CIS 9771 - Multimedia Research, Special Topics: Theory and Applications
Dr. J. Thomas



There will be one exam in addition to a number of small research projects and critiques, as well as a major research project at the end of the semester. These are broken down as follows:

Examination: 30%
Small Projects: 20%
Major Project : 40%
Participation : 10%


Critiques of various multimedia applications, which draw on good and bad design issues discussed in class, will be required. These will form part of the Mini Projects grade.

Another aspect of the Mini Projects will entail researching particular social issues in multimedia. You will be required to perform an extensive library search of the area, hand in a written paper of the issues discussed on this topic in the literature, and be ready to present and discuss these in class.

For the Major Project you will be required to develop a small instructional and testing application of your own, in groups of 5-6. Your written project must:

  1. describe the application developed;
  2. provide a rational for the choice of topic and media used making reference to human information processing discussions;
  3. identify areas for improvement and how;
  4. report on user reactions to the finished product including statistical analyses; and
  5. include a bibliography of all references used.

You will be required to read and discuss articles from multimedia magazines. You will also be required to come to class prepared to discuss the chapter readings, handout notes and articles, and the small projects assigned. Where group work is involved, you are expected to share the work equitably. You will be required to evaluate your fellow group members based on their contribution.

In class activities will include taking an application idea and developing it as far as the implementation and evaluation stages. You are expected to learn the Authorware authoring system on your own. A mini-manual is provided to assist you in this. Lab time is provided for that purpose. Expect to spend at least 4 to 6 hours a week on this. You will be expected to use that knowledge to develop small applications of your own.



Mind Over Media, Mark von Wodtke, McGraw-Hill, 1993

Handout articles and notes

Suggested Readings: (1 per group)
Authorware Professional 2.0, Matthew Holtz, ITP Wadsworth Publishing Co., N.Y.
See attachment. These references were chosen to demonstrate that multimedia is not a new concept, but that the tools with which it can be implemented are new.

Authorware Mini-Manual


Familiarity and experience in Windows 3.1 is a must. The course will cover multimedia both for MacIntosh and Windows environments, but the exercises and assignments will be developed on PC's with Windows interface.

Introduction to Multimedia
What is Multimedia
  • Components of Multimedia
Exploring Images in Your Mind
2 - 3
Tools needed for
Development and Use
Exploring Electronic Media
6 - 8
Design, Evaluation, Building
and Testing
The Creative Process
User Interface
Mixing Media
Presentations and Discussions

Looking into the Future/
Societal Issues/change
Presentations and Discussions12
12-13 Major ProjectPresentations and Discussions 


In your groups, develop an instructional application to teach and test on some concept to a specific category of users. Have a few users (at least 3) evaluate your application and record their test results. Analyze the results using basis statistics and include them in the written report. The written report should follow the outline given on the syllabus.


Do a group evaluation

  1. Evaluate the application contained on the CD-ROM which will be given to each group. Make sure to go through the entire application. The write up will detail what good and bad features were found and why. It should also include possible improvements. Be prepared to do a live presentation to the class of the application and to discuss the design features which were assessed.
  2. Perform library and web searches of the social issue topics to be given out in class and discuss them with the class.