An Introduction


My name is Keith Webster and I’m the instructor for this section of EDDL 5131. I’ve been teaching in the EDDL program since its inception. I’ve also taught educational technology to pre-service teachers in the Faculty of Education at the University of Victoria and I’ve taught instructional design in the School of Education and Technology at Royal Roads University. My day-job is in The Centre for Teaching and Educational Technologies at Royal Roads University where I’m an instructional designer. I help program staff, faculty and instructors design and implement programs and courses that are delivered fully at a distance, on campus or in a blend of distance and on-campus modes.

Previously I was an instructional designer and educational technologist for over ten years at the University of Victoria, I spent a decade as an instructor at a Canadian Forces training school as well as a brief stint as a Social Studies teacher. I live in Victoria with my wife and two school-age children.

Please contact me with any questions or concerns you have during the course (contact details are at the right). I look forward to a rewarding experience over the next several weeks.


Welcome to EDDL 5131 – Multimedia in the Curriculum. This course is designed to explore multimedia as it is used for learning while keeping sound pedagogical practices in mind. You will have a chance to explore how others have used media resources such as text, images, diagrams, audio and video with their students and to form an opinion as to whether or not allowing your students to explore and create such resources makes a difference in their learning. You will get a chance to create media and learning resources that contain multimedia and to create lessons that provide your students with the opportunity to do the same. If you are already teaching, then EDDL 5131 should be used in your classroom as a type of field study as much as possible. This is your chance to try things out, reflect on what worked and what didn’t, and to report back.

EDDL 5131 will introduce you to a variety of types of media, some of their potentials for learning, and the technologies that support their production and distribution. In doing this we will use a variety of free and open software as well as many web-based tools and sites. In some cases this will require you to register and share some of your private information with a site based outside of Canada. This may be important to learning how media is produced and used today. If you have questions about using these sites your should contact the instructor. If you don’t want to use these outside sites, contact the instructor to discuss possible alternatives.

This introduction is your guide and preview of what EDDL 5131 is all about, and you should read carefully before working through the course. It contains important information and advice on how to proceed: how to schedule your studies, how to get in touch with your facilitator for assistance. Also be sure to read the separate topics that provide a course outline, learning outcomes, and a summary of the course assignments and evaluation criteria.

Personal Notebook or Journal

There are a variety of activities that will help you achieve the learning outcomes and understand the course concepts so you can apply your understanding to your assignments and ultimately your practice. Start a personal notebook. Throughout the course, record your responses to the Activities, and add any comments, questions, observations or ideas that you may have about the material. This notebook can be a traditional hard copy version of the exercises or you can create a new document in word processing software and keep your notebook on the computer. Either way, try to keep it organized by topics or dates, so that you can easily find your notes when it comes to preparing for assignments.

Discussion Topics

A common misconception of students is that there will be a single important resource or two that will teach the material. You may mistakenly, though understandably, look to the facilitator/instructor, to the text, or to the course module documents to deliver the course content. Although the instructor is always their for guidance, you should expect to actually construct your own version of the course content from a multitude of sources including required and optional readings, your own informal research, sharing of assignment responses, and the experiences, summaries and opinions of other students via the discussion forums. Your goal should be to create a personal learning experience, including tools, resources you have created and shared, resources you have found, resources you have remixed and repurposed, and people in your community and network of practice. We attempt to blend our separate bodies of knowledge and this creates a collective body of knowledge and skills.

Many of the activities involve group discussion through our blog posts. Although these postings may often be awarded only a small percentage of the final mark or no percentage at all, they are a vital part of the learning process. They will focus your learning and provide you with an opportunity to share ideas, knowledge, and experiences with your fellow course participants. Without a community, the course has little to offer, and the discussion forum, along with email and other communication tools form the infrastructure to house that community. As you engage in the discussions in this course, think about how this may contribute to creating a learning community. Use the following discussion guide as a place to start developing your first posting.

Blogging and Discussion Guidelines

Why do we want to introduce blogging and discussion into an online course? Without the walls and group dynamics of a traditional classroom, these dialogues become the classroom. It is important to establish rules and guidelines around these discussions to ensure that all participants feel welcome and comfortable.

Here are some suggested guidelines to help establish good communication in the course.

  • Post as early as possible. This will get the discussion going and will help the conversation flow. At the same time, do not be offended if fellow learners do not post back right away; commitments other than school often interfere with best intentions.
  • Try not to think of your postings as assignments. Do not focus on formulating perfect answers, and remember that this is an arena to develop conversations like those that would take place in a traditional face-to-face (f2f) classroom.
  • Remember that communication in cyberspace lacks the visual and non-verbal cues that we are used to in traditional f2f classrooms. Make sure you consider all possible meanings of a text message, and ask for clarification if you are unsure of the intent of the message. Flaming, which can be described as sending or posting any inflammatory or confrontational exchanges via technology, can lead to broken trust and a complete communication breakdown.
  • Use emoticons (such as smiley faces) or other contextual clues to help clarify your message and limit misinterpretation.
  • Keep your postings relatively short for ease of reading ( approximately 500 words). Paragraphs should be 4–6 sentences long, and should have proper capitals and punctuation.
  • Let your team members or cohort know if you are going to be absent from the discussion for any length of time.
  • Remember to be respectful of everyone’s ideas. In order to create a similar space to that of a classroom, everyone needs to feel welcome and valued. The discussion areas should be a safe place to create collective knowledge and to explore the topics in the course in greater depth.
  • Ensure that you are responding to at least two other community members for each activity as the sharing of ideas and perspectives is likely to be the most rewarding experience in the course.

Implications of the Open-course Format

This course will exist, at least partially, in an open format. That means that much of the content we put up and the discussions we have will be viewable by the public. This default orientation reflects the simplest and most useful way for instructors to distribute content and the most challenging and potentially rewarding way for students to engage online. We’ll start from the premise that what we do here is open and use this as a point from which to discuss the opportunities and risks associated with this choice if it were engaged in the context of your own students. You are encouraged to invite the participation of other educators or experts who are not officially enrolled in EDDL 513 to engage in your learning.

Things to Know About All the Web-tools We Will Use

Each of the tools we encounter have a purpose that can range from private entertainment to public resource. We will be creating accounts and putting up content on some of these services. Some of it will be set as private, much will be open to the wider public. If you haven’t already, you should consider taking stock of your online presence and the ways in which you present your professional and public face on the internet. You should keep in mind that while these tools maintain fairly rigorous security standards, and provide avenues for keeping your content private, they are hosted in various jurisdictions (mostly in the United States) that each have their own laws regarding the provision of data to their respective governments.

Course Tags

As work your way through EDDL 5131, you will likely be creating course related artifacts or resources on Web-based sites such as YouTube or Slideshare. Please tag these with eddl5131. Use the eddl5131 tag for anything you have created on other sites that allow tagging of resources. When you find resources related to the topics in EDDL 5131 that you want to bookmark on a site like Delicious or Diigo, tag those resources with eddl5131. Tagging resources in this way will associated the resources with eddl5131 and make them easier to find and aggregate.

Library Service

In this course, you will be directed from time to time to find online resources, so you may want to use the Library’s article databases. Familiarizing yourself with the various online resources available from the TRU Library at the start the course will make it easier for you to access and find course resources as needed.

If you have any questions regarding the resources or the services provided by the library or if you would like some guidance on how to locate information or research more effectively, please contact the TRU Library’s Distance, Regional and Open Learning (DROL) Library Services at The library will help you to locate the most relevant search tools and to refine your research techniques to get the most out of your searches. You can ask for help via online chat, email, Facebook, or phone. You can also try to answer your own questions by reviewing the TRU Library’s Research at a Distance Guide.

TRU IT Service Desk

If you experience difficulties accessing the course blogs, Blackboard site or other TRU hosted technologies you should contact the TRU IT Service Desk. If you have a question about how to do something in your WordPress blog please run that question by me and I will either point you to the solution or forward your concern to the service desk as appropriate.

  • Email
  • Phone 1.888.852.8533 (toll-free in Canada) or 250.852.6800 (Kamloops and International)
  • IT Service Desk hours are 8 am to 8 pm Pacific Time.
  • In addition, between September and April, voicemail and email to the IT Service Desk will be checked on weekdays between 8 am and 4 pm.

Where to Go if You Can’t Get Back to This Blog

This course uses the WordPress blogging platform which is a reliable open-source tool used by thousands of educational institutions. In the unlikely even that you cannot get to the blog (both yours and the main course blog), you should go to the course Blackboard shell. If this is not possible you should contact me at or

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