According to my experience, multimedia materials are very useful in motivating students and bettering the learning performance. However, the time required for preparing multimedia materials is much longer than general paper textbooks.
One of my friends has been teaching Mandarin in Thailand for two years. He tried almost everything he could includes flash cards, body language, Mandarin-to-Thai translation, candies, and even whips in his Mandarin course and Mandarin classes in the past two years; Nevertheless, none of them did a good work. So he was very frustrated and disappointed about his job there. He asked himself everyday that why he could not attract students’ attention and improve their ability? He thought the problem was his boring teaching style and tried to give up such career in Thailand. Fortunately, the college where he was teaching established a computer and multimedia classroom which greatly enrich his classes.
You may wonder how did he make it? Me too. So I asked him and the answers are as followed,
First, he rearranged the contents of his Mandarin Course syllabus. Actually, he divided it into several smaller and interactive Mandarin Classes.
Second, in each class, he not only engaged and blended the pictures, videos and voices with what he would like to teach, but also interacted with his students by the internet based multimedia learning unit designed by himself.
Third, the students could not only interact with him but also interact with each other. The classroom became a micro social network, students could learn, share, and even teach other students real time.
That was definitely a wonderful and the best experience those students could ever have, therefore, they stuck with the teaching system he created after that. And what even more exciting for him was their learning result which was much better than he had expected.
Now, my friend is very happy and I think he will be more and more happy in the future by blending the multimedia factors into his teaching.