Commonwealth Computer Navigator's Certificate/Multimedia guidelines

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These multimedia guidelines are based on the discussions and reflections of module developers who attended the CCNC review meeting.

  1. The team envisages three approaches to media development:
    • Self-generated media which individual authors can develop themselves. For example, an audio recording, screen shot, or slide show sequence. This media would not necessarily require detailed specifications to be developed.
    • Externally developed media where the development is subcontracted to multimedia professionals. In this case, detailed specifications are required. COL will endeavour to finance this development from extra budgetary funding.
    • Media sourced from other websites or projects, e.g. Wikimedia Commons including for instance photographs, graphics, animated gif files. Note that we may only use free content images, i.e. CC-BY, CC-BY-SA and GNU(FDL) and that we must adhere to the requirements of the license in terms of proper attribution .
  2. The team distinguishes between:
    • minimum, baseline media requirements that must be available for the first offering of the CCNC (the minimum multimedia requirements are identified in these guidelines); and
    • future multimedia development viewed as a process of continuous improvement and quality enhancement over time.
  3. The team will identify the places where media will be incorporated into their modules by 20 July 2007 using the review templates in accordance with our agreed completion schedule. (This is not a detailed specification but merely an identification of where baseline media is required.)
  4. The team will have completed detailed media specifications for external development by 20 August 2007, in accordance with our completion schedule

Media guidelines

These are generic guidelines to promote consistency of multimedia in all the Modules.


Screenshots must be taken using the operating system specified for this project, namely Ubuntu 7.04 (Feisty Fawn). Consequently a screen shot of Openoffice using another operating system is not permitted.

We recommend using GIMP- an image manipulation programme for your screenshots.

Some tips:

  • Where possible, try not to use a full screenshot, but only the part of the screenshot you are discussing at a particular point in the learning process. Where you are using full screenshots, you can look at the 'image' template in Wikieducator, which allows you to display a thumbnail of the image which opens up to full screen when the user clicks on the image. The downside to using the thumbnail approach is when using these resources for a print version. Then you will need to make sure full size is available when printing off.
  • The following image resolutions are recommended for full screen shots:
    • Original size of the image:
    • Thumbnail size when positioned in text:

See one of the sections in Module 5 of CCNC for an example of the use of the thumbnail approach.

Welcome audio

Each module will be introduced using a short audio insert welcoming learners to the unit. The following requirements are specified for the welcome audio:

  1. Maximum length is 2 minutes
  2. Save the file in MP3 format
  3. The voice(s) must be those of the primary authors of the module so we can illustrate the international diversity of this development
  4. A photo should be included with the audio recording, and author's should use the pedagogical template for media. An example can be viewed in this Newbie tutorial.
  5. Please prepare a text script for the audio, and upload this to WikiEductator with a link to the relevant Open Office file in the media template. This is to facilitate translations, modifications and customised recordings of local accents of the materials.
  6. Take a look at the MOSEP tutorials for ideas on developing an introductory audio message. Ideas for content:
    • Motivational comment
    • What will be covered on the Module and why these skills are important giving a real life example
    • Use personal pronouns to establish a strong rapport with the learner.

We recommend the use of Audacity. Please keep a copy of the original Audacity project file (i.e. *.aup). This will assist us in modifying export options.

Slide shows with synchronised audio

Slide shows can be developed where it is appropriate to include visualisation of concepts with the advantages associated with synchronised audio. Slide shows can also be used as an excellent substitute for screen movies by superimposing bubble text over a static screen shot. We should attempt to include at least one slide show of this format for each module.

The slide show flash tool can be used to embed the slide show in WikiEducator. (The syntax is complicated and in the event that you struggle with the syntax, please communicate with COL. The following guidelines are provided:

  1. Slide shows must be created using Open Office Presentations.
  2. Original presentation file (in *.odp format) must be uploaded and linked to the slide show sequence. The idea is to make this available for modifications and customisation.
  3. The final slide show must be exported in flash (.swf) format - Click on File > Export and select Macromedia Flash as the file type.
  4. You must specify a title for each individual page - this is used for the navigation in the slide show flash tool.
  5. You must record a separate MP3 file for each slide - please provide a text script in odt format.
  6. Provide a photo of the presenter of the slide show
  7. Specify an appropriate title to attract attention - this is required for the title bar of the slide show flash tool.

Some tips

  1. Avoid replication of content - for example bullet lists of the main points covered in the corresponding text
  2. Think of interesting ways to visualise the content, for instance using diagrams to show relationships
  3. Avoid animation sequences in the slide show - they are difficult to synchronise with audio, especially when future users may want to recontextualise the slide show.


The adage of a "picture paints a thousand words" is particularly relevant to the design and development of high quality distance learning resources. Images convey personality, emotion and frame the context for learning. Therefore we must strive to communicate this affective dimension in our learning resources.

There are two approaches we should use:

  1. Search for free content images on Wikicommons or Flickr. Note that Flickr has an advanced search facility to find appropriately licensed images. We can only use CC-BY or CC-BY-SA images in Wikieducator. Make sure that you use the template:FA or template:CA when inserting images.
  2. If you have an idea or specification for an image, please use the template:Image_needed. This will help the multimedia team to find the right image for your content.

Some tips

Flash animation/video

When creating small movies, we will provide both the source files (.fla) and the final runtime files (.swf).

Try to minimise your movies to 2 minutes maximum to avoid download/bandwidth issues.

Flash in general

We will use flash to create most animation and video clips. Consider the following when using flash authored content:

  • Flash movies should be exported to cater for two versions prior to the current flash plug-in. *Do not use the Flash 8 ‘Stroke Hinting’ feature for vector graphics as the processing power required for runtime rendering is considered excessive for legacy machines.
  • Do not use anti-aliased text or Flash8 ‘alias for text’ for body text. Use ‘no anti alias’ instead. [Flash8 calls this ‘Bitmap text (no anti-alias)’]. As ideally the flash materials are to be built for the flash7 plug-in newer aliasing technologies cannot be employed. As with text legends in images and graphics, titles or headings using larger fonts (14pt+) can be anti-aliased to improve appearance. The intention is for all text to be legible (special consideration should be made for laptop LCD displays – test as early as possible in the design process).
  • Make sure that fonts are embedded for dynamic text-boxes. Depending on the scale of the flash project this should either be done as a font symbol (loaded from a shared library if appropriate) or by character embedding, remembering to include Uppercase, Lowercase, Numerals and Punctuation glyphs (as required).

Syntax for Wikieducator The syntax for inserting a flash file in WikiEducator: <flash>file=filename.swf|width=800|height=489|quality=best</flash>

Image File formats

Please take note of some media file formats we would like you to use:

  • Flash (.swf and .as at runtime, .fla for authoring)
  • Text Files (.txt) For data required by flash movies at runtime
  • XML (.xml) For data required by flash movies at runtime
  • Rich Text Format (.rtf) For readings and where a web-page delivery is thought inappropriate.

Images Ideally we should be using SVG.

Other possible options?

  • JPEG (.jpg)
  • GIF (.gif)

Media storyboard

For passing on instructions to a multimedia designer. Think to include the following:

  • Name ((copy)wiki page name + graphic name)
  • Description of the requirement
  • Expected delivery mode (e.g. print only, e-learning online only, e-learning offline only etc.)
  • Explanation of the learner experience expected (interaction)
  • Visual description
  • Position of the item; on screen or on paper
  • alt, height, and width attributes for every image.
  • alt text caption
  • Format required (if needed)
  • Metadata - keywords?
  • Priority ranking? To be determined.