Elpub buttonEducational publishing

El.pub News
A free email alerter of the latest news items and associated URLs.

Publishing and multimedia

See also the related topics on Electronic Books, Multimedia and Object Oriented Databases, Virtual Reality, and Web Design and Usability.

This section provides annotated references to ways of creating or using multimedia to present information for educational purposes. It is less concerned with the content of multimedia resources than it is with the principles underlying the content. We are particularly interested in resources where the use of multimedia makes a substantial difference to the presentation of the information than if a traditional print medium was used.

There are numerous definitions of multimedia (as well as the related hypermedia and hypertext). At the broadest level multimedia are a combination of two or more media types - sound, text, audio, animation, still images, and potentially those using smell, taste and touch - bundled into a single presentation. In practice, educational technology defines multimedia as complex, interactive presentations delivered on a computer that can be controlled by the user. Increasingly, new technologies are enabling the user to manipulate, through the computer, remote resources, and even to control experiments from a distance. Web developments are also supporting effective delivery of complex resources, with teaching packages developed for dissemination on Intranets and the Internet, as well as on CD-ROM and related media.

Use of e-learning

Electronic Training Village

The ETV undertook a survey of the use of e-learning in Europe in February 2001. Preliminary results are available online, and indicate that online training will generate 40% of providers' revenues in 2001 (compared with 23% in 1999), though delivery costs will also increase. Small to medium size enterprises (up to 50 employees) tend to make most use of online delivery for training rather than face-to-face, compared to larger businesses (14/02/2001).

Guides, tools and standards for using multimedia in education

eLearning Initiative, EC

The EC has adopted the eLearning Action Plan, and is moving towards closer agreement in education strategies for the use of C&IT in schools and lifelong learning across the European Union (28/03/2001).

PROACTE - Promoting Awareness & Communicating Technologies in Education 5th Framework Programme, EC

PROACTE collates and disseminates information about the various projects funded by the 'Education area of the Information Society (IST)' area of the EC's 5th Framework Programme. The site includes links to all 31 current projects, information about conferences and other public events, and details of new tools and resources as they become available through its news service. The projects generally started in spring/summer 2000, and information is available on PROACTE. They include:

Telematics for Education and Training - from CORDIS. 4th Framework Programme, EC

The EU funded many projects to promote wider access to library holdings through its Telematics for Libraries programme. These projects are now complete, and details are available from CORDIS. For example, ARIADNE ran from January 1996 to June 2000. The project focused on providing effective tools to support distance learning, and means of encouraging their re-use. It defined and tested methods for effective delivery of computer-based learning, primarily for school and university education, though also suitable for training. The main products are a suite of educational multimedia authoring tools, and its 'core tools', which together enable developers to create and re-use resources that tailor subject coverage to particular teaching and learning situations.

PROMETEUS (PROmoting Multimedia access to Education and Training in EUropean Society)

PROMETEUS is funded by the EC to support closer cooperation amongst those creating and providing tools and content for e-learning. It was launched in May 1999, though the Web site has been recently redesigned.


SC36 is a sub-committee of the Joint Technical Committee 1, with members from national bodies around the world. SC36 develops international standards for learning, education and training. Many documents are available from the Web site, though some are password-protected.

JISC Technology Applications Programme (JTAP)

JTAP was funded by the UK's Joint Information Systems Committee, from 1995 "To identify, investigate and promote the timely use of key technologies that underpin application of relevance to the needs of higher education community and in particular those identified by the JISC strategy". More than 100 projects were supported, and the majority are now complete. Findings can support those working in teaching and learning, managers of higher education institutions, and information service providers.

IEEE Learning Technology Standards Committee

The LTSC has several working groups to develop technical standards and guides for education and training software. The working groups cover: learner-related issues; content-related issues; data and metadata; management systems and applications. Draft standards are available for these areas. The IEEE LTSC is working with the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative to ensure that metadata standards for learning, education and training are interoperable (DCMI, 06/12/2000).


In 1998, two major associations - Cause and Educom - joined forces to create EDUCAUSE. This is an international association (with most member institutions based in the USA) that assists higher education to make effective use of new technologies in all areas of teaching, research and management. EDUCAUSE supports research on all these areas, publishes its findings in print and online, and hosts major conferences and seminars.

IMS Global Learning Consortium Inc. (formerly Instructional Management Systems)

IMS is an international consortium with members drawn from education and business sectors. Its working groups establish guidelines and standards for many aspects of distributed learning: question and testing; content management; content packaging; profiles; metadata. These have an impact on software development and applications world-wide, and reports are available online. Versions 1.0 of the Content Packaging Specification, Question and Test Interoperability Specification, and Meta-data Specification were released in June 2000.

Streaming Media World

This Web site offers access to a wide range of tutorials, downloads and news for developers of online multimedia resources. It is created and maintained by internet.com, which provides news and resources for Internet technologists.

Building your own teaching blog

Lurie Austinser wrote to us with the the following: "I wanted to mention another resource for you to use, that encourages educational blogging and explains the value it has for teachers and students. It is very helpful for any teacher that is thinking about blogging. I would appreciate if you could add it and help other teachers out there". The Build Your Own Blog website is owned and run by Matthew Kaboomis Loomis and provides sound advice on setting up and maintaining blogs.

Creating a classroom blog

Mike Wallagher runs a site startbloggingonline.com which is aimed at anybody who wants to learn more about blogs and blogging. Amongst many other things the site includes a guide to setting up a blog for educational classes.

Delivering multimedia resources for higher education

University and Colleges Information Systems Association (UK) Awards

The University and Colleges Information Systems Association (UCISA) 'exists to promote high standards of education particularly in the provision and development of academic, management and administrative information systems throughout the UK Higher Education Sector'. Recognising the vast increase in the use of the World Wide Web for both information dissemination and teaching (particularly involving multimedia elements), since 1997 UCISA has been awarding prizes for the best Web site for supporting teaching and learning in HE. The topics vary from year to year, but include 'teaching and learning', 'information dissemination', and 'managed learning environments'.

Teaching and Learning Technology Programme (TLTP)

TLTP has been running since 1992, and is now in its third phase. It is funded by the higher education funding councils for England, Wales, Scotland, and the Department for Education Northern Ireland. The first two phases supported 76 projects on the creation and evaluation of computer-based learning tools. Some of these resources had very little impact on UKHE, and the 31 phase 3 TLTP projects are exploring the pedagogic, subject-specific and institutional factors influencing the implementation and success of new tools in university education. The projects are due to complete between 2000 and 2001.

Delivering multimedia resources for schools and further education institutions

European Schoolnet

The European Schoolnet supports collaboration and sharing of resources between schools across Europe. It works with ministries for education across Europe, to develop standards and good practice for collaborative working. It also coordinates the eLearning awards and virtual and face-to-face training through eSchola. See Gus Wijngaards' article on 'European Schoolnet' in the March 2001 edition of Context.


This is a new service from Britannica.com Inc. (owners of the electronic editions of the Encyclopedia Britannica). As well as access to the Encyclopedia Britannica and other reference works, 200 study guides have been created, offering interactive modules initially to topics in maths, science, and english. Additional tools assist teachers in creating online lessons, which can be saved in personal work spaces.


EduWeb is part of RM's (Research Machines plc) Internet for Learning, the company's Internet Service Provider. The web site is an example of the type of support commercial companies are willing to provide for the schools market. EduWeb includes resources for both teachers and children. The site includes specific pathways to around 5,000 Internet resources directly relevant to the UK's National Curriculum. The site is also developing a selection of industry-sponsored Internet resources (Understanding Electricity, for example, sponsored by the UK's electricity providers). Only schools using Internet for Learning as their ISP have full access to all EduWeb's contents, though other institutions can subscribe.

FREE (Federal Resources for Educational Excellence)

More than 30 federal agencies in the USA have collaborated to provide a portal to hundreds of online educational resources, primarily aimed at school teaching. Resources are indexed by subject area, though the collection can also be searched.


Ultralab's name is derived from Learning Technology Research at The University of East Anglia, UK. ULTRALAB is now home to a sizeable team, drawing on a variety of backgrounds including computer science, education, music, fine art, graphics, finance, economics, and engineering. It houses a UK National Archive of Educational Computing, and produces innovative educational software (distributed both on CD ROM, and free via the Internet) as a way to explore and disseminate their ideas. Current projects include: Better Web Editing, Children Of The Information Age? (Kids' Capabilities), Education 2015, Multimedia in Health Education, Insights For Teachers & Parents, Learning In The New Millennium (Nortel), Schools OnLine.

Commercial providers of multimedia for education/training

The market for provision of resources for lifelong and business training is a rapidly growing area. eCompany.com lists basic information on some corporate training course providers.

Web-Based Training Information Center (WBTIC)

Tim Kilby maintains this extensive collection of links, guides, standards and tools for developers of Web-based learning. Of particular use are his links to tools, as many of the companies that developed software for supporting online learning have also established their own learning portals for all levels of education and training.

Further information is available under Publishing and Commercial Providers, and Virtual Learning Environments.

Delivering multimedia resources for business training

Medi@Train - Using new media and intelligent assistance to produce teaching/learning software for continuous professional qualification

Medi@Train is developing tools and resources to support the creation and re-use of multimedia teaching and learning resources for business training. The project is a collaboration between several German research institutions, and is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.


Open eBook Forum (OEBF)

The OEBF was created in January 2000, and develops technical and other standards for all aspects of eBooks. Its members are drawn from publishing, software and hardware companies, and authors. The Open eBook Publication Structure 1.0 was published in September 1999, and is available online in a variety of formats. The standard is based on HTML, XML, CSS, JPEG, Unicode (UTF-8 and UTF-16), and Dublin Core metadata.

Barnes & Noble.com

Barnes & Noble.com is establishing a section on digital publishing - Barnes and Noble Digital. It will publish existing and new works. ZDNet Interactive has an article on this development in their January 4th issue. Barnes & Noble has also collaborating with Adobe Systems Inc., publishing ebooks using Adobe Acrobat eBook Reader 2.0 (further details).

Franklin Electronic Publishers

French, German and English editions of the eBookMan multimedia device are now available (21/03/2001).

See also the El.pub topic on Electronic Books.

Further resources

Building Digital Collections - a page of links from the Library of Congress to reports detailing how the American Memory Collections were developed and published online.

CITE - Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education is published by the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education (USA). The journal publishes case studies and discussion articles on the role and impact of new technologies on school teaching and learning.

Crane, G. (2001). Commercial digital libraries and the academic community. D-Lib Magazine 7.1. Greg Crane, director of the Perseus Digital Library, presents a model for commercial providers to attract the academic community, particularly the higher education sector.

Educational Technology and Society, journal of the International Forum of Educational Technology and Society, and the IEEE Learning Technology Task Force (ISSN: 1436-4522). This journal is published quarterly, and available freely online. Its scope is broad, and caters for academics seeking to incorporate new technologies into their teaching as well as educational technologists and related specialists.

EDUCAUSE Quarterly and EDUCAUSE Review are both published by EDUCAUSE. EDUCAUSE Quarterly is rich in case studies and evaluations of the use of C&IT in teaching, research and management in higher education; EDUCAUSE Review covers similar ground, but in a more discursive fashion. Both focus on USA events and practices.

Guides to Quality in Visual Resource Imaging. Digital Library Federation and Research Libraries Group. (July 2000). This is aimed at those building digital collections in archives, museums and libraries, and provides guidance on digitizing still images.

ILT Publications - the Institute for Learning Technologies at Columbia University makes available some of its books and reports online. One can also link to ongoing and completed projects in which the ILT has been involved.

The Interactive Multimedia Project: A Planning and Development Guide McCauley, G. (2000). Available online from the Association for Applied Interactive Multimedia. McCauley provides details of the processes and methods needed to develop an educational multimedia software project - Kansas Lawmaker - for middle school students.

Interactive Educational Multimedia is published by the University of Barcelona, and is freely available online.

Interactive Multimedia Electronic Journal of Computer-Enhanced Learning is a digital journal for innovation in computer-enhanced learning in higher education. It is published by Wake Forest University, North Carolina, USA.

Journal of Interactive Multimedia in Education. JIME is a refereed online journal launched in 1996 by the Open University. It publishes articles on theoretical and practical applications of new technologies to all levels of education within and beyond the UK.

The MIT Media Lab hosts a research group on The Future of Learning. Articles and further information are available from the Web site.

Multimedia Training Newsletter. This is a US paper-based newsletter designed for training professionals and multimedia developers. The Web site has abstracts of articles together with pointers to further resources and examples of web-based training sites.

Reports from the JTAP Virtual Seminars for Teaching Literature Project. The Virtual Seminars for Teaching Literature are a set of multimedia tutorials. The project produced a wide range of documents covering a range of issues, including a review of technologies and methods to support online learning, formats and specifications for digitization, managing work flow, copyright, and intellectual access.

Please note that this page was authored during April 2001, and apart from a few minor amendments since that date has remained as it was. Therefore some of the links may have changed or no longer link to the resources indicated. Please contact the webmasters@elpub.org concerning broken links and he will attempt to direct you to a suitable alternative link. (January 2003)

This section is maintained by: Humanities Computing Unit, University of Oxford. Edited by: Logical Events Limited - electronic marketing, search engine marketing, pay per click advertising, search engine optimisation, website optimisation consultants in London, UK. Visit our website at: www.logicalevents.org

We welcome feedback and contributions to the information service, and proposals for subjects for the news service.

mail to: webmasters@elpub.org

Last up-dated: 16 February 2024

© 2024 Copyright and disclaimer El.pub and www.elpub.org are brand names owned by Logical Events Limited - no unauthorised use of them or the contents of this website is permitted without prior permission.