A Word History problem based
learning challenge



Multimedia Pavilions and Web Exhibitions (Posters too!)

Students can choose to "build" their pavilions as multimedia presentations, web sites OR they can display their countries information without using technology as a poster project. Assess the amount of time and computer access students will have and choose the appropriate method of presentation. The organizational steps listed below can be used for either a technology based or poster based presentation.

Authoring a powerful presentation requires an understanding beyond just how to use computer programs. Successful presentation authoring, whether you do a poster board or use multimedia tools, also includes a lot of organization and planning. There are several different types of programs you can use to build a multimedia, slide or web based production. Some commonly used programs are HyperStudio, Microsoft's PowerPoint, Web Front Page, Claris Home Page, or Adobe Page Mill. Also Netscape Composer and Microsoft Explorer both include web creation and editing tools. There are a large number of software programs which will help you organize your data and create graphs, charts and maps. Check with your teacher to see which ones to use. Here are some guidelines to help you build creative multimedia, web based or poster projects.


a flagIn the Beginning

A successful multimedia, web, or poster project starts with a unique and creative idea which lends itself to an interactive environment, a slide presentation, or a graphic display. Start by outlining with your group the ideas that you want to present. You should include at least one "slide, screen, or poster section" for each of the major areas of your project (Honor the Past, Discover the Challenges, Imagine the Future). Remember you will also be conducting a "guided tour" of your pavilion or exhibit so you don't have to include all your facts on your screens or poster board. List the points you will cover in your "tour" and include some powerful and interesting graphics or pictures to compliment what you say.





flagIt's About Time

Setting group milestones and deadlines are essential in finishing a project on time and in good working order.

  • Types of milestones- A milestone should be set for gathering each type of media. Set a milestone for for background screens and art, one for video clips (if you include them), one for music (make sure it is culturally accurate), one for voice overs, one for still pictures, and one for programming.
  • Divide and conquer- One team member should be in charge of each milestone. That means that they make sure the milestone is met. All team members will be involved in gathering media or art for all milestones as they do research on the different aspects of the project. (See Media Mania below).
  • Computer Access- If you are using machines at school make sure you have enough "machine time" to finish your project. Check with your teacher about computer access. If you are doing a poster give yourself enough time to create a neat and artistic design.
  • Group Meetings- Team members should meet briefly everyday to review progress and have a longer production meeting once a week to iron out problems or make revisions.




flagGo with the Flow (for electronic presentations only)

Flowcharts design how the screens or slides will connect. They chart the interactivity in a multimedia presentation. It is best to draw the flow chart on a large piece of paper. Include the following on your chart.

  • The screens- A "screen" generally refers to a monitor on the computer. It might also be one page on the World Wide Web. In general, it is a 640 x 480 pixel area. One screen or slide can have many different levels or it might contain only one level. From one screen a user can usually choose to go to a second, third, etc. A multimedia can have an opening screen with a jazzy introduction and then a second screen with a menu that gives the user choices or a table of contents for the project.
  • The map- All the screens or slides for the pavilion or web exhibit can be drawn as boxes on your large piece of paper. Arrows show the relationship of one screen or slide to another.






flagAll Aboard

Storyboards nail down the exact details of each viewing section of the multimedia or poster. In a multimedia or a web site the storyboard provides the detail for each screen. For a poster presentation, it is the sketch of the poster. Storyboard, like flowcharts need to be drawn out on paper.

  • Design- Colored pens, crayons, or pencils are essential to storyboarding. It is here that you begin to narrow down some of your design concepts and choose what colors might best convey your ideas. Each screen or slide should have one storyboard. Magazine layouts and advertisements are good sources for strong designs and complimentary colors.
  • Media description-Next to your storyboard describe what media or art you will need.
  • Anchor it down- The greater the detail on your storyboard the less time you will spend redoing during production. Some changes are inevitable during the production process, however, a good storyboard helps to avoid drastic changes and time lost while trying to make decisions on the fly.

Storyboard Template
(draw out screen or slide in this box)


Music needed:
(describe here)


Video needed
(describe here)


Text needed
(describe here)


Graphics or pictures
needed (describe here)








flagMedia Mania (for electronic presentations only)

Gathering the media is probably the most time consuming part of the production process. Saving your media in the proper format will prevent future problems in programming (web or multimedia) and resource management (file size). Check with your instructor on the types of programs the school has to accomplish the following tasks. There are lots of resources on how to use specific programs on the Internet.

  • Background screens- Art can be created in programs like Adobe Photoshop. Make sure there is a purpose or consistency to your backgrounds and that they reflect your countries culture. Save files as ".jpg" or ".gif" for web authoring and as "pict" or "pnb" files for multimedia.
  • Sound- Locate sound capture programs on your computers. For smaller file size save your sound as 22 kHz, 8 bit mono.
  • Video- Video is a little more complicated to include. For web or multimedia limit your video and use smaller sizes such as 160 x 120 or 320 x 240. A QuickTime movie can be imported into most web and multimedia applications.
  • Voice capture- Use microphones and capture audio in a sound program. Voice can be saved as a QuickTime, aiff or wav file. Watch background noise.
  • Pictures and art- Still pictures can be scanned or taken with a digital camera. Scanned pictures need to be saved as "pict" or "pnb" for multimedia or "jpg" for Web authoring.
  • Written text- In web authoring programs and PowerPoint you can type right in the program. For some multimedia you might need to use a word processor and save as "RTF" then bring your document into your authoring program.

A word about copyright:

Some sites allow educators or students to use pictures as long as the project is used for educational purposes and not published. Make sure you get permission to download images off the Web for your presentations. If you are creating a Web exhibit which will be posted, copyright laws need to be followed. Sometimes travel agencies or embassy sources will give you permission to use pictures which you can scan for your presentations.






flagGet with the Program (for electronic presentations only)

The programming process takes time, creativity, persistence and patience - also some trial and error.

  • Types of programs- Depending on your purpose, there are a number of programs you might use. PowerPoint and Hyperstudio are programs that are sometimes available in schools for slide or multimedia presentations. If you are creating a Web Exhibit use programs like Front Page, Claris Home Page, or Adobe Page Mill. Also Netscape Composer and Microsoft Explorer both include web creation and editing tools.
  • Keeping track of the media- Remember where you save your media. Watch carefully each time you save so that you put your media in the correct folder.
  • Testing- Test your programming as you go along. Don't wait until the end to find out that you have a problem.






flagTest Run

Make sure you have time to Beta test your program on the machine that will be used for your presentation and complete the final checks before you declare victory. If you have created a poster, make sure the whole group likes the final layout.

  • The debugging process- This can take lots of time so make sure you don't leave it until the last minute.
  • Inclusion- All group members need to be included in this final process. Don't leave it to one or two people. Figuring out programming and problem solving multimedia authoring is what this is all about - it's one of the most important part of the learning process - along with the teamwork.