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Unlike paper books, networked electronic multimedia allows many people simultaneous access to the same materials. These resources are available all the time, from office or home to research institutes and Universities. More sources can be consulted and relevant information can be obtained immediately. Widespread use of this technology has implications for the learning, studying, local network capabilities and the services provided by libraries. It adds new dimensions to the learning experience, most concepts are easier to present and comprehend when words are complemented with images and animations. Learners retain more when a variety of senses are engaged in delivering information. The intensity of the experience aids retention and recall by engaging social and emotional as well as intellectual responses.
Conventional media technologies can no longer meet the needs of our teaching and learning processes, as the direct result, and they are being replaced by multimedia and its technology. Multimedia and its technology, an increasingly popular instructional delivery system, provide a learning environment that is self-paced, learner-controlled, and individualized. It is growing to become a common part of teaching and learning activities. The importance of making instructor and student aware of the rapidly advancing technologies of multimedia and information handling is in the process of transforming teaching and learning activities in our Colleges and Universities.
According to Newton and Rogers (2001) multimedia is a class of computer-driven interactive communication systems, which create, store, transmit, and retrieve textual, graphic, and auditory networks of information. Multimedia means that computer information can be represented through audio, video, and animation in addition to traditional media, that is, text, and graphics, drawings, and images. Multimedia system is capable of processing multimedia data and applications. According to Shuell & Farber (2001), multimedia involves processing, storage, generation, manipulation and rendition of multimedia information characterize multimedia system, and the resources could include online text files, pictures, video, audio, databases, archives, library catalogs, course notes, relevant links to various Web sites and easy access to search engines available on the Internet.
Multimedia networking provides the skills needed to set up, troubleshoot and maintain computer systems configured for a visual communication and computer graphics environment. Multimedia information networking is a composite field. It is a synthesis of aspects of multimedia systems, information systems, and computer networking each a vast field in its own right. It involves the fundamental concepts, theory, technology, and methodology required to build and use multimedia information networks, wide area networks, internetworking; and multimedia information networks are author's easy-to-read style and comprehensive approach combine with its excellent, well-thought-out examples to provide a valuable instructional tool for both the novice and the experienced reader. The instruction and use of networked multimedia technology has increased significantly in most Colleges and Universities. Regarded as the key to students' future success, multimedia resources technology has become an essential part of education. As multimedia combines the technology of video and computers, one of the most important advantages is that it may offer a unique environment for interactivity, learner control and student interest and motivation. It should be indicated that the quality of an instructional multimedia system depends on the integration of technology, information, and personnel.
There is an accelerated technological change accompanied by exponential growth in human knowledge, especially in the digital and networked environment. The idea of using multiple media to improve communication between humans and computers is not new. The term "multimedia" has two possible meanings. Firstly, the "media" refer to storage media such as WORMs, CD-ROMs, and disks. Secondly, it can refer to the presentation of information using different media such as sound, graphics, text, etc. Human beings often use at least two sensory channels which are visual and auditory (Fadamiro 2000, Gbodi and Laleye, 2006)) but frequently use the third, which is the touch sensory, and within these communication channels, a rich variety of media are employed.
A multimedia technology enables the creation of environments in which constructivist learning can take place. They make available to students original materials instead of pre-interpreted and diluted information. They provide tools for the exploration of that data so that students can investigate a topic and approach it with genuine questions. In the process students create new and examine existing knowledge structures through the exploration of a topic as well as an appreciation of it.
Aberson, Berger, Healy, Kyle and Romero (2000), emphasis that multimedia technology ends up addressing an activity that is fundamental to academic, that is, the art of teaching. Orr, Poindexter, and Allen (2001) concluded that using multimedia based information technology in learning would positively impact learning. Plous (2000) in different studies of computer-assisted instruction found positive student perceptions on skills improvement. While Hult and Edents (2003) found video-aided teaching to be an effective and interpretive educational method for evaluating student skills, and Friel and Carboni (2000) found video based education to have the potential to support alternative experiences.
Using computer, video, Internet-based, and other multimedia materials in educational activities eases teachers' class-management problems, increases students' and teachers' attention levels, and enhances the learning-and-teaching process's effectiveness (Beers, Paquette, & Warren, 2000; Kablan, 2001). This means that the use of multimedia applications can overcome difficulties in education. This corroborates with Hartley (2007) assertion that multimedia applications motivates the learners, helps slow learners and students with learning difficulties; promotes individualized-learning, saves teachers' and students' time and increases productivity; provides constructivist learning environments, promotes student-centred led activities, promotes collaborative and cooperative learning, develops higher order thinking skills, promotes active learning
Ozdener and Esfer (2009) report students' favourable attitudes toward multimedia applications, and this foster more dynamic classroom discussion which involve critical thinking and problem solving, both of which can promote a student's academic and career success. Schuell & Farber (2001) reported that multimedia applications led to increased quality of interaction between students with their lecturers, as well as led them to perceive their lecturers as technologically competent and thus students have reported an increase in computer literacy after exposure to multimedia technology.
Despite the favourable student attitudes that technology can yield in the classroom, some students perceive the technology as cold, impersonal and intimidating. They also express beliefs that their skill level is lower than what is needed to effectively utilize the technology offered, and may experience anxiety when faced with technology in the classroom (Katayama, Shambaugh, & Doctor, 2005; Schult & McIntosh, 2004).
Students have reported an increase in computer literacy after having exposure to multimedia technology. Further evidence indicates that students exposed to technology in the classroom do not feel greater amounts of self-efficacy for technology when compared to a traditionally-instructed control group (DeBord, Aruguete and Muhlig, 2004). In addition to promoting positive attitudes, the integration of technology in the classroom may also promote active learning and critical thinking in the classroom, interactive and dynamic; promote student engagement (Newlin & Wang, 2002). This is in contrast to more traditional and passive modes of acquiring knowledge, such as transcribing lecture content into notes with little student participation.
According to Guttormsen and Krueger (2000) knowledge is the recall of previously learned material and comprehension involves basic understanding of that material. In essence networked multimedia application assists students in knowledge and comprehension by listening to a lecture, watching videotape, or reading a textbook and then memorizing through rehearsal: one-way communication with simple effort. Sever (2001) believed that while all cognitive levels require active learning to some degree, higher levels are enhanced with networked multimedia communication. A meta-analysis of instructional media found that computer-based instruction improves student attitudes toward learning and the content itself (Russell, Finger and Russell (2000). Both instructional films and the Internet increases higher student interest and motivation. Networked multimedia applications have the advantage of increasing student motivation to learn.
Plous (2000) opcit that actors in the learning process and are therefore appropriate for achieving high-level cognitive learning objectives of application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. Additionally, multimedia allows the opportunity for non-linear communication of information, paralleling most knowledge structures
Guttormsen and Krueger (2000) opined that multimedia resources add new dimensions to the learning experience. Multimedia information sources present exciting possibilities for increasingly sophisticated and evocative presentations of material in many fields of education. Widespread use of this technology has implications for the learning, research, local network capabilities and the services provided by libraries. Most concepts are easier to present and comprehend when words are complemented with images and animations. Learners retain more when a variety of senses are engaged in delivering information. The intensity of the experience aids retention and recall by engaging social and emotional as well as intellectual responses.