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Summary: Different people prefer to learn in different ways. Ensure more people get more of your multimedia message by making a transcript available and adding captions to your video materials like recorded lectures, movie/audio clips, etc.

Augmenting your text-based web page or document with media, such as audio, video, or animation, can enhance your content and support your audience's learning processes better than text alone. 

For example, an audio recording of a 911 call may convey the urgency of that situation more vividly than a text-based transcript of the call. A video of how to seed a pomegranate may convey the steps involved in that task more efficiently than text and pictures. An animation that depicts the mechanics of external combustion may help a student conceptualize the inner workings of a steam engine when it's not feasible to take one apart themselves. 

Multimedia learning objects can be made accessible through these basic best practices:

  • Create a script before recording. As you write the script, make sure everything you plan to show on the screen, you also voice in the narration. For example, say "Click the edit menu on the formatting tools ribbon to access the image resizing options in PowerPoint" rather than simply "resize the image".
  • Not only does a script help you create a more focused recording, but it can then be repurposed as a transcript to accompany audio or captions for a video.
  • Ensure that video with unvoiced content (e.g., information that appears on the screen but is not part of the narrated content) is added to the video file as audio descriptions.
  • Choose a playback tool that is both mouse- and keyboard-navigable, and that allows the user to adjust the quality and speed of playback. For this reason, YouTube is a good choice for hosting video, and Google Drive is a good choice for hosting audio clips.
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