“The new version of After Effects came out, and right away training was available online.”Terry Herman, Assistant Professor College of Technology
Dr. Terry Herman’s online class, Principles of Multimedia Production and Courseware Design at Bowling Green State University, helps future multimedia producers and instructional designers explore and experiment with different visual presentation techniques, including digital media.
“In the past, we used to meet as a class for an hour and a half, then be in the lab for three hours, where I would demonstrate and provide them with an overview of a variety of software tools they would need for their learning module development,” says Herman, assistant professor for the Department of Visual Communication & Technology Education. “It was difficult to teach to the entire class because they came with a wide range of experience and had such differing needs when it came to learning the software.”
Herman integrated courses from lynda.com with the online Safari textbooks she was already using. She bought unlimited access to the Online Training Library® for her students using money available from her research funds. The multi-user subscription provided them 24/7 access to the entire training library from any Internet-connected browser.
Her students began to use lynda.com like a virtual lab that they could log into at any time to learn how to use a wide range of software. Herman created personalized student lab contracts that reported which lynda.com resources students had used during the week. Students also provided weekly reflections of their work on a discussion board.
Since the entire course was conducted online, the lecture component consisted of readings, a discussion board, interactive chats, and assignments that resulted in projects like a class-developed 18-Point Interactive Multimedia Quality Checklist. This checklist was then used to evaluate the modules students developed.
All the students created custom virtual lab and learning plans that included which software they wanted to learn for building their multimedia course. Students were then able to select courses on lynda.com that supported their goals.
As the semester progressed, students loved having online access to lynda.com training at their disposal, as it provided a much richer learning environment and they could learn at their own pace.
“The Multimedia Course modules that my students created were the best I’ve seen in my five years of teaching," says Herman. "Since my students were able to develop their own learning path, they were more motivated and excited.”
When students wrote their final reflections on their experiences using lynda.com, Herman realized that the training was well worth the cost. She plans to use lynda.com again and has changed the course design to further integrate the Online Training Library®. Students are asked to buy a lynda.com subscription for this class much as they would buy a textbook for other classes.
“Learning the software applications this way was much more efficient and meaningful to the students. This is the most brilliant solution—it’s efficient effective, adaptive, meeting students where they are. It opens up possibilities they never thought possible.”
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