DIMAS: INTERACTIVE HYPERMEDIA MODULES FOR THE DIDACTIC MASS MEDIA EXPLOITATION

Del Moral Pérez, M Esther
Garc°a Menéndez, Juan Ignacio
Del Moral Pérez, Marta

Departament of Sciences of Education
University of Oviedo (Spain)
emoral@pinon.ccu.uniovi.es

ABSTRACT

We are presenting a hypermedia tool which will be useful for teachers' training. This hypermedia tool tries to provide them with resources and strategies in order to make them capable of using mass media in the classroom. lt presents guides to analyze mass media. lt shows formulas to be exploited in a didactic way: radio, comic, press, advertising, musical video-clips, TV news bulletins, cartoons...

KEYWORDS: Hypermedia. Didactic exploitation. Mass media. Teachers' training.

THE DIMAS PROJECT

The DIMAS project tries to point to teacher training in general, where multiple formulas of didactic exploitation of mass media (Del Moral and Garc°a 1997) are pointed out.
It deals with a hypermedial design which is made up of diverse modules in each of which the more widespread applications of the different mass media are developed in detail in order to use them as support for diverse curricular areas. Examples and activities are introduced and there is a series of questions enunciated that could be useful for reflecting on one's own teaching practice and on the introduction of written mass media, and audiovisuals since they have a great leading role in our society nowadays.
The Project will cover the following modules:

  1. The media society, mass media and school.
    1. The impact of media on the audiences.
    2. The use of mass media.
  2. The use of written mass media in the educative process.
    1. Comic and its didactic applications.
    2. Exploitation possibilities in the press
  3. Audiovisual mass media in the classroom.
    1. Use and production of radio programmes.
    2. Cinema and cinematographic language.
    3. Television formats and their application in teaching:
      1. The educative television.
      2. Advertising.
      3. Cartoons.
      4. News bulletins.
      5. Musical video-clips.
This module structure tries to fit the user's special features, and it is directed to Primary and Secondary teachers who should have the vocabulary and previous knowledge about the educative subject, a special sensitivity to the improvement of their professional task since they reveal interest in promoting certain aspects. We have tried to make the interface design as attractive as possible for users, and easy to understand and handle.
DIMAS' contributions are designed to train teachers in the exploitation of the educative potentials of mass media; to introduce their diverse options of use; to suggest analysis formulas of each mass media and the way to make them more profitable from a didactic perspective (Del Moral & other 1997).
Besides including texts, brief explanations, images and illustrations, pieces of the most representative television documents, such as advertising spots, musical video clips, headlines of programmes, soundtracks, onomatopoeic sounds... have been included. All of them have contributed to provide explanations with more realism integrating the didactic application of these materials which can be done with these materials from an educational perspective whose origin are located in mass media.

FEATURES OF THE APPLICATION

The multimedia aplication modules are being developed with the Visual-Basic programming language. It consists of an application in the form of interactive presentation where numerous generating elements of multiple stages endowed with an import visual and sound dynamism are integrated.
Each module consists of approximately sixty screens, that correspond to the developing content scheme, and these contents have a connecting theme that indicate to the user the place where he/she is in each moment, allowing him/her to come back to previous sections if desired or advancing to others irrespective of the established order.
There is an off-voice that orally shows some of the included sections, the user is allowed to decide between selecting the viewing of the visual document that have been chosen and are included in each section or omitting them if desired. There are elements or metaphors easily identified that, like icons, make the access to complementary information easy.
The application is designed to be gone through more than once by the user, in this way the contents and theorical outlining shades can be fixed better in following reviews, furthermore a possibility of a deeper investigation in new fields or similar ambits occurrs.
The sort of learning activities are oriented to the development and acquisition of certain types of skills directed to the use and the exploitation of mass media as didactic tools. Some of the activities which have been included can be defined as (Aedo, Diaz & Catenazzi, 1996):
Inserting all these types of activities together with others such as reading, participative off-voice listening, writing, viewing of audiovisual documents, resolution of problems, using questions or self-assessment can play an important role when helping the user acquire varied useful forms of knowledge, and all of them can be considered as future activities in a learning environment by computer (Allinson y Hammond, 1990; Graessery and others, 1992).
Another important question is when the individual is on the point of starting a learning process, he/she has to relate his/her current learning task to his/her previous knowledge and to all the information, techniques and strategies used to learn, as well as the way to control the acquiring process of them (Allinson and Hammond, 1990). This approach is based on the fact that the learning quality is increased when the teaching strategy fits the individual's style, increasing the duration of what is learned (Cordell, 1991). Moreover, and with the objective to build a coherent strategy which has to be derived from the learner's cognitive learning model (Marsh and Kumar, 1992).
The DIMAS Project has tried to reflect this series of theoretical shares, despite the difficulty involved, given that those and achieving the ideal is rarely possible, since we are at the beginning of a technology which will certainly grow in the next few years and which will reach levels not yet imagined.

DIMAS TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS

Each interactive module which makes up DIMAS has an indepent character with regard to the rest of them, although there is a similar structure between the modules in order to facilitate the continuity in the leaming process proposed.
A 486 Multimedia PC with 8 Mb of memory will be necessary as well as a colour VGA monitor, a soundblaster card or similar and a mouse. The contents of image and sound occupy 400 MB and for this reason it is preferible to have a hard disc capable of storing its contents so that the speed of execution is the most suitable. We recommend the use of a Pentium PC for functioning.

BIBLIOGRAPHIC REFERENCES

AEDO, I.; DIAZ, P. & CATENAZZI, N. (1996): De la multimedia a la hipermedia. RAMA. Madrid.
ALLINSON, L. & HAMMOND, N. (1990): Learning Support Enviroments: Rationale and Evaluation. Computers & Education, 15 (1-3), pp. 137-143.
CORDELL, B.J. (1991): A study of learning styles and computer-assited instruction. Computer & Education, 16 (2), pp. 175-183.
DEL MORAL, M.E. & GARC÷A, J.I. (1997): Multimedia Tools: Mass Media in The Curriculum. 7th European Conference for Research on Learning and Instruction, University of Athens, Greece, August 26-30.
DEL MORAL, M.E. & OTHER (1997): Multimedia Designs for Teachears Trainnig: Guide to Analize Content of Advertising, World Conference on Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia, University of Calgary, Canada, June 14-19.
GRAESSER, A.C. & OTHER (1992): Designing Educational Software around questioning. Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Education, 3, pp. 235-241.
MARSH, E.J. & KUMAR, D.D. (1992): Hypermedia: a conceptual framework for science education and review of recent findings. Journal of Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia, 1, pp. 25-37.
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