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Abstract

Transformations in contemporary higher education have led to an explosion in the number of degrees delivered online, a significant characteristic of which is the incorporation of multimedia to support learning. Despite the proliferation of multimedia and growing literature about the affordances of various technologies, there are relatively few examples of how judgements are made regarding choosing and actioning multimedia development decisions for educational developers. The case study presented here is framed within an institution-wide project for the development of fully online degrees that utilised a collaborative approach to curriculum and multimedia development. This example focuses on the establishment and operation of a collaborative approach to curriculum development in which multidisciplinary development teams invested considerable resources in researching improvements to their multimedia practices and processes. This article reflects on the collaborative team approach to multimedia design and development by examining the team’s experiences and practices through the lens of existing multimedia research, in order to understand the convergence between multimedia theory and the practicalities of developing multimedia within the constraints of large-scale online curriculum development. Through these reflections, four lessons learned will be explicated which will inform those engaged in employing similar approaches in other contexts. These lessons learned identify the benefits and potential issues associated with:

  1. the approach used by the collaborative development team to support the production of multimedia,
  2. the practices and process used by the collaborative development team to facilitate the creation of concise multimedia presentations,
  3. the impacts of establishing teaching presence through videos created by the course writer and online course facilitator, and
  4. the presentation styles used by course writers and the tools they used during multimedia production.

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