Multimedia Assignments for Remote and Blended Courses

Concurrent Session 3

Session Materials

Brief Abstract

Multimedia assignments provide rich learning experiences for students, empowering them to combine different types of media such as text, images, audio, videos and maps. Media projects are particularly engaging for remote students. Clear faculty expectations are essential for successful multimedia assignment projects.


Elizabeth Fomin has over a decade of experience teaching college level courses in both traditional and online formats. She has a Masters of Liberal Studies from the College of Technology at Eastern Michigan University. She spent 13 years at the University of Michigan Dearborn in various roles before coming to the Ann Arbor campus in 2016 as a Learning and Teaching with Technology Consultant for LSA. She has recently completed a certificate in Instructional Design from the Online Learning Consortium and enjoys helping instructors design effective teaching strategies and supporting the use of the technology tools available in the college of Languages, Sciences and Arts (LSA) at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor .

Extended Abstract

New media tools hold great potential for improving the quality of learning and teaching in higher education, if they are implemented effectively. The use of multimedia tools in course assignments can motivate students with creative options, and enable higher levels of engagement with academic content. A multimedia assignment does not only improve students’ technological skills, it also gives students the chance to master and demonstrate various learning outcomes, including creativity, problem-solving, critical thinking, inquiry and analysis, successful application of technology, communication, and presentation skills.

Studentsalso have portfolio examples to show future employers - showcasing the work they have done in class.

Examples include: podcasts or audio essays, video essays, geographic or narrative map projects, individual or team website or blogs.

1. Takeaways for session participants include assignment scaffolding examples, course objectives and rubrics:

  • Defining clear and measurable learning outcomes for the assignment.

  • Determining the type of media to use based on the learning outcomes of the assignment and the required time to accomplish it.

  • Providing a structure for your assignment that requires revisions: an outline, pitch, or proposal, a first draft, and a final version, with feedback to guide each stage.

  • Determining the assessments and rubrics and share them ahead of time with students. Assessment should evaluate the learning process, not just the final product. Rubrics can help keep students on task and apprised of what’s expected from them.

  • Determing the type of training, scaffolding, and technical support needed. 

2. Software recommendations/options

3. Faculty examples:

Story Maps Assignment: In Professor Shachar Pinsker’s course, Jews in the Modern World, students used Story Maps to create a visually rich story to present their own understanding of Jewish modernity.

Website and Blog Assignment Students from Professor Lucy Hartley’s course, What is Empire?, are currently working in groups to create a website to exhibit their conclusions.

4. Methods for support of students in using the technology