Generally multimedia is the combination of audio and visual representations that could include elements of texts, graphic arts, sound, animation, and video (OUM, 2014). However, now in the 21st century, multimedia is not only restricted in that form but digitally and is processed by a computer. Many multimedia applications are already being developed on World Wide Web for easy access.
Technology has grown rapidly and its uses are increasingly widespread. There is no dough that multimedia technology has made a profound impact on our daily lives. Multimedia is capable of shaping, have a direct and influential affect on how a person thinks, works learns, socialises and others. There are many multimedia technology applications in various fields such as in education, medicine, industries, and of course society overall. Here we will discuss how multimedia can enhance the way we learn effectively and how multimedia technology changes the way we spend our money, the advantages and disadvantages of online shopping and how online shopping affecting our lifestyle.
Education is perhaps the most where multimedia has the most effective applications, as it enhances the learning process (Laikos & Diomidus, 2002). Open University Malaysia (OUM) has already adopted almost all of multimedia applications and e-learning system that cater for the learners and of course the tutors. At the same time also OUM has made a substantial amount of investment in improving its e-learning environment and OUM also has already established and has made plans for an effective e-learning environment (Ali, 2008).
There are many of the multimedia applications that OUM has already adopted and there are no new multimedia technology applications that OUM has not already implemented except for the introduction of a new technology called virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) into the e-learning experience for learners and tutors. This new technology is slow becoming adopted in other industry for example medicine, aviation and gaming. My other suggestion on how OUM can improve the current technology is the improvement of mobile e-learning that are currently being carried out by OUM.
The definition of Virtual Reality (VR) taken from Merriam-Webstar, 2018 is an artificial environment which is experienced through sensory stimuli (such as sights and sounds) provided by a computer and in which one’s actions partially determine what happens in the environment. It is a realistic three-dimensional (3D) image or artificial environment that is created with a mixture of interactive hardware and software, and presented to the user in such a way that the any doubts are suspended and it is accepted as a real environment in which it is interacted with in a seemingly real or physical way, see figure 1. This means that the virtual reality environment may simulate an everyday setting for examples; walking around, sitting in a park or being at the laboratory in school.
The idea of taking what is real and adding to it in some way so that user obtains more information from their environment is known as augmented reality and it a part of non-immersive world of virtual reality. The definition of Augmented Reality (AR) is an enhanced version of reality where live direct or indirect views of physical real-world environments are augmented with superimposed computer-generated images over a user’s view of the real-world, thus enhancing one’s current perception of reality (Reality Technologies, 2018). Unlike virtual reality, which requires you to occupy an entirely virtual environment, augmented reality uses your existing natural environment and simply overlays virtual information on top of it, see figure 2. As both virtual and real worlds coexist, users of augmented reality experience a new and improved natural world where virtual information is used as a tool to provide assistance in everyday activities.
Using VR and AR to enhance the learning process have become the recent idea in education. Adding a VR and AR element to a study make a learning experience more interesting and more immersive. Studying subjects that requires the students to understand complex data, particularly in the study of science, VR and AR can makes that task easier. VR and AR environment are implemented for teaching aid such as in virtual classroom, virtual library and virtual lab together with and augmented teaching aid. It presents information in a 3D form with the participant viewing the world from inside the world with the ability to interact with the information or world. Interaction with the objects can make the understanding of what we are learning much easier. For learners, they would be able to relate what they have read from books and experience personally it and not just visualising it.
VR and AR offers everything that good computer programs do, plus more. Well-made VR and AR worlds engage more of the learner’s senses and inherently appeal to different learning styles. Open University Malaysia (OUM) as open and distance learning (ODL) university, VR and AR can provide the learner and the tutors a VR classroom platform without physically being in a classroom. Using VR and AR to enhance the learning process have become the recent idea in education. VR and AR environment are implemented for teaching aid such as in virtual classroom, virtual library and virtual lab together with and augmented teaching aid. The objective is to introduce students to experimentation, problem solving, data gathering scientific interpretation in a totally safe environment and will open the mind of learners to a brand-new world of technology.
The delivery of knowledge and the education process has evolved during the last century and its evolution is bound to the technological revolution that is ever changing. Mobile learning (m-Learning) offers incredible opportunities, especially in the area of higher education. Mobile learning can be seen as an evolution of e-learning that allows teachers and students take advantage of mobile devices as a tool support the learning process. Mobile learning applications introduce a new method in the learning process.
There is a new generation of ICT-powered mobile learning experiences that is already existed but the experiences are limited. These growing in mobile learning experiences emerge while web-based learning, especially Learning Management Systems (LMS), are consolidated and widely adopted by learning institutions, teachers and learners. Mobile learning is not intended to replace e-learning or web based learning, but the mobile learning applications can be integrated seamlessly into the current e-learning process. The delivery of knowledge and the education process has evolved during the last century and its evolution is bound to the technological revolution.
myINSPIRE is a web-based e-learning platform to provide online learning environment in OUM. It enables OUM to manage, deliver course content and track online discussions between the learners and tutors. The tutors can upload course content, assessment items and other course materials and there is an online discussion forum that enables collaborative online learning to take place. Of course, to what extent you gain from the collaborative online learning depends on the quality of postings and active participation from you and your peers (OUM, 2016).
myINSPIRE has its own mobile version that are available in both major mobile devices, Android and Apple iOS. Its has already delivered its version of m-learning even though the experience is still limited and its just mirroring the e-learning and the web-based learning version. When it comes to the real practice of m-Learning there are many affecting factors including educators’ challenges of being familiar with new technology and the impacts of its use on learners. The level of readiness in m-Learning is still lower than the normal e-learning method and the way of delivering the learning process on m-learning are still limited. OUM could emphasis more on the delivering m-Learning process by develop tutors’ and students’ acceptance on it. According to Mohamed Amin Embi, 2013 the students’ positive acceptance of the use of the mobile phone in learning, indicating greater motivation, support, and convenience in learning. Also, the results of the study suggest m-Learning designed and developed scholastically and incorporating modular instruction and the dynamics of learning could prove to be an effective tool for distance learning.
All in all, the studies conducted on technology-based learning in general, and on m-Learning, in particular, are regarded as ground breaking and promising ones in Malaysia. However, in spite of the hype around how m-Learning can make learning and education more accessible and vigorous in the developing countries including Malaysia, as technology devices such as mobiles and tablets are viewed as the ‘personal computer’ of the students. OUM need to do more rigorous studies that are clear research findings and students’ real practice in classroom and also when they are on their own i.e. on m-Learning.
The increase in stability and speed of the internet connection has a deep impact in our daily life. How we communicate and doing our daily transaction like banking, shopping, getting our transportation and etc; has change dramatically within the past 10 years. Nowadays, online shopping is widely used by most of the internet users whether you are at home on your personal computer or on your mobile devices.
There are many shopping websites that are now easily access, such as Amazon, eBay.com, Alibaba.com, Lazada, Lelong.my, Shopee, mudah.my and many more. The growth of online market both from sellers and enthusiasts of online shopping continue to increase year to year. Consumer shopping preferences are key to successful transactions, both traditionally and online. Sellers need to be aware of their target consumer profile in deciding that sales are developed into the online market.
Shopping online is just like heading out to the store. You can buy all the same things from your home computer and can sometimes even get access to a better sale. There are numerous advantages in online shopping and here some of the advantages:
Simplicity of shopping online
Online shopping offer peace of mind and ease shopping mood to the consumer. This is because the consumer can shop at anytime they want without ever going to the actual shopping mall. The user also can browse through the product catalogue at their own leisure time as the product catalogue available through the online shopping website. When you shop online, you have to start by searching for a product you needed. This can be done by visiting a store’s website or, if you are not aware of any store that has the particular item you are looking for or you would like to compare prices between stores, you can always search for the items with a search engine and compare the results. Once customers have made their purchases, they can track the order status and the delivery status. All these can be done without ever leaving the house, there are no lines to wait in or shop assistants to wait on to help you with your purchases, and you can do your shopping in minutes. (Xaioxing, 2018)
Convenience of accessing to all products
Due to the borderless nature of internet, online shopping can provides almost all products in the internet and from all over the world. The user can browse through all products that are sold in the online shopping as the internet provides gateway not only to local online shopping mall but also other countries online shopping mall. The convenience in finding the product, time for shopping and free from buying pressure from the sell assistant, as the shopping was made at the consumer’s end. The consumer may also purchase overseas products that are not sold in Malaysia with online shopping.
Able to compare merchandise price and features
On major retail websites, companies and merchants will have pictures, descriptions and prices of the products that they have for sale. Most of online shop provides the tool for the potential buyer to compare every product price and price that they offering. With this feature the customer will be able to make better buying decision with less effort made because they can compare more than onbe product or other brand at one time.
Online shops give us the opportunity to shop shop all day, every day and furthermore reward us with a ‘no pollution’ shopping experience as we do not contribute to the carbon emission to the atmosphere by not utilising our car to head to the mall. There is no better place to purchase an informational products like e-books, which are available to you instantly, as soon as the payment goes through. Downloadable items purchased online eliminate the need for any kind of material goods at all, as well, which helps the environment! (Sasson, 2018)
Although online shopping offers many advantages to the costumer but additionally it does have some downfall. Some of the disadvantages of online shopping are:
Too many choice of products and piracy
As online shopping offers a variety of products and additionally offers the consumer with many choices of different brands of the same product and some product might not be a genuine product. This may invites confusion to the consumer in making their decision on buying the products as all the products may have similar features and characteristics even in a non-authentic goods.
Physical product inspection and delivery
Even though online shopping is very convenience to the consumer, however the consumer does not have the opportunity to feel, try and inspect the product before the purchase was made. Online shopping will only allow the consumer to rely on the product description and online catalogue that is displayed on the website. There will be no guarantee that the product bought online delivered on a good condition or the product is not as what it has been described on the website, the product in a different measurement and low in quality. The product could be damaged during the transport and might not arrive in time not at all (Deka, 2017).
Security and Privacy
There are many security concerns surrounding payment by credit card over the Internet. Online shopping involves not only online catalogue browsing and online order but it also involves electronic financial transaction usually with credit card or online bank payment. An online shopping provider are faced with threat such as phishing and IP spoofing on a daily basis, this is a major concerns for the consumers. The numbers of online shops hit by serious losses of customer data has doubled in recent years as hackers try to steal retails sites for valuable personal details such as credit card informations, customer and bank informations, e-mails, phone and etc. The theft will prompt concerns that personal informations of customers could be sold online to criminals.
Compulsive online shopping
All internet-related technologies have now greatly facilitated the emergence of problematic shopping behaviour because of factors such as accessibility, affordability, anonymity and convenience. It is no surprise that online shopping develops satisfaction in people who like a ton of variety. Plus, online stores can be access all the time and there is no “Closing Time”. This can lead to more regular cravings for shopping that can lead to financial problem if no control (Griffiths Ph.D., 2017).
Online shop sales are not going to slow down, and as a result, we might going to see more store closures but there are still plenty of very vibrant retail venues across the nation. Retail stores management and their tenants have always adapted to changing retail environments with creativity as well as access to the right commercial real estate research. One never knows what new physical shopping formats, concepts and ideas the future will bring (Kakar & Kakar, 2017).
Despite the fact that it is a fast growing trend, however it does not give a serious impact to the traditional type of shopping malls yet. Still a large number of consumer are opting for shopping mall because by shopping at the mall it gives the shoppers the opportunity to try the product before buying it and to experience the entertainment attraction that usually organised and provided by the shopping malls. Some online store imposed an additional delivery charges and some hidden charges to the products purchased by the customers and it is usually unknown by the buyers.
Online shopping is an alternative for shopping to the consumer and for the product that are unavailable locally. Hence, conventional shopping mall may still be the main preference for most of the majority of shopper.
Education is perhaps where multimedia has the most effective applications, as it enhances the learning process. OUM also has already established an effective e-learning environment the introduction of VR and AR can enhance the learning process. Mobile learning implementation need to be stronger than before to fully utilise the mobile technology that are accessible anywhere and anytime. Keeping everything up-to-date will maintains the durability of mobile learning.
The Internet is a great resource and can be a powerful tool for finding information, shopping, and communicating. The advantages of online shopping is definitely out-weight the disadvantages. But, just like everything else in life, we need to be careful when using it. Your information online can be easily be access by an unauthorised person, but if you take the proper precautions, this information theft will be unlikely to happen to us.
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