Thursday, 13 November 2014 04:40

Portfolios and Multimedia Design Principles

Portfolios and Multimedia Design

McLuhan (1964) stated that, "the medium is the message" (p. 7). By this, he meant that the medium we use to convey our messages is as important as the message itself. In your portfolios, the attention you make to the detail in presenting your work and making it clear and accessible for your audience tells us (almost) as much as the work itself. Are you organized? Have you tried your best to make my (the audience) experience as rewarding as possible? Have you paid attention to the clarity of your writing, the quality of your graphics and images?

McLuhan and Powers (1989) discuss the idea that visual knowledge, which they view as more traditional, is linear, connected, and best represented by the printed word. In our current world of electronic media, they argue knowledge is now more acoustic in that it surrounds us from all sides and is “simultaneous, discontinuous, and dynamic” (p. 14). How does the layout of a portfolio affect its ability to present acoustic information? 

Mayer (2009) offers a set of multimedia design principles that can help you to present your information in more coherent manner. These are outlined in Table 1. I have added a description of how the principles can enhance portfolio design for the audience.



Table X:

Mayer’s (2009) Multimedia Design Principles and e-Portfolio Application


Mayer's Definition

Portfolio Application


Extraneous or unnecessary material is excluded

Older materials should be archived and the most important materials highlighted in the best locations.


Directed curations are provided for specific audiences.


All materials should be intentional and reflect competencies


Labels and titles for materials and information are provided

Artefacts and sections of the portfolio are clearly labeled and may even follow an agreed upon format or layout. 


The significance of everything is obvious or indicated


Avoid redundancy in displays to reduce unnecessary cognitive processing

Curations allow for exemplar artefacts to be presented.


Supplementary information stored elsewhere.


Corresponding or related information is presented physically near to each other

Related artefacts should be easily found near each other.


Lesson plans and supporting materials should be on the same page or visually located together.


Corresponding or related information is presented at the same time

Information and artefacts related by time should also be visible at the same time without having to click forward to see additional work.


You may need to balance this with spatial contiguity


Information is better presented as segments rather than a larger whole

Balanced with coherence, larger chunks of information or documentation should be split into manageable amounts.


Use more paragraphs rather than less.


Use point form where appropriate.


Use white space appropriate. Do not leave 'empty' space. Leave intentional space for ease of reading and scanning.


Learning is enhanced by previous knowledge of main concepts

A map may be presented to highlight organizational structure or certain terminology.


Imagine that someone is looking at your portfolio without you to explain it.


Conversely, avoid terminology not suitable for your expected audience.


Learning is enhanced by using different modes (seeing and hearing) to receive information

Use a variety of media to present and explain the relevance of the artefacts.


Very much overlaps with multimedia principle


Learning is enhanced by using two media rather than one.

Within the preparation of individual artefacts, presentation can be enhanced by using text and images and audio, etc..


Learning is enhanced when a narrative style is used rather than formal style

When providing a narrative or description, talk to your audience.


A more formal style can be confined to the presentation of papers and projects that require academic language.


Mayer, R. (2009). Multi-media Learning 2nd Edition. New York: Cambridge University Press.

McLuhan, M. (1964). Understanding Media. Cornwall: Routledge.

McLuhan, M., & Powers, B. (1989). The Global Village. New York: Oxford University Press.

icon 15307

Portfolio and Evidence

We have covered a solid range of concepts with the portfolio approach. If you have further questions about how to manage your portfolio, please go back and read the previous entries!

You should be able to save the following types of evidence:

Blog Journals, reflections, evidence from classrooms, special events,
google drive lesson plans, handouts, materials of all kinds, ppts, assignments
LinkedIn Profile and accomplishments
Instagram capturing the moment
Flickr Slideshows of work and accomplishments


For the rest of this class, I would like to focus on the design of good multimedia materials. First of all,lets look at the word:

Multi - ___________________________

Media - ___________________________

How do these considerations match with learning theories you may have encountered already?

So, when you design your work you need to be able to consider these two factors. You need to read this article and review the sections of a book by the same author:

Mayer, R. (2003). The promise of multimedia learning: using the same instructional design methods across different media. Learning and Instruction, 13(2), 15-139. doi:

The author makes several points about good design, which I will be looking for when we review your work.

Dual Channel Assumption

multi-media memory mayer

Figure 1: Multimedia. Based on Mayer (2003)

Coherence Principle

"The coherence effect refers to the finding that students learn more deeply from a multimedia explanation when extraneous material is excluded rather than included" (Mayer, 2003).

Spatial Contiguity Effect

"Students learn more deeply from multimedia explanations when corresponding words and pictures are presented near to rather than far from each other on the page or screen" (Mayer, 2003).

Personalization Effect

"Students learn more deeply from a multimedia explanation when the words are presented in conversational style rather than formal style" (Mayer, 2003).

To make the most of these effects and principles, lets take a few minutes and scan the Internet for some examples of these principles in action.

howto tie tie

how to tie a tie


Learning Objects

To contextualize this work, I am adding a description of a learning object. You have seen this before in year one and you will see it again. 

Have a look at the graphic and try to determine where inthe learning object hierarchy you think these multimedia designs will fit.


TP Considerations - Booklet for EDTC

You can find the booklet in the Assessment section

fluid object

  • Total internship in School 5 Weeks X 3 days / week = 15 days
    • March 23rd – 25th (1 week)
    • Higher Colleges of Technology Mid-Semester Break: March 30th – April 10th.
    • April 13th – May 6th  (4 weeks).

Student responsibilities

  • The teaching practice gives students an opportunity to work with learners of different ages and become familiar with the real-life issues that may arise in any form of learning.
    • Students are expected to engage with learners every day.
    • Student teaching responsibilities will be negotiated between the student, the placement supervisor or Mentor School Teacher (MST) and the Mentor College Teacher (MCT).
  • The teaching practice also provides opportuntities for students to test out their ideas and preparations from their content courses.
    • Students will be responsible to report to and get advice from their MCT about their course work which they hope to implement during their teaching practice.
    • The course work activities will tie into the teaching placement as closely as possible and so students should be able to benefit their MST with the results of their work.
  • Students will return to college two days a week, every Wednesday and Thursday to discuss planning with their MCT and prepare resources and materials for teaching.
  • Please note that while the majority of students do complete their internship in a school, we also place students in other institutions including museums, government offices and companies with training centers.

Mentor School Teacher / Supervisor Responsibilities

At every placement, each individual student will be placed with a mentor (MST) under whose guidance the student will work to develop their teaching skills and try out activities developed from their course work.

Students will also be expected to work with the MST in her class or training center and eventually teach at least one of the classes each day during the last week or two of the placement.

  • Ideally, each MST at a placement will mentor only one student.

To ensure student success, we would like to request that MSTs or supervisors:

  • Negotiate reasonable working hours. Usually, these are the working hours of the institution or school. In the case of long opening hours, we expect our students to be present a minimum of 6 hours per day.
  • Provide a functional work space where the student can use a desk and leave belongings.
  • Provide opportuntities for engagement with learners at least once a day.
    • Learners include other teachers, adults, school students.
    • In cases where the learning activities require greater preparations, our students may be expected to engage with learners less than once a day.
    • Students may deliver a series of lessons to one group, or a single lesson to numerous groups, depending on the regular duties of the MST.
  • Provide time each day for the student to complete college-related studies, including research for their project.
  • Provide internet access.
  • Complete the MST feedback form (see Forms section at the end of the document) by the end of the placement. Students will then write a report on the feedback.
    • Student grades will be based on their response to the feedback form, not on the feedback form itself.

We also encourage our students to participate in administrative activities as well, where suitable or where occasional extra help may be needed. However we request that students do not be given regular administrative duties outside of those required of the MST.

According to Ministry of Education policy and legal implications, our college students should not be left alone with children.

  • When teaching an MST’s class, the MST should stay with the class.
  • Our students should not be expected to cover lessons of absent teachers, except in unusual situations and with the understanding that the school is fully responsible for the actions of our students.

MSTs are paid a small honorarium for working with our students. This is AED 500 per student supervised. Payment is usually completed through direct deposit. Students will bring a banking form to the MST to get the relevant information.

Published in EPC - 2901
Saturday, 08 February 2014 03:10

Portfolio Support Documents

See Below


Sunday, 12 January 2014 04:06

CIS 1203 - Week 16 - The Last Straw

That's it! You should be done. As discussed last week, your project specifications were delivered in Week 13. I will repeat them here.

Please note that there are actually two different ways you can complete this project. The original specification are to have everyone create exactly the same project. However, i believe that if you create a project that is inherently interesting to you, you will do better - you will understand how the parts fit together more effectively and you will uinderstand why you are doing the site.

You have already designed your site. Many of you have taken your site plan. Now, you need to:

Create the site

From the college instructions:

You have to make a website that can be used by Semester 1 students (male and female) to revise for their final exams in either Networking (CIS 1103) or Information systems (CIS1003). The website should contain the following:

  • Home page.
    • Include a paragraph about Sharjah HCT and the IT department in addition to links to your 4 topics.
    • Current date in footer.
    • Hyper link to “” in the left navigation bar.
    • Location Map.
  • 1 page about each of 4 topics in your chosen subject.
    • Each page must include a diagram and text. (4 pages total)
  • A Revision page:- with 8 revision questions. (Answers must also be included)
  • A “Student Registration Form” where students can register for exam week.
    • Must include: first name, surname, Mobile, Po Box, Address, Emirate, Male/female, Section, Married/Not Married. E-mail, name and mobile
    • must be validated.

If you want to be creative and learn more ...

Parameters for your own site development:

(Use as checklist for your site components)

  • Home page
  • Links to six pages
    • four topic pages - one page for each topic
      • e.g. if your site is about you, you should have a "My top five... "
      • if your site is to sell something
        • catalogue of products.
    • Q&A page
      • Could be a "How to" page
      • A general information section about how to use the site.
      • technical requirements
    • Registration page with form
  • Date in footer
  • Hyperlinks to external sites
  • One section about the contents of the site.


On the very last day, we will review for your final exam.




Well, it has been a pleasure to be your teacher for the last few months. I hope you have learned how to love doing web design and that some fo you go on to do more detailed web design.

Good luck!

Bonne Chance!

Published in CIS 1203