Interactive Multimedia in Digital Courses:  Design and Evaluation of Concept Maps Glossary and Narration Support

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Virginia Tech

Multimedia content, e.g., sound files, interactive demos, and video files, has been widely used in digital courses to provide an easy to use format and to emphasize the ideas. In this work, we address aspects of generating multimedia contents automatically in digital courses. In particular, we focus on two types of automatically generated multimedia: interactive glossaries and sound files. Glossaries play a major role in enhancing students' comprehension of the course core concepts. Glossary terms have complex interrelationship that cannot be fully illustrated by standard approaches, e.g., including all the terms as a linear, alphabetized list. To overcome this limitation, we introduce an interactive design for the glossary terms using concept maps. Glossary terms are visualized as nodes in graphs and their relationships are included on the edges. We implement these concept maps within the OpenDSA e-textbook system. A concept map associated with the selected term is generated on demand. We evaluate the effectiveness of our design by comparing student use of our concept-map based glossary to the traditional alphabetized list. We have designed new exercises that target the comprehension of the glossary terms to make students familiar with the concept maps. Our other work generates sound files automatically to supplement text narration in slide shows. This is made feasible by the widespread availability of text-to-speech generators in web browsers. To this end, we designed an interactive narration tool and integrated it into the OpenDSA library. In this way, all slide shows automatically have their text augmented with narration.

Computer Science Education, Concept Maps, Narration, Multimedia