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Teaching Online
Home » Faculty/Staff » Teaching Online » Multimedia


Straight text on a computer screen can be boring. Graphics, video, sound, and animation can make a course more interesting and help students learn. But multimedia should not be used just for the sake of using it. If it does not truly serve a purpose, students will simply skip the elements or become even more confused by their inclusion.


Sidekick - Tools that inspire
  • Sidekick is an innovative program that combines seven free resources from the California Community College Chancellor's Office under one easy-to-access umbrella. With Sidekick, you have the tools you need to create inspiring and engaging content that meets the needs of diverse audiences, tough budgets and ever-changing regulations.
  • Included are:
    • 3C Media Solutions
    • @ONE
    • ATPC Tools
    • DECT Tools
    • CCC Confer
    • EduStream
    • HTCTU



  • Use royalty-free clipart (see sidebar), a digital camera, or drawing programs to make your own graphics
  • Use file formats:
      • drawings/line art: use .gif
      • photos: use .jpg
  • Make file size small (width and height: 100-200 pixels)
  • Insert into Powerpoint, Word documents, Bb directly (for reducing file size in PowerPoint, see the side bar in Content)


film strip

  • Thousands of captioned streaming videos are provided by the Cuyamaca College Library. These videos can be linked to or embedded into Blackboard for access online.
  • Record your own computer monitor actions with screen recording/motion capture programs and save these as a video file (see Programs/Applications)
  • Use a digital camera, camcorder or cell phone to capture live action
  • Use Cuyamaca Video Room Instructions (Rooms B162, B253, B258, B262 - call 660-4415)
  • Use Flash or Real video format for compatibility with Windows and Mac (see Sorenson Squeeze in Programs & Applications)
  • Students can download lectures (audio or video) to their iPod or Smartphone (see sidebar for explanation of podcasting).
  • Most agree that a "talking head" videos over about 4 minutes are not effective - include visuals, demonstrations, footage along with your narration
  • Examples created by CC Faculty



  • Record with an inexpensive microphone (USB connection) or use an iPod/MP3 recorder, digital camera, SmartPhone (see the sidebar for hints on recording narration)
  • Use a sound editing program (see Programs & Applications)
  • If you do not want to record, you can use text-to-speech programs to synthesize speech from text and save these as MP3 files (see sidebar)
  • Insert into PowerPoint as synchronized narration or directly into Bb
  • Use narration to explain a still picture, diagram, chart, a personal experience, quotations, instructions
  • Music (either royalty-free or self-recorded) can work well in PP presentations and Flash animations


particle spinning

  • Use either gif for short, simple, looped animations or Flash for complex designs (see Programs & Applications)
  • Flash can have longer complex timelines with interactivity
  • For a discussion of avatars, see Other
Last Updated: 08/01/2016

In Focus

filmSTREAMING VIDEO provided by the CC Library
Stack of books ROYALTY-FREE MEDIA>
Links to various sites where clipart, sounds, music, stock video can be purchased.
Here are some hints on recording your own narrations.
Turn text into your own narration.
YouTube videos giving the essentials.
Steve Weinert on how he uses the iPod to record lectures.
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  • Cuyamaca
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