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Remediation and the implications for the

way students present multimedia products.

( Written to support teachers of the

multimedia unit of the DIDA diploma)

Remediation is a concept which relates to my area of media practice as the students are

required to design and produce digital media products for a range of audiences and

purposes and present the media products to the marker in an electronic portfolio. The

word remediation in the context I am using it is to make improvements in media.

Remediation can be applied to digital media production as digital media is in a constant

process of being remediated (improved) for current, new and future audiences and

digital media is now remediated for an increasingly large number of digital appliances.

Students would benefit from being aware of the constantly changing forms of media as it

will help them to produce media for a range of purposes and audiences. They will also

benefit from understanding the concept of digital convergence as the media is not only

being produced for a range of audience but also for a range of devices. Fidler (1997,

p.23) describes how MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) were "among the first

to recognise that.. convergence of media industries and digital technologies would .. lead

to new forms of ... multimedia.." . Fidler (1997, p.25) defines multimedia as "any

medium in which two or more forms of communication are integrated" The website is

the medium in which the students are working, in that they present their multimedia

products in an "eportfolio", and they also need to make the eportfolio "an effective

multimedia product in itself" p49 G017118 – Specification – Edexcel Levels 1 and 2


Fidler (1997) outlines that between 1978 and 2000 the overlap between Broadcastand

Motion Picture industry, Print an Publishing Industry and the Computer Industry has

increasingly overlapped and this, I believe, is true because of technology allowing the

different forms of media to be present and integrated into an ever increasing range of

An exert from the specification for the multimedia unit makes clear the aims and

contextualises the Summative Project Brief

The aim of this unit is to provide you with the skills to use

the tools and techniques provided by multimedia authoring

software to design and create effective multimedia products for

specified purposes and audiences.

Once you have a good understanding of the possibilities offered

by multimedia, you will learn how to design multimedia products

of your own. This will involve detailed designs setting out

exactly how you want each screen to look, what components you

need and how the user will interact with the product.

You will demonstrate your ability to plan, design, build and

test interactive multimedia products through your work on a

major project set by Edexcel. This will include the development

of an eportfolio that exhibits your achievements and is in

itself an effective multimedia product. p49 G017118 – Specification

– Edexcel Levels 1 and 2 Qualifications

When assessing the final electronic portfolio students can gain more marks by

contextualising and enhancing the user (marker/tutor) experience when accessing the

electronic portfolio of work. Remediation of the way present their portfolios is the way

for the students to accomplish this.

Bolter and Grusin (1999, p.11) describe how Media creators "seek to put the viewer in

the same space as the object viewed" Students can accomplish this by contextualising

the products they have produced using multi media tools.

Bolter and Grusin (1999) describe how elaborate text in old manuscripts which

incorporates text and images are simliar to modern multi media work in that the
author challenges us to appreciate the integration of text and image. The same could

be said of the media students produce in their eportfolios.. Students are asking the

marker to appreciate not only the work they have produced, whether it is a movie a

podcast or a document which would be printed, but the way they have contextualised it

for the audience using other multi media tools. These could be short movies about the

creation of the document or a podcast which details the sources of information used in

its creation.

Evan the choice of text used in the publications can enhance the user experience. In

Wikipedia text is described as " ... composed to create a readable, coherent, and

visually satisfying whole that works invisibly, without the awareness of the reader."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Typography. Gillespie (2000) states that "Good typography

is just as important on a Web page as it is in any other medium." How often do the

students make a point of choosing a suitable font depending upon the medium the font

is to be presented? Gillespie(2000, paragraph 2) later states that "designers have to

adapt their techniques to suit the medium." Evan once a suitable font has been chosen

different browsers can decode the webs page differently. Gillespie suggests that "..you

really need to test-fly your pages on as many computers and browsers as you possibly

can." In the support notes for the Multimedia unit it states that in respect to the

eportfolio "It should be possible to infer that testing has occurred and to judge its

effectiveness by the quality of the product" D202SPB0908 Support Notes Issue 2 p10

The opportunity of presenting work in a website is that students can remediate the

presentation using a range of media tools in order introduce and contextualise their

multimedia products in a way which enhances the experience of the assessor. Bolter and
Grusin (1999, p.197) describes the remediation of the web in that " The liveness of the

Web is a refashioned version of the liveness of broadcast television" A good example is

the Newsround website which includes a range of lively broadcasts. Making the

eportfolio lively and engaging and evan interactive would be a great way to achieve this.

Early examples of how the WWW re-mediated methods of communication. Email re-

mediated the Letter and although the main advantage of this was speed. Email became

the most popular use of the internet into the 1990's. (Bolter, 1999 p.197). Earlier the

telegraph had remediated the letter and this to had the advantage of speed but lost the
advantage of that personal touch, as does the text based email today. Video email

recaptures the personal touch of a letter although it requires a greater degree of

technical competence although today it might require a greater degree of competence

for a young tech savvy young person to write and send a letter.

In 1993 a browser was created which allowed images to be viewed alongside. (Bolter,

1999 p.198) This gave rise to much more interest in the Web, not just from academics

but from a much wider tech savvy audience. By remediating your work with images you

to can arouse the interest of the marker. Text can introduce and contextualise your

work but the use of an image as a thumbnail and a hyperlink to your work gives your

work imediacy and hypermediacy.

The multimedia support notes suggest that "Students should aim to produce detailed

commentaries contextualising the evidence.

The products should be the central focus of the eportfolio and students should aim to

draw the moderator’s attention to them from the outset." D202SPB0908 Support Notes

Issue 2 p10 The use of a thumb nail would definitely perform the task of drawing the

moderators attention to them.

From that time on more paper based media could be remediated by the web. Any media

which used text and graphics could now be remediated. Magazines, newspapers and

journals. In an archive search using google news using the search term "electronic

media jobs" the number of articles in 1998 and 1999 rose from 3270 to 19300 in 2000

an 2001. From this it is obvious that there must have been a clamour to remediate any

forms to media to the web. With the advent of fast broadband (especially for the

home user) Video was more easily accessible via the web. This gave rise to much

greater opportunity for remediation. Online news papers could now stream video

footage from within their news pages. What was once a static text / graphic page in the

same way a news paper presented its information it was then a combination of a TV

news program and a static news paper. This is a great example of digital convergence

where different forms of media are converging into one platform. In the students

eportfolio pages video and sound can be used to contextualise and introduce the

evidence. Text does the job quite well but the students have the opportunity to go

beyond this. Using simple software such as Moviemaker, images of the work and a
narrative can contextualise the work in a more accessible and aesthetically pleasing way.

The chief examiners report from June 2009 explains that "Candidates are beginning to

improve commentaries provided as part of the eportfolio but rarely do they fill in all of

the gaps and help to tell the assessor/moderator all that has been going on". Fidler

(1997, p.57) when talking about the advantages of speech describes spoken language

as "a more efficient way to gather, process and disseminate practical information"

Although large recorded narratives would be harder for a marker to "dip into", a

narrative combined with the use of images, I believe could fill the gap and tell the

"assessor all that has been going on". In describing "reader control of documents" Fidler

(1997, p.41) describes "reading a document is much like driving a car. Readers like

drivers can determine their own pace and schedules" where as when refering to a

broad cast or podcast " - control of the speed, route and schedule is in the hands of

someone else" Students can over come this by ensuring podcasts or video

commentaries are "chunked" into short podcasts or videos so the assessor is still able to

access the content with some degree of control.

A large body of text can be remediated into a short movie showing how the piece of

work was created, how the author took advantage of 3rd party feedback and evaluative

comments can be added to show the marker evidence of the students evaluative skills.

Again using the statement "Students should aim to produce detailed commentaries

contextualising the evidence. The products should be the central focus of the eportfolio

and students should aim to draw the moderator’s attention to them from the outset."

D202SPB0908 Support Notes Issue 2 The section "producing a detailed commentary

contextualising the evidence" can be more easily met by the use of an embedded video.

In the June 2008 Chief Moderators report, when referring to how the work was

presented in the eportfolio, it states that "Many candidates failed to achieve high marks

in this strand, as they had not taken the opportunity to use multimedia appropriately to

present or showcase their products. Many centres awarded high marks for basic

functional eportfolios that lacked multimedia content." http://www.edexcel.com/

migrationdocuments/DiDA/DiDA-CM-Report-0901.pdf This emphasise the case for

going all out to make the eportfolio as multimedia as possible.

Bolton and G state that "Web newspapers, magazines, and encyclopedias, for example,
do seek to improve on the printed versions." As this was written in 1999 it is outdated

as they do in way they include video a part of the medium they adopt. It is difficult to

judge how the remediation of media will benefit the audience. Some of the benefit

comes from personal taste or from an advancement which allows access to traditional

media in another form. I am sure talking books are easier to access than brail books

for the blind and I am sure talking books were not intended solely for the blind or for

those who cannot read.

The remediation of the news allowed this type of content to be viewed "on demand" You

do not have to wait for the weather forecast at a particular time you could view it when

you wanted. In the students work they would normally demonstrate "hypermediacy"

(where you click on a link to view you piece of work) How can the student increase the

immediacy of the information they are presenting to the audience?

When the students work is viewed what information do they want to convey to the

assessor/audience? ..and in what way would the audience want to access that? .. and in

what way would it be easy for them to access?

Web 2.0 has lead to the opportunity for greater remediation. Webpages can now be

used as windows in to other media. Media which exists in one place can be "embedded"

with in an unlimited number of sites. As yet students cannot publish their portfolios to

the web and utalise web 2.0 tools but the same media can be embedded in their

portfolios just not "hosted" 3rd parties.

As I have demonstrated in this site http://remediation.wiki.zoho.com/

MultimediaMan.html Websites which once hosted their own movies are now able to have

them hosted on websites such as Youtube and viewed within another site. Other

remedial "embed" opportunities exist with presentations, text documents, sketchcasts.

In conclusion the concept of remediation is an ideal concept to apply the multimedia unit

of the DIDA course. By using exemplars from the web students will be able have a

greater understanding of methods they can use in order to remediate their work in order

to be awarded the most marks upon the presentation of their portfolios. As teachers

having a greater understanding of concepts will enable more focused and reasoned
teaching will in turn better prepare students for producing and sharing content through

their portfolios.

The video I am including is about how remediation of the BBC news content has enabled

the content to be accessed via an increasing number of platforms and for an increasingly

greater audience. The video itself and the BBC websites are extremely useful in giving

students guidance and ideas for the way they present their content.



Bolter, J., (1999) Remediation: Understanding New Media, Cambridge, Mass. MIT


Fidler, R (1997) Mediamorphosis, Pine Forge Press


Gillespie, J., (2000) Typography http://www.wpdfd.com/issues/23/typography/


Specifications and support documents:

DIDA specification http://www.edexcel.com/migrationdocuments/DiDA/


D202SPB0908 Support Notes Issue 2 http://www.edexcel.com/migrationdocuments/

Chief Moderators report January 2009 http://www.edexcel.com/migrationdocuments/


Chief Moderator report June 2009 http://www.edexcel.com/migrationdocuments/DiDA/