Multimedia in Online Courses

Effectively Using Media in Your Online Course

During the 2016 FIU Online CON, this session, led by David-John Palmer, Associate Director of Academic Programs, covered ways to take your course to next level by engaging and motivating your students with multimedia and interactive content.

Highlights of the session included ways to effectively introduce video and other multimedia elements in your online course, and a discussion of some of the cutting-edge technology platforms available. Here’s a quick session recap:

Why and when should you incorporate multimedia content into your online course?

Video is one of the most powerful and engaging ways to learn, especially in online courses and can help students better grasp concepts that are difficult to understand on the page. Video is most effective when it fills the following roles:

  • To model behavioral or interpersonal skills
  • To demonstrate how to, or how not to do, a specific task
  • To emphasize an important concept or point
  • When you need more emotional appeal than photos or text can deliver

What are the best practices for using video?

To ensure that students find the information in the video helping and engaging, take the time for some advance preparation and production. Consult with your instructional designer and the multimedia studio team to ensure your video delivers your information with impact. Here are some best practices to keep in mind:

  • Script and storyboard before you record
  • Pay attention to all the elements of the production, including appearance, setting, lighting and sound.
  • Select appropriate software.
  • Keep videos short (3-6 minutes)
  • Avoid including time sensitive information
  • ADA compliance (be sure to use close captioning)

What are some example of how video is being used in online courses at FIU Online?

The recording link has terrific examples of how other faculty are incorporating video into their online courses. Some examples include:

  • Welcome or introductory videos
  • Syllabus videos to provide more detailed information about course content
  • Assignments/lectures—record them so that students can use to review course material
  • Video announcements
  • Interviews with industry experts
  • Students recording videos of themselves for class exercises/presentations and them receiving valuable peer and faculty feedback

What are some of the technology platforms available?

FIU’s brand new multimedia studio in the MANGO building has a full video, audio and design production studio, with the latest technology to create multimedia content that engages and inspires. Some of the technology available includes:

The Learning Glass— is a transparent whiteboard faces the camera, and allows faculty to easily illustrate concepts, thought and equations by using color for contrast and emphasis.

Virtual Reality Video—uses computer-generated images to create the illusion of interaction in a real-world environment. Watch the session recording for a compelling example using Google Cardboard.

Interactive Video—increase your content’s engagement, tell more personalized stories and turn viewers into active participants.

VIVO—integrated captioning workflow with existing FIU Vendors, provides analytical insights regarding number of playbacks, video actions, audience retention and user devices.

ApprenNet—turns passive video into active learning, and allows for video discussions that students upload.

Zaption—allows you to add annotations and questions to YouTube, Vimeo and your own videos to engage your students and deepen their understanding of key concepts.

Go Animate—animated video lets you tell your story out load. Change thoughts into visuals, bend the laws of nature and make points, clearly and without constraints.

Presenter Video Express—personal video studio with simple three-button editing interface that allows for “one click” recording and publishing.—offers thousands of video tutorials, and all faculty and students have access to for free.

To view the full recording, which includes valuable resources and examples of multimedia technology in action, go to:


Sky V. has been rocking the FIU Online Instructional Designer "hat" since 2012. She promotes the use of best pedagogical practices and implementation of diverse forms of technology, yielding a positive online teaching experience for our professors and engaging learning experience for our students. Her areas of expertise include social media, user interface design, Quality Matters, and the Canvas LMS. Since 2019, she has been a Canvas Advocate. Sky is also an Adjunct Instructor with FIU's Marketing and Logistics department.

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