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Making the Virtual Classroom a Reality

Multimedia Principles for Online Educators

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The purpose of this course is to introduce educators to the principles of multimedia as they apply to effective online education. Participants will examine all of the following media as it applies to online education: Text, graphics, animation, sound, and video. Emphasis will be given to when then can/should be applied and how they might enhance instruction and make it more effective. While some production projects will be undertaken in each of the media types, emphasis will be placed on usage, efficacy, adaptability, and pedagogical framework.


The Multimedia Principles course is aimed at any faculty who which to implement multimedia in their teaching, particularly on the web in online environments.


This course is an introduction to the principles involved in creating or acquiring multimedia content, tailoring it to use on the web, and using it effectively within an online course or course component. The course will cover the use of several applications for adding multimedia content to a course.


  • Module 1 � Multimedia Overview
  • Module 2 � The Text Component
  • Module 3 � The Graphics Component
  • Module 4 � The Animation Component
  • Module 5 � The Sound Component
  • Module 6 � The Video Component


The purpose of this course is to introduce educators to the underlying principles of multimedia use as it is applied to the field of education and to provide guidance on the process of constructing and using multimedia in online courses.


After completing this course, learners will be able to:

  • Determine the applicability of various forms of multimedia to a given task for an online course.
  • Continue forward from the developed groundwork toward the creation of online multimedia content.
  • Demonstrate a basic understanding of several common multimedia software packages.


The course is 8 weeks long including an online orientation.


Online Learning: An Overview is required. It is also recommended that a Web Design Principles course be completed or that the student has some experience in developing web pages.


  • Complete the online course orientation during the first 3 days of the course.
  • Read the instructor�s lesson introductions and assigned articles from the Web.
  • Answer discussion questions related to the Web articles and course notes.
  • Engage is positive and meaningful dialog with classmates concerning the course subject matter. Discussions will be conducted using the Moodle Discussions tool.
  • Write a summary of the key items covered each week and how they apply to your online course.
  • Create a presentation or design of some kind for each of the five types of multimedia.
  • Recommended Reading � Multimedia for the Web Revealed: Creating Digital Excitement, by Calleen Coorough and Jim Shuman (Course Technology/Cengage, 2006)


The course has a modular structure consisting of separate units. Each unit is individually assessed, but successive units build upon previous information. The course pedagogy is based on collaborative learning and group participation, direct email, postings of materials, Web resources, and instructor notes. Content in the form of student participation in the discussion forums and comments on the ideas and work of others will also be present. Links to outside sources are also required to provide more in-depth information on some topics.


This is an intensive course requiring about 8-10 hours a week (possibly more). Thus, the time commitment will vary depending upon the individual�s input, needs, and personal study habits. Students are required to log on to the course a minimum of 4 times a week.

Credit Options

Continuing Education Credit (CEU Credit)
8 Continuing education units (CEU credit) are available for this course.

Graduate or Undergraduate Academic Credit
This course can also be taken for academic graduate credit through the University of Illinois at Springfield. To earn academic credit, you must first enroll as a non-degree or as a degree student through UIS. Visit the How to Enroll page for more information.


Taking a course for CEUs:
Registration for this course is open to the general public, but there is a registration fee for participants who are not employees of the University of Illinois. The fee is determined by the number of contact hours and online discussion requirements for the course. To view the fee schedule for a specific section of this course, visit the Schedule and click on the link for that section (e.g. SA1051).

Taking a course for Graduate Credit through the University of Illinois at Springfield (UIS):
Most MVCR courses [not the Advanced Online Seminars] may be taken for graduate credit through UIS. You do not pay twice if you choose this route. You pay only the tuition and fees associated with UIS enrollment. If you choose to enroll through UIS, you need to follow the instructions. You do not register through this site.

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Taking Courses for Academic Credit

Most 8-week MVCR courses can also be taken for academic credit through the University of Illinois at Springfield.

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Suggested Tracks

Instruction Centric

  • Online Learning
  • Instructional Design
  • Student Assessment
  • Encouraging Comm.
  • Elective
  • Practicum

Technology Centric

  • Online Learning
  • Technology Tools
  • Instructional Design
  • Student Assessment
  • Elective (Multimedia or Sims, Labs, Games, and VR)
  • Practicum

Support Professional

  • Online Learning
  • Instructional Design
  • Student Assessment
  • Universal Design
  • Elective (Supporting Students, Copyright, Global eLearning, Blended/Hybrid, Librarians Collaborating, Multimedia Principles)
  • Practicum

COLA - track

  • Administration Seminar
  • Quality Assurance
  • Issues and Strategies in Faculty Training
  • Supporting Students Online

Choose one of the following three for your elective:

  • Administration of Online Programs
  • Copyright
  • Blended - Hybrid Learning Design and Instruction
  • Practicum for Administrators
What They're Saying
"The thing I liked most about this course was the interaction with the other students."     

MVCR Participant

Award winning courses

The MVCR program won the Award for Excellence in ALN Faculty Develop-ment (in conjunction with other ION programs) from the Sloan-consortium in 2002. One of our instructors won the WebCT Exemplary Online Course Award for an MVCR course as well.

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