there is an increasing demand for digital communication skills and a growing number of employees are seeking workers with knowledge of multimedia, web design, and social media skills. This article, therefore, seeks to explore the meaning of multimedia in addition to evaluating the importance of multimedia skills in the increasingly multimedia platform today, Defining multimedia
According to Craig (2005), technically, multimedia simply refers to the multiple types of media within a presentation. This can include anything from straight text (or hypertext) to photos, graphics, audio, and animation. Craig argues that this definition is too broad since according to these standards, television qualifies as multimedia because it incorporates audio and video. The definition would also include almost every webpage in existence because they usually include some sort of photos or graphics in addition to text.
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, describes multimedia as the content that uses a combination of different content forms, adding that multimedia includes a combination of text, audio, still images, animation, video, or interactive content forms. Thornburg (2011) defines multimedia as the use of more than one technique (text, audio, still images, moving images) to tell a story. A multimedia news story, then, is any piece that uses two or more media to tell it.
THE IMPORTANCE OF MULTIMEDIA SKILLS
The importance of multimedia skills in this age of advanced communication technology cannot be overemphasized. There are many benefits of multimedia skills. Some of them include the following:
We are in an era of media convergence, and this requires media students to be multimedia skilled. As a result of media convergence, media house owners tend to employ employees with skills in multimedia, that is, people who can handle text, images, audio, video, and animation at the same time. This gives the job applicant in the media market many opportunities to get hired, and at the same time, reduces cost and staff size for the employer.
News reporting is not limited to traditional media outlets. Freelance journalists can make use of different new media to produce multimedia pieces for their news stories. It engages global audiences and tells stories with technology, which develops new communication techniques for both media producers and consumers. A multimedia journalist can combine text, images, sound, videos, and graphics to tell an interesting story. This makes today’s journalists versatile unlike in former days when journalists had to concentrate on one area of mass media.
Learning and teaching with the assistance of technologies benefit both students who are able to process information easily and students who need more time to learn and digest study content (Tsai, Hwang, Tseng & Hwang, 2008; Shen et al., 2008; Carso, 2008). In addition, students can complete the instructional goal through self-learning in distances where teachers are not able to provide individual consultation (Tsai et al., 2008; Shen et al., 2008).
Repetitive Learning and Immediate Feedback
The multimedia platform may enhance effective learning through immediate feedback. In a traditional teaching setting, the learning effectiveness of students is related to the teaching attitude and methods of individual teachers. The multimedia learning platform provides opportunities to learn and practice repetitively. For example, when I was doing COM 681 — Advanced Audio & Video Production, and COM 682 — Advanced Print & Multimedia Production & Design at the university, both units offered me ample opportunities to repeatedly practice on my own how to do audio and video recording as well as text editing
Entertainment and Fine Arts
Like Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia indicates, multimedia is heavily used in the entertainment industry, especially to develop special effects in movies and animations (VFX, 3D animation, etc.). Multimedia games are a popular pastime and are software programs available either as CD-ROMs or online. Some video games also use multimedia features. Multimedia applications that allow users to actively participate instead of just sitting by as a passive recipient of information are called Interactive Multimedia. In the Arts, there are multimedia artists, whose minds are able to blend techniques using different media that in some way incorporate interaction with the viewer.
Diversified Teaching Methods
The multimedia platform provides diversified teaching materials through text, music, pictures, and animation, which can provide assistance to students’ cognitive development.
In the industrial sector, multimedia is used to present information to shareholders, superiors, and co-workers. Multimedia is also helpful for providing employee training, advertising, and selling products all over the world via virtually unlimited web-based technology.
The importance of multimedia skills cannot be overemphasized. A multimedia-skilled person stands a better chance to secure a job in the media industry as well as in the movie and entertainment industries. In the education sector, multimedia technologies can be used to enhance teaching; they can serve as instructional materials to enliven lessons. Therefore, in Media Studies, any interested student is encouraged to utilize his opportunities to acquire the necessary skills to meet the ever-increasing demands of the media and entertainment industries in order to remain relevant.
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Br. Donatus Abiaka, F.M.S.