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P. Ice

American Public University System (UNITED STATES)
Higher education has become increasingly dependent upon digital means of capturing information, ranging from the ubiquitous use of email to the creation of terabytes of Word documents on an annual basis. However, the overwhelming majority of knowledge is captured in the most simplistic forms. Institutions fail to capitalize on their full potential by utilizing dynamic means of creating representations of learning and processes in multimedia formats. Long considered the province of schools of art and design, cross-curricular integration of multimedia is approached cautiously if at all. Driven by fears of high costs and lack of faculty buy-in, academia has been cautious to a fault in adopting robust means of representing the knowledge generated across campus.

While some administrators may be skeptical of the need for pervasive technology in all disciplines, it is informative to examine work by Nguyen (2009) in which the ability to utilize media creation software in the liberal arts was found to significantly enhance the ability of students to project themselves via digital storytelling. Specifically the ability to express oneself visually and audibly catalyzed higher levels of intellectual curiosity and the desire to more explicitly depict narrative descriptions of findings from course-based inquiry. Though story-telling, and its digital extension, is a well established practice in the liberal arts, the methodology can be extended, with great effect, to other disciplines as well. When asked to create a narrative explanation of a problem, students must engage in reflection and elaborate on their personal paradigms through activities such as image manipulation / creation, video editing, audio editing and animation. The resultant product is one that reveals not only the products of academic exploration but also elaboration of personal understandings through rich media that makes sharing personal understandings easily accessible to other students and concurrently increase understanding among groups of learners.

This presentation demonstrates the benefits of utilizing multimedia in all institutional settings and majors. Special consideration is given to case studies that illustrate low threshold means of adoption and potential avenues for administrators to leverage the research component of the professorship. Benefits related to significant increases in the enterprises knowledge capitol and student employability skills are also covered. Ideas for creating roadmaps for institutions at any level will be a key take away for attendees.