Multimedia learning materials offer an easy way to make graduate courses more dynamic and interactive. To effectively leverage multimedia, it’s critical for instructors to understand how these materials can benefit students. Here are a few reasons to consider introducing multimedia into your syllabus:
1. Dynamic Concepts — Not all concepts are created equally. While some are best explained orally or in writing, others may benefit from a more dynamic visual representation. Resources such as video briefs offer concise explanations of concepts that can be used to frame or introduce a topic at the start of class.
2. Engaging Students — Graduate students spend a remarkable amount of time reading textbooks and sitting in classrooms. Incorporating multimedia gives instructors the opportunity to mix-up the format and encourage student engagement.
3. Learning Styles — Students have different learning styles and require different learning environments. Multimedia resources can enable an instructor to design a course that targets and appeals to these differences. For example, videos might appeal to visual learners, while engagement with e-cases outside of the classroom might benefit others.
4. Class Discussion — Incorporating multimedia materials outside of the classroom leaves more time for interactive class discussion. Instructors can assign an e-case or e-study for students to review on their own, and then engage in a class discussion around the material to apply the theories and concepts.
5. Try Something New — Why not spice up the syllabus a bit? Adding multimedia may seem a bit daunting, but putting in the work to find or create your own materials can have a positive impact on students’ learning. And, once you’ve found the right materials you can use them in other courses!
The Hubert Project offers a growing collection of multimedia learning materials for public affairs educators. The materials, which include video briefs, e-cases, and e-studies, cover a range of topics including human services, public and nonprofit management, and public administration.