E-learning concept and nature

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Introduction to Multimedia Elements for E-Content Development

When internet and interactive satellites are the order of the day, a re-look at the process of developing educational content becomes imperative. The availability of mor bandwidth on interactive satellite, internet and Fibre Optics Network has encouraged the educational service providers to think newer form interactive educational content. The delivery of Audio-Visual content is fast becoming a reality. Anytime-anywhere-rich content is set to become part of our lives.

Paper highlights multimedia elements of e-Content development and their applications.

Multimedia Elements of E-content[1]

Not very long ago, most of the e-content were predominately text and graphic based as the delivery media and platforms did not support deployment of large content files. With advancement of technology, 2D & 3D animations have enhanced the presentations of the e-content. Now, video and interactive applets backed by synchronous and asynchronous communication between the learners and teachers have raised the qualitative level of learning process to a new high.

CEC, in its endeavor to create wholesome learning modules, integrates all possible e-content elements to enrich the content delivery.


Text is most important element of any e-content. Computers of any level can help create text files, though one needs special software like Word Pad and MSWORD to create formatted text.

One can save text files in the following format: .txt .doc .htm .pdf

“.txt” saves text in its basic form. Different programmes can import the text in this format and use internal features to beautify the content. This also helps textual content migrate from one OS and programme to another. “.doc” format of MSWORD and WORDPAD helps store content in Rich Text format. “.htm” is very popular format for rendering text in internet browsers. Though not as a rich format as DOC, it helps to give a webpage coherent and rich look. “.pdf” is helps retain the page layout of both printed and electronic documents. Most of e-governance forms and e-books are available in this format.


“ A picture is worth a thousand words” – the popular saying couldn’t have been truer in the context of e-content development. One could store pictures in various formats: .bmp .gif .jpg .png

“.bmp” is an uncompressed format that stores pictures in millions of colours. This is the most popular format for exchanging pictures between different programmes. “.gif” is a compressed format that stores pictures in 256 colours. This is a very popular format for displaying pictures in web pages. “.jpg” is a lossy format that stores pictures in millions of colour in very small file size, thereby making it most popular format for e-content. .png” is a recent format that helps pictures store transparencies and layers and content in millions of colours. This format stores pictures in very small file size.


Animation, perhaps, the first element that provided e-content some credibility. 2D and later on 3D animations put that extra punch so badly missing in e-content for holding viewer’s attention. New compression technologies helped animations become a regular part of all e-content.

Animations come in different formats: .flc .swf .gif “.flc” is an old 2D animation format from AutoDesk. “.swf” is a recent format from Macromedia to store Vector based 2D animations. Some programmes also render 3D animations in this popular format. “.gif” can also animated frames.


Electronic Presentations have become a standard tool and considered as a good teaching/learning aid. This most popular format is PowerPoint from Microsoft. .ppt “.ppt” is a very popular format storing presentations. This is available in MS OFFICE software.


Delivery of e-content in CD and later on through internet saw growth of audis as a part of e-content due to advancement in compression technology. There are various formats of audio that can be used a part of e-content. .wav .au .mp3 .mid “.wav” is most popular format of audio deployed in e-content. This offers multi-track audio both in uncompressed, compressed and sampling rates. “.au” is a compressed format of storing audio from Sun Microsystems. “.mp3” is a highly compressed format for stroing voice and music. This is perhaps most popular format storing and exchanging digital music today. “.mid” is a popular format of storing music.


Video is perhaps the most sensational entry in the e-content domain today. With recent breakthrough in compression and streaming technologies, video has emerged as feasible e-content elements. Like other elements, digital video also comes in many formats: .avi .mov .mpg .rm .wmv .flv “.avi” is a very popular format of storing digital video in computers. It stores both in compressed and uncompressed forms. “.mov” is a popular format storing digital and interactive video on both Apple and IBM-compatible PC’s. “.mpg” is a lossy and compressed format of storing video. “.rm” is an emerging format for storing compressed and streaming video. “.wmv” is the latest offering from Microsoft for storing highly compressed and streaming video in Windows and fast becoming the de facto standard for streaming video content on the Internet. “.flv” is a recent entry from Macromedia to deal with video content.


Perhaps, the biggest technological breakthrough that can change the face of e-content forever. This realtime interactive e-content element can work as a virtual lab. Suddenly, teaching Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry with this new aid has made learning more interesting. One can design, store and display simulation applets in various formats: .swf .jar “.swf” is fast becoming a format for displaying simulation content. This is widely used because of 95% of desktops have access to Flash player. “.jar” is format that stores Java based interactive applets providing simulated contents.

Browsing of E-Content Elements

Though “file association” features in Windows helps above mentioned file formats to open automatically in the associated programmes, it makes sense to know about individual progrmmes that support browsing these elements.

.txt>> Notepad .doc>> MSWORD .pdf>>Acrobat Reader .bmp>>Paint .jpg>>Paint/Browser .gif>> Browser .png>> Browser .swf>> Flash Player .flc>> Autodesk Animation Player .wav>> Media Player .au>> Flash .mp3>> Media Player .mid>>Media Player .avi>>Media Player .rm>>Real Player .mpg>> Media Player .wmv>> Media Player

A. Basic Familiarization Of Various Elements Of Multimedia E-Content · This session will also introduce creation of different elements like Voice, Image etc. · This is an introductory session to the practices that would help the participants familiarize with basic element creation. B. How To Manage E-Content Elements During E-Content Production · It is important for the content creator to manage the digital assets to deliver e-content on schedule. · This session aims to help e-content producers create personal folder on their machine, copy, edit, and manage different digital assets. · The participants are likely to play/preview different files and familiarize themselves with various forms digital assets.