HeartVentures: How Multimedia Online Learning Preserves the Impact of Personal Instruction

Overview

Utilizing recent advances in the ability to combine video with animation in Flash MX from Macromedia, Polar Design developed a 9 CD multimedia course for Heartventures (approximately 8 hours of playing time) to assist individuals at risk of heart disease curb habits deleterious to their heart’s health.  The CDs conveyed through multimedia the same message with the same intensity delivered by HeartVenture’s founder, Dr. Gerald Evans, in personal training sessions since 2000.

Post-session testing revealed that participants who viewed only the CD exhibited similar rates of improvement as those who attended classes, demonstrating the power of multimedia to combine the message and emotion delivered in a classroom setting on a significantly less expensive CD that can be distributed to millions.

The Project

The project involved production of ten 45 minute CDs that combine video, animation, content and images in various combinations, utilizing a chapter format that allows a user to play straight through, stop the presentation, return to past chapters, or skip ahead to key chapters that are linked from an “index” button.  The extensive variety of content includes animations that illustrate heart health concepts with voiceovers, while others combine video with bullets or animations, all carefully timed.  Although designed for CD ROM, the presentation plays nearly as well over the Internet by utilizing Flash loading techniques.

Polar Design produced the entire CD, with the exception of actual in-studio video production.  Our work included video processing and editing, conversion of video to Flash, custom illustration of both abstract concepts and human anatomy, and custom animation of the above.

The screen shots shown below depict sample screens from the presentation.  The top screen shows an example of combining video with timed text / bullets.  The bottom screen features animations that are timed with a voiceover.

HeartVentures Hybrid Video and Text Interface Regarding Heart Disease

HeartVentures Animated Interface Regarding Coronary Repair Procedures

Result

By combining realistic video, engaging animation and carefully synchronized text in Flash format, HeartVenture’s content delivers its message in a highly engaging way, while at the same time remaining scalable and extendable to the web.  The project demonstrates the ability of multimedia to convey educational content in a format that leads to high retention in that all of the viewers’ senses are actively participating, and presenters’ emotion and delivery can be preserved with carefully combined video.

To see a portion of the courseware developed for the CD, please feel free the visit the online demo at http://presentation.heartventures.net.