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Macromedia Authorware Support Center - Basics

Multimedia is a teacher's or trainer's dream come true—and a learner's dream come true as well. With Authorware, you have an amazingly rich environment at your command, all in one package. You can combine graphics with text in various styles and sizes, add color and sound, and put it all in motion on the computer screen. You can create instructional materials—educational applications, courseware, help systems, electronic performance support systems, classroom training, and job aids—that enable learners to do far more than read or listen. They can watch demonstrations, try out procedures, experience simulations, get feedback and help, look up additional information, and more.

But what you bring to Authorware 5 is of the utmost importance. You have to know your subject matter, of course, and you should have a clear sense of exactly what you want to teach. It will help if you have some basic familiarity with graphics and video. Most important, you have to understand the principles of instructional design.

Learning isn't a simple act. It involves a complex, interrelated series of cognitive processes, including attention, perception, and memory. Based on cognitive psychology—the science of how people process information—the principles of instructional design can help you create teaching and training materials that are consistent with the way people learn. This article will introduce you to these principles, and suggest (with examples) how you can combine effective instructional design with the power of Authorware to create multimedia teaching and training materials that work, on the job or in the classroom.

The references and seminars listed at the end of the chapter will point you to further readings and resources where you can learn more about cognitive processes, instructional design, and effective learning experiences.

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