)
This first project will ask teams to create a multimedia environment that answers the question: "What does learning mean?" You might decide, for example, to create an interactive tool that supports learners in understanding what life-long learning options are available or what paths to learning should they use when studying, or what does it mean to learn by doing research? You might decide, for example, your audience is young children, or teens, or university students, or life-long learners. Depending on the media that is used, the project your team decides to do will vary-- the more creative the better!

Design Project 2: What Does it mean to Learn with Technology? (5 weeks, 50 points)
This second project will ask teams to create a multimedia environment that answers the question: "What does it mean to learn with technology?" You might decide, for example, to create an interactive tool that supports learners in understanding a tool, or seeing a new teaching approach, or how to use technology to learn a subject area. You might decide, for example, your audience is young children, or teens, or university students, or life-long learners. Again, depending on the media that is used, the project your team decides to do will vary.

Design Project 3/ Final Paper: Design a Multimedia Environment of your choice (4 weeks, 124 points-62 for project and 62 for paper)
This final project will asks teams to design a multimedia environment of their choice. Any tools can be used, and any team can be formed (all projects must have at least 2 people working on it's completion). How teams choose to design their project and with what content is up to the team to decide. It must however have something to do with learners.



Papers must also be submitted with each project. For the first two projects, papers should be a minimum of 3 pages in length and briefly summarize the areas below. For the final project, the paper should be a minimum of 5 pages. Papers must be done individually and must contain the following:

 *List of goals for your project
 *Profile of the audience who will use your environment
 *Project description 
 *List of learning outcomes you expect to come about
 *Description of how this will be integrated into a learning experience in school, at home, or in a public place
 *Comparison of your environment with at least 2 other technology environments commercially available or in research labs


Course Summary ---- Readings for the Course ---- Course Activities ---- Projects---- Student Evaluation