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Evaluation and multimedia learning objects: towards a human‐centred approach

McEwan, Tom; Cairncross, Sandra


Sandra Cairncross


If initial attempts to incorporate reusable multimedia into university teaching were characterised by the efforts of enthusiasts, the growth of the “Learning Object” economy in recent years requires a more strategic and systems-based approach. While all reusable learning materials have a value, both financial and educational, multimedia in particular is expensive to produce. Systematic production (based on ISO 14915 standards (2002a, 2002b, 2003) and evaluation of fitness for purpose, are paramount. Human-centred design (HCD) methodologies, based on the ISO 13407 standard (1999), are now well-established for ensuring that investments in technology result in benefits, and in particular lay heavy emphasis on the frequent use of evaluation. This paper reviews literature in educational multimedia production, interaction design, HCD, and pedagogy, and summarises ongoing attempts to standardise a definition of reusable learning objects (RLOs), with multimedia learning objects (MLOs) as a specific example. We conclude that evaluation must be central to the production and deployment of MLOs. We report on experiences applying an existing framework for effective production of multimedia learning resources, and propose revisions to this framework to add effective evaluation mechanisms.


McEwan, T., & Cairncross, S. (2004). Evaluation and multimedia learning objects: towards a human‐centred approach. Interactive Technology and Smart Education, 1(2), 101-112.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date May 31, 2004
Deposit Date May 22, 2008
Publicly Available Date May 22, 2008
Journal Interactive Technology and Smart Education
Print ISSN 1741-5659
Publisher Emerald
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 1
Issue 2
Pages 101-112
Keywords Evaluation; Human-centred design; ISO13407; Learning objects; Multimedia; Literature review;
Public URL
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