There seems to be a rising flourish of enthusiasm about Internet courseware and multimedia. Additional individuals learn, the more they want to learn. For example, once their essential classes Web pages are complete, instructors often decide that they want pictures, then perhaps some audio, then animation, then.
There are a number of advantages to using audio over the Internet. Professors are able to create archived lectures or live broadcasts, allowing for asynchronous or synchronous communication. They have been experimenting with live audio broadcasts, and they see an advantage in the interaction: students can call in (similar to a talk radio show) and talk to the professor, rather than passively listening. Audio over the Internet also allows instructors to provide guest lecturers from all over the world at low cost. The capacity to archive these presentations makes them available at times convenient for students for review, or for the first time if they miss a live presentation.
The current advantages and disadvantages of multimedia online are multimedia allows people to communicate more effectively online. I believe that with technology like 3-D modeling and virtual reality, people from different places will be able to work in groups to construct projects over the Internet. I also see multimedia as a shape of self expression: it enables the creator to add personality to a website or course. Multimedia, whether in the form of video, animation or a scanned picture can demonstrate concepts or ideas that can cannot be communicated easily in any other way.
The future of multimedia online is at present, video is rather primitive, but in the future users will be able to interact visually with people from all over the world. I don't see multimedia replacing human contact; rather, it will supplement it by allowing individuals to interact in ways and places that would otherwise be impossible. Audio will continue to improve in sound...
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