23 August 2008

0 The Multimedia Project Can Be a Pleasant Experience...Really!

Grrrrrr….Uggg!…..It’s common knowledge that some may regard the multimedia projects as a dreadful, heinous experience - but through detailed preplanning and limited student choices, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

This post will present ideas in an effort to provide a more pleasurable computer lab experience for all….really!

  • Create timelines, rubrics and a checklist - share prior to the beginning of the project, so students are fully aware of your expectations.
  • Assign group projects instead of individual projects - presenting 4 - 5 projects instead of 18 - 22 individual projects is far less time consuming.
  • Incorporate a critical thinking question for one of the cards, by utilizing a higher level question strategy (i.e. If you could.., In your opinion, what is the relationship between…and…, Prepare a list of criteria you would use to judge…etc).
  • Introduce/teach a lesson on citing sources and note taking.
  • Discuss plagiarism/cut and paste plagiarism.
  • Provide student examples of a well-designed project.
  • Create a template and/or use a storyboard.

Student Planning - KISS Keep It Super Simple!
  • Students need to direct their focus from the really cool things the program can do - and direct on the content of the project itself.
  • Everything should have a purpose and point to the content…Remind them that Content Rules!
  • All drawings/graphics/animations/colors should support the content not upstage it.
Storyboard or template
  • Your students are early stage users.
  • Younger students of 2nd grade or below.
  • You are working within a limited time frame


  • Require students to use a storyboard on Manila paper, divided into sections.
  • Require each group, or student, to complete a detailed storyboard prior to beginning work in the computer lab.
  • Text should be saved in a word document if there is considerable information. Have students cut/paste word document into slides.
  • All pictures should be, both, sketched and colored in detail.Include background and text color.
  • Include placement of title/font/color of button(s).
  • Students or groups with incomplete storyboards have the most trouble in the computer lab.

Limit Student Choices
  • Offer a choice of 2 to 3 fonts to choose from (i.e. Times New Roman, Arial, Verdana).
  • Use the same background for all slides.
  • In PowerPoint, limit slide transition, object effects, Word Art style/color and sound, to only 2 - 3 choices.
  • These limits will prevent the student from wasting valuable time checking out the different fonts and transitions.

Students in Lab

  • Make sure students have everything they need (storyboard(s), notes, source information, etc).
  • Request assistance from the specialist. The students and you are their number one priority—UTILIZE them!
  • Present multimedia projects via videoconferencing. Presentation provides purpose and relevance to the multimedia project.