Multimedia approaches in teacher education

  • Introduction
  • Activity 1
  • Activity 2
  • Activity 3
  • Reflection


The purpose of this workshop is to explore the contribution that multimedia approaches can make to enhancing teacher education practice. The workshop draws on activities in Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future to illustrate the value of multimedia education resoureces and approaches and how they may be integrated into teacher education.


  • To understand the nature, scope and purposes of multimedia education;
  • To appreciate the contribution of multimedia approaches in teacher education; and
  • To appreciate ways in which the multimedia approaches in the Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future programme can be used to develop an understanding of the rationale, scope, content and multimedia education design of Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future.


  1. A demonstration project
  2. Advantages of multimedia education
  3. Approaches to multimedia education
  4. Reflection


This workshop requires:

  • A personal computer and data projector for the facilitator
  • A personal computer for each participant or pair of participants
  • Slideshow 3
  • Resource Sheet 3.1 ­ made into an overhead transparency or chart
  • Resource Sheet 3.2 ­ a copy for each participant
  • A whiteboard, flipchart or other means of recording participants’ ideas


This workshop was developed by John Fien, Griffith University, Australia.

A demonstration project


Use Slides 2 – 4 of Slideshow 3 to introduce the title, objectives and activity sequence in the workshop.

Use Slides 5 – 8 to explain that Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future was developed by UNESCO as a demonstration of the potential of multimedia approaches in teacher education – and thus as a catalyst to innovation in different parts of the world.

As you show each of the statements in Slides 5 – 9, ask participants – individually, in pairs or as a whole group – to suggest ways in which the demonstration value of Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future may serve as a catalyst in teacher education in their institutions or countries.

Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future demonstrates:

  • How multimedia approaches can be used to provide professional development experiences for a wide range of educators at various phases of their professional career. (Slide 5)
  • How a professional development resource may be prepared to allow maximum flexibility for individual and small group use. (Slide 6)
  • How such flexibility can allow for the use of the multimedia resource for both independent study and use as part of a tertiary course. (Slide 7)
  • How capacity building in the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) can be enhanced as a ‘by-product’ of professional development in other fields. (Slide 8)
  • How the scale of impact of a programme may be maximised for a large audience (60 million teachers) through the effective use of ICT and innovative multimedia design. (Slide 9)

Advantages of multimedia education


Use Slides 10 – 18 to outline nine advantages of multimedia approaches in education.

Multimedia-based learning is becoming increasingly popular. While it has limitations, and certainly should not be seen as a substitute for face to face interaction, it does have numerous advantages for teacher education. For example, the information contained on the Internet is unlimited and evolving (Slide 10). It is up to date (Slide 11), relatively inexpensive to obtain (Slide 12), and searchable (Slide 13). It also reflects the views of many authors and sources of information (Slide 14).

Multimedia professional education can also be highly interactive and engaging through the use of animation, audio and video files, games and on-line discussions (Slide 15). All these can be undertaken at any time and at any place and without the need for an outside workshop facilitator (Slides 16 – 19).

Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future incorporates these benefits of multimedia education. It also demonstrates the principles of effective teaching and learning that are a necessary part of reorienting education towards a sustainable future. That is, the type of professional development experiences in Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future seeks to ensure that the ‘medium’ for learning is a part of the ‘message’.

Computer workshop 1

Participants work on computers, individually or in pairs, during this activity.

Ask participants to open ‘Getting Started’ and then go to the Sitemap on the left hand navigation bar. Explain the structure of the Sitemap and then ask participants to find the Interaction titled ‘Advantages of Multimedia-based Learning’. This is a ‘diamond ranking’ exercise based upon the nine advantages just examined.

Allow participants 10 – 15 minutes to complete the Interaction and to make a record of their rankings.

Reconvene the whole group, and use the individual rankings of participants to compile an average weighted group ranking of the nine advantages of multimedia learning. Resource Sheet 3.1 might be made into an overhead transparency or chart to provide a matrix for doing this.

Approaches to multimedia education

Computer workshop 2

Participants work on computers, individually or in pairs, during this activity.

Ask participants to use Resource Sheet 3.2 to identify examples in Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future where the following approaches or strategies to multimedia-based learning are used:

  • Search the Internet.
  • Access an Internet database.
  • A self-correcting quiz or test.
  • Test reading and comprehension skills.
  • Promote analytical thinking.
  • Interact with statistical or graphical data.
  • Animation.
  • Play a computer game.
  • Present an overview of information on-screen with detailed data as a pop-up box.
  • See the relationship between topics.
  • Define terms.
  • Understand a hierarchy of information.

Allow up to one hour for this activity. If time is short, individuals/pairs could be allocated a selection of approaches or strategies to identify.

An alternative way of conducting this activity would be to allocate a specific module from Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future to each participant or pair, and ask them to find as many examples as they can of the above approaches in their particular modules.


Reconvene the whole group and ask for examples that were found for each of the twelve approaches. Encourage general discussion of the advantages and any possible problems of each of the approaches.

Ask for, and discuss, the additional approach to multimedia-based learning that were identified.

Conclude the workshop be asking participants to identify how multimedia-based learning can contribute to innovation in teacher education at (a) pre-service education, and (b) in-service education levels.