If you've not commissioned a media rich interactive multimedia CD-ROM or DVD-ROM before, you may find this page useful when you come to draw up your specification for the multimedia producer.
What can you expect of a media rich interactive CD-ROM (or DVD-ROM)?
1. What is "media rich"?
A collection of "assets" - not just text but video, audio, graphics, stills, etc. which can be run on a "multimedia capable" PC or laptop - ie one that has a CD drive and a sound card. The user is able to interact with the assets on the multimedia CD-ROM or DVD-ROM, so it becomes an interactive not just a passive experience.
Navigation is the process which guides the user through the material. It can be very simple, an e-book approach where clicking the "next" button takes you to the next page, but the medium can be much more powerful ...
♦ Flexible / Tiered Navigation
At the start, the user identifies their department / division / job function as appropriate. A path is then created for them through the presentation; that way they see only those sections that are relevant to them.
♦ Revisit Menu
Menu listing the sections, so that someone who wasn’t able to complete the CD (they ran out of time or were called away) can start again where they left off. A revisit menu also means someone can go refresh their memory of a particular item, without having to go through the whole multimedia again.
Usually found on each page, the toolbar allows user to stop, start, exit, replay, go back, move on … Pop-up labels tell the user what each button does.
♦ Trainer / Presenter Mode
In addition to the normal user experience, this allows the material to be shown without voiceover narration and advanced manually, like a Powerpoint slide show. The trainer or presenter can play individual video clips or interactive exercises to illustrate a live course and prompt discussion.
3. Basic Functions
The media rich interactive multimedia CD-ROM is built as a series of pages or screens. Each page can display a variety of “objects” or media-rich content:
The whole page can be driven by a timeline, which synchronises the display of the various objects, or objects themselves can be given actions, eg a button or link will cause something else to happen.
Also objects can be simply animated, so that they move around the page, change size or colour, etc.
4. Interactive Quizzes and Tests
A Quiz can take the form of:
Quizzes can be scored and the results displayed to the user.
Quizzes can be randomised to discourage cheating.
If the user fails an important test, they can be made to do a section again.
5. Databases and Data Capture
The multimedia CD-ROM or DVD-ROM can interact with a database, retrieving or sending data. For example, it can capture the user’s ID and log their participation, eg:
· have they completed all relevant sections?
· have they passed all tests?
This information can:
· be used to generate a certificate of completion that the user can print and keep
· generate an e-mail to HR to provide a record of that person’s induction
· interface with a Learning Management System (if you have one) or a simple database that we could create for you.
The media rich multimedia CD-ROM or DVD-ROM can contain and display a wide variety of other digital material, including:
These may appear in a separate window, but will be fully integrated with the main presentation.
7. Links and Searches
The interactive CD-ROM or DVD-ROM can have various “launch” functions to start up other processes, for example:
8. Updating your Interactive CD-ROM
Because of its structure as a folder of assets or files, co-ordinated by the engine, updating an interactive CD-ROM can be far simpler and cheaper than revising a DVD, for example.
There are three ways of doing this:
· You can ask us to make the revision
· You can change one of the files yourself. For example if there was an Acrobat file on the disk called “pensions.pdf”, you would give the revised file the same name and burn a new disk containing the revised but not the original file. The engine would display the new file automatically.
· You can get the engine to look up a page on your intranet. It could either display the complete page or take a value from it, for example a director’s name, which would then be displayed in an organisation chart.
We are very happy to review your existing presentation material and provide a proposal as to how we could make this work as an interactive presentation.
If you think your presentation might be better as an interactive video DVD (better video quality but less interactivity) see our DVD-i page.
Otherwise, we would suggest that your specification for your media rich interactive multimedia CD-ROM/DVD-ROM lists:
♦ How long you want the presentation to run.
In some ways this is impossible to judge, as it depends how quickly the user works through it, but is it likely to be 30 minutes, 1 hour, 3 hours, 1 day?
Be aware that interactive multimedia delivers information in about half the time of a traditional talk-and-chalk course.
♦ Navigation and Structure
♦ Existing Content
♦ New Content
♦ Quizzes and Tests
♦ Data Capture
♦ Your Intranet / IT system
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