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Design Transactions in Educational Multimedia

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Educational multimedia, as combinations of text, images, graphics and sound, in both offline and online digital formats, may be analysed in terms of the educational transactions it supports (e.g. exchange of information, application of skill, construction of knowledge, self-expression, social interaction). Through instructional design, transactions may be specified to meet educational objectives. But educational multimedia is also a manifestation of multimedia design. Multimedia design governs structural and functional matters such as architecture, interface and navigation, and aesthetic matters such as the look and feel of the resource. The interface between multimedia design and instructional design is poorly defined and there are tensions between the two. In this paper we explore the relationship between instructional design and multimedia design by looking at educational transactions and the narrative and contextual parameters in which they operate. These relationships are exemplified in online multimedia resources in museum, film and cultural studies developed at the Telematics Centre at the University of Exeter, and available at:

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: July 1, 2004

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  • Established in 1998, The Design Journal is an international, refereed journal covering all aspects of design. The journal welcomes articles on design in both cultural and commercial contexts. The journal is published four times a year and provides a forum for design scholars, professionals, educators, and managers worldwide. It publishes thought-provoking work that will have a direct impact on design knowledge and that challenges assumptions and methods, while being open-minded about the evolving role of design.

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