Educator’s multimedia studio

Educational Technology 0850-620, Spring 2020

Keywords: studio pedagogy, interaction design, multimedia learning, digital studio, ed tech capstone, instructional design, smart cities, IoT

Description: How can digital media best support learning? Working on semester-long projects, students learn about interaction and instructional design. In this hands-on studio, develop and extend skills in multimedia authoring: digital images/audio/video, and interactive web development. Apply these skills to create a original educational resources.

Class meetings:

Instructor: Matthew X. Curinga,

Office hours:

Spring 2020 Studio: Smart Cities

cover from The Smart Enough City

Each semester the multimedia studio features a different challenge, dealing with an important, global topic. Students will be asked to work on a semester long multimedia project that teaches some aspect of this challenge.

The Spring 2020 Studio theme is smart cities. A smart city wants to use embedded digital technologies and data flows improve the lives of the people in the city. Critics caution that smart cities might offer little advantage to the people, while entrenching unequal power structures and exacerbating existing problems stemming from inequality and poverty. The projects in this studio should help us – and anyone – to better understand the potential benefits and pitfalls of smart cities. Each participant in the studio will become expert in a particular aspect of smart cities (e.g. transportation, crime, education, health, tech) and design their multimedia project around that topic. Taken together, our studio projects should present our vision of what a smart city should look like.


This course is designed to challenge students to develop their abilities as instructional designers and as authors and producers of digital media for learning. Specifically, they should learn to:

At the end of the studio, every student will have a high quality, published multimedia artifact that will be part of their portfolio.

Required texts

Green, B. (2019). The smart enough city: Putting technology in Its place to reclaim our urban future. The MIT Press. free online

Clark, R. C., & Mayer, R. E. (2016). E-Learning and the Science of Instruction: Proven Guidelines for Consumers and Designers of Multimedia Learning. John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated. adelphi library

Class meetings

  Dates Topic Due
1 Jan 27 Intro; Dual Coding / Cognitive Load -
2 Feb 3 Smart Enough Cities, ch 1-4 -
3 Feb 10 Multimedia Principle & Contiguity Multimedia 1
4 Feb 17 Smart Enough Cities, ch 5-7 -
5 Feb 24 Modality & Redundancy Multimedia 2
6 Mar 2 Briefings Briefing
7 Mar 9 Coherence, Personalization, Segmenting Multimedia 3
- Mar 16 Spring Break -
8 Mar 23 Pitches Pitch Harvey
9 Mar 30 Workshops Wk 1 & 2
10 Apr 6 Workshops Wk 3 & 4
11 Apr 13 Workshops Wk 5 & 6
12 Apr 20 Midpoint Critique Project prototype
13 Apr 27 Studio Session -
14 May 4 Studio Session -
15 May 11 User Testing -
16 May 18 Final due Final Project



Assignment % of final grade
participation 10%
briefing 10%
workshop 10%
multimedia on multimedia 10%
pitch 10%
critique 20%
final project 30%


Everyone is expected to participate fully in class. This means meeting deadlines for online posts and, coming to class sessions prepared by having read the readings. During “studio” work sessions, you will be expected to post an update of your progress with screenshots.


The “briefing” session will help us develop our domain knowledge of smart cities. You will choose a specific topic of your choice related to smart cities and then create a 3-minute briefing report – a narrated slide show on your topic. Your report should represent your best understanding of multimedia learning. The last slide should be the bibliography used to create your briefing. You should have at least 3 sources, one of them being an academic source. The specific topic of your briefing will probably relate to the aspect of smart cities that you will highlight in your multimedia project.

Multimedia on multimedia

Working with a partner, you will create a multimedia slideshow that demonstrates the key multimedia cognition concepts covered in E-Learning and the Science of Instruction. The book is available online from the Adelphi Library. The total presentation must be between 10-15 minutes long. You are only required to read the chapter for the week you are presenting, but everyone is encouraged to read the chapters. You should supplement your presentation with outside readings and examples as necessary. You should actively work to implement the multimedia principles you are discussing in the design of your presentation.

Workshops: multimedia tutorial

Choose a multimedia authoring tool that you know well or want to become expert in. Design a 10-15 minute tutorial that describes how (and why/when) to use it. If it is a large or complex tool (GIMP, Tableau), then choose a specific feature or technique to cover.

Your workshop should:

  1. Begin with a general discussion of the types of multimedia produced:
    • show specific examples
    • discuss how they match our understanding of multimedia principles
  2. Demonstrate the key techniques of the tool. In order to show the tool, you might need to prepare some work in several different stages, in the interest of time.

Please post your tutorial as a single multimedia video (on YouTube) and post the link in our “multimedia tutorial” discussion forum (with its own title). Monitor the forum for feedback and questions regarding your tool.

Multimedia project

The culminating work for this class is your multimedia project. Everyone will work on their own individual project. They will produce a multimedia work that demonstrates their skills as a designer and producer of multimedia, their knowledge of the studio topic, and their understanding of the learning sciences of multimedia.

You should begin thinking about your project during the first week of class. Consider:

Past Studio projects include:


You will formally pitch your idea for your your final project. The purpose of the pitch is to propose your project in a way that makes it sound exciting, worthwhile, and feasible. You want to tell a good story about what you plan to develop. You should also have some sketches, mockups, sample art, etc. that may be required to make your point.

Plan for a 5 minute presentation.


You will formally present your work in progress to get feedback from the instructor and your peers. You should have a solid plan for completing the project.

Critique and Final Evaluation Criteria Refer to these criteria for the evaluation of your multimedia project.

Originality & innovation

Does the project take a novel approach to teaching with digital media? Does it combine existing practices in new ways, for a new effect? Does it address an important topic, or hard to teach concept that is relevant to the topic of the studio? In other words, how important is the learning goal for the project?

Students will lose points in originality for verbatim translating of existing learning solutions to the new problem space.


The design of the project encompasses the information, interaction, and visual design. Points to consider when evaluating the design:


The project’s technique reflects the proficiency of the producer with the tools of the digital studio. All aspects of the project should be well tested for smooth operation. Users should not easily “break” the system. The specifics of development depend on the media. So, each of the various skills required for the course will be evaluated based on the practice of expert practitioners.

Learning science

At the end, this studio challenge is about learning. Points in this category are awarded for exhibiting a thorough understanding of how people learn with digital artifacts. Successful projects will account for the cognitive, social, pragmatic, ethical, and aesthetic implications of their design, as it impacts learning.