Answers to Exercises, Chapter 1

These are answers to the exercises in the 3rd edition of Digital Multimedia (published February 2009) only. Do not try to use them in conjunction with the 2nd edition.

Test Questions

There are no Test Questions for Chapter 1.

Discussion Topics: Hints and Tips

  1. Think about all the ways in which educational material is provided at your college or in your course, the different types of media used, how they are delivered, how they are combined together and whether they are an effective aid to learning. Consider every case which uses more than one of text (in any form), images, video, animation including slide shows, and sound. Which work well and which do not – and for what reasons?
  2. If you are studying at college then you will very possibly be part of a group of people of different nationalities, or who speak different languages. Think about the different ways of presenting documentation or instruction for a computer program. It is quite common now to find help material only available as video, presented in the English language. Is this a good idea? Discuss your thoughts with people whose first language is different from yours, and discover what problems you have each found in understanding instructions for international products. What forms of instruction or documentation have you found it easiest to follow?
  3. There is no straightforward answer to this question. First of all think about the experience of a live lecture. Then consider whether you would think differently about this question if the lecture was recorded in some form. Consider exactly what you mean by "time-based media". Is this an established meaning or definition, or is it open to change?
  4. A ventriloquist is a performer who works with a puppet in such a way that it seems that the person and the puppet are having a live conversation. (The performer does this by speaking in an altered voice and not moving his or her lips when the puppet "speaks", and by animating the puppet so that it seems to be alive.) Edgar Bergen was a very famous ventriloquist of the first half of the 20th century, who was highly successful not only on stage and on film but also on the radio. Think about why there is an obvious contradiction in the idea of ventriloquism on the radio, and then consider how and why a ventriloquist could have been so successful on radio. If a ventriloquist can be successful on the radio, do you think they could be equally successful if they performed in silent movies? The point of this discussion topic is to encourage thinking about the ways in which different media interact and communicate.
  5. If each page except the last contains a link to just one other page of the collection, and no two links point to the same page, the only way to navigate through the pages is by following these links, which means visiting the pages in sequence. This is most appropriate when the pages correspond to steps in a procedure, such as checking out from an online store, or when pages are used to divide up a long article or a large set of search results. In those cases, though, you might want to be able to visit the pages of the sequence in random order as well – consider the results pages at Google, for instance.

Practical Tasks: Hints and Tips

  1. It is handy to have one of those tiny pocket notebooks for this exercise. (Moleskine or Field Notes would be excellent.) Starting first thing in the morning, note down every different form of media you encounter between getting up and going to bed at the end of the day. Be aware that this is a large task as it extends through the whole day. The next day, go through the list and try different ways of organizing it. Try arranging the contents of your list by different types of media, by different purposes the media served, by the type of environment in which it was encountered, and so on. Are you surprised by the amount of media of different kinds you found you were exposed to in one day? In what ways do you think this exposure may influence your life? Is it easy to determine what constitutes "media" and what does not.
  2. Don't try to create drawings for the images for this set of instructions unless you find drawing easy. Photographs will work just as well. You need to think carefully about just how many images you need - and of which stages of the making of the sandwich - in order to convey the instructions adequately to someone who has never made such a sandwich. Similarly, you need to think carefully about how much text is needed. This exercise is well suited to a group. Each student should make their own sets of instructions and then show them to the other members of the group. Discuss among yourselves which instructions work well and why.