Multimedia is the multiple channels used to transmit a message or concept that supports or solidifies a concept/idea (Sundar, 2000). These multiple channels, for example, speech, video, music, text, graphic and website url are all forms of media that create, modify and enhance our messaging of such concepts and ideas.
According to Sundar (2000), “information is considered more memorable when presented in certain modalities than in others” (482). These modalities are multimedia messages that have connect with our subconscious much quicker than just plain text may. Sundar (2000) expands on this subject by reiterating that although an enhancement to one’s concept or idea, multimedia tools also provide stimulating aspect about a concept where the tool is being used. Although it may not be as cognitive, the tool is an enhancement all the same.
When multimedia is presented as information, one can find how multimedia techniques prove to be more effective than others. “Learning Sciences” at the University of Texas at Austin provided a layout of multimedia tools, their functions, and the types within each tool that individuals are recommended to utilize as media enhancements. From video editing to presentation tools, the numerous multimedia enhancements are provided as resources to “help you streamline your content and avoid setbacks during production” (Learning Sciences, 2015).
One tool, Prezi, is a new multimedia enhancement that grasps the concept of a PowerPoint and stylizes the presentation into a media tool one can use when presenting a topic. Providing interactive color schemes, animations and attention grabbing details, Prezi is a multimedia tool that takes a concept like PowerPoint to create that positive brand that Sundar (2000) discusses in their research.
Another tool, Photoshop, also proves to be a multimedia tool that proves to be more effective than its alternative, a phot
o editor. Photoshop, an in-depth photo-editing software, allows for users to enhance normal graphics beyond a generic editing standpoint. By having graphics that emulate a concept or idea being enhanced, one can easily connect with the individual(s) the content is being shared with.
Concepts like Prezi and Photoshop are valuable examples of how multimedia tools connect with audiences beyond the plain text, creating a strong intended message while maintaining informational messages that can be transmitted numerous ways.
Sundar, S. (2000). Multimedia Effects on Processing and Perception of Online News: A Study of Picture, Audio, and Video Downloads. Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, 77(3). Retrieved from http://www.journalism.wisc.edu/~dshah/blog-club/site/Sundar.pdf
Multimedia tools. (2015). Retrieved November 18, 2015, from https://learningsciences.utexas.edu/teaching/technology-enhanced-learning/multimedia-tools