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Choosing Digital Media for your Course

There are a myriad of choices for presenting content to students. Using a variety of digital formats — text, audio, images, diagrams, and video clips, can help engage your students. Their motivations and imaginations can be activated with different forms of digital information. Begin your search for quality digital media with our library as an exceptional resource. Explore its online archives and databases unique to your discipline. Extend your search to the web's fabulous collections of digital media. Discuss ways of adding several types of digital media to your course content, whether fully online, hybrid, or completely face-to-face. Your course website has the potential to enhance and extend your students' learning in meaningful ways. Learn how to find and add an expert's audio lectures or a series of videos, for example, as extensions to in-class activities or elaborations of concepts described in text. Extend your classroom with links to exceptional websites your students might not find on their own. Use your discipline expertise to evaluate sources and choose the best digital media available to incorporate into your class learning activities and content presentations.

During this session you will:

  • Explore the library resources available to you as VCU faculty.
  • Describe why adding digital media to your course improves your students’ learning.
  • Practice creating external links to digital resources, finding and adding images to text information you already use, and embedding video into your Blackboard course site.
  • Create activities that use digital resources in a purposeful, focused way that supports your course learning goals.

Key Questions

  • How are learning and media related for your students?
  • What are the essential elements in digital media you should consider when choosing which media to use?
  • Is visual and information literacy important to students’ learning?

Websites we will visit and use:

  • YouTube
  • Flickr
  • Internet archives
  • Creative Commons
  • Library Media Resources


  • Barnes, Susan B. (Ed) (2009). Visual Impact: The Power of Visual Persuasion. Cresskill,NJ: Hampton Press, Inc.

  • Berger, Arthur Asa (1989,1998). Seeing Is Believing, An Introduction to Visual Communication (2nd Ed). Mountain View, CA: Mayfield Publishing Co.

  • Gardenfors,Peter & Johansson, Petter (Eds.) (2005). Cognition, Education, and Communication Technology. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.

  • Gee, James Paul (2010). New Digital Media and Learning as an Emerging Area and “Worked Examples” as One Way Forward. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press

  • Salomon, Gavriel (1979, 1994). Interaction of Media, Cognition, and Learning. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

For more information, contact Joyce Kincannon (804-828-1605 or jmkincannon@vcu.edu).

Check Available Dates and Register

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Virginia Commonwealth University | Center for Teaching Excellence
Last modified: June 20, 2013
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