Numerous studies over the years have shown that interactive multimedia learning takes less time, is enjoyed more and increases learning. Studies found that "learning was higher when information was presented via computer-based multimedia systems than traditional classroom lectures".
Interactivity is mutual action between the learner, the learning system, and the learning material. Numerous studies have found that interactivity has a strong positive effect on learning Learning studies and found that learners learn faster, and have better attitudes toward learning when using interactive multimedia.
Multimedia course ware on CD-ROM can be used at work on the desktop or at a learning center at home, while travelling, or to enhance facilitated management development programs. Multimedia course ware can also be used on networks, Intranets or the Internet. These distributed learning approaches allow for even more flexibility, but in the cases of Internets will involve much lower quality images and will preclude the use of video, at least in the near future. Multimedia course ware off-loads repetitive training tasks and frees facilitators to focus on company-specific, department-specific, or even team-specific issues.
Each topic or section can stand alone, so managers or trainers can delve deeply into the topic areas they need to learn, and skip over the ones they don't. In many cases applications include the option to custom build the application for your specific use where you can choose modules, and even edit the content in some fields.
It is capable of presenting true-to-life situations that learners face every day. Adults are very practical learners—they learn best when faced with real problems that have real consequences. Decision tree simulation, video simulations or simple animations allow learners to learn-by-viewing, learn-by-doing or learn-by-coaching. All are effective methods for developing practical skill and increasing information retention.
All learners learn the same principles and skills. Computer-based course ware typically forces instructional designers to better organize and structure learning materials, and this alone can result in learning advantages.
Learners can turn to the program when situations arise on the job, or when they are faced with new or increased responsibilities. This is critical, since research has shown that learning is enhanced and better retained when the topic is relevant to current needs.
Interactive learning with live-action video, audio, graphics, feedback, expert advice, and questions and answers keep learners interested and reinforces skills. Because it is exciting, challenging, and fun to use, it encourages learners to return to the program again and again. Through continual practice, learning is absorbed and integrated into daily performance.
Multimedia course ware may have higher up-front development costs, but overall studies have shown that it is less expensive and more effective than traditional classroom learning only. There can also savings on expensive and time-consuming travel, lodging, facility rentals, the loss of productivity caused by sending learners away, and other expenses. The ability to practice new concepts in a risk-free environment improves learners' skills and ability. When using a built in course management system which collects and analyses learner delivery and performance data substantial administrative time savings result.