Over the past few years, multimedia technology has clearly begun to make solid in roads into specialized segments within the business sector. Companies have been quick to leverage the inherent benefits of multimedia technology to enhance and support a number of key business functions, including: employee training and learning (Fox, 1994; Moad, 1994), business presentation support (Spangler, 1993; Taylor, 1993), and business sales and marketing (Perey, 1994; Trumfio, 1994). Though it is clear that multimedia technology has gained a solid technological foothold in the business sector, what is unclear is what the higher-level education sector is doing to address the growing interest in multimedia technology. If one of the objectives of high-level business education is to provide students with the theoretical background, technical skill, and business knowledge to be effective in the fast-paced and dynamic world of information processing, should not the colleges and universities be taking steps now to integrate multimedia concepts into their existing information systems curriculum? This question needs to be answered the faculty and administrators at colleges and schools of business. According to the Data Processing Management Association (DPMA) which organized a task force to update Information Systems curriculum, "Revision of Information Systems curriculum have been driven by technology" (DPMA, 1990). But, in order for educators to begin taking steps to introduce new technologies like multimedia into their course curriculum, they must firmly believe that and that these are stable technologies and that know how of these technologies will be required by their graduates to function successfully in the business sector. This research effort will study the perceptions of information systems faculty concerning the importance that should be accorded to the introduction and utilization of multimedia technologies in business schools. Is multimedia something that deserves increased attention -or is it just another passing technological fad that has no relevance to business and education? Studies undertaken at Wharton's Applied Research Center and the University of Minnessota's Management Information Systems Research Center found that when visuals are added, retention increases by 10 percent and persuasiveness of the presentation by 43 percent (Johnson, 1989). General Electric has implemented a multimedia based training system which uses experience-based scenarios, and incorporates familiar language, people, places and things to convey the message. This system has proved greatly successful (Sipior & Townsend, 1993). a study of six organizations from different industries by Effy & White (1993) showed that multimedia training is highly effective and that it is not industry specific. Multimedia can improve simulation based training which is based on the principle of learning by doing (Schank, 1993). Interactive multimedia can include information in different media and can help to enhance performance by facilitating self-monitoring, data feedback and positive reinforcement (Bretz and Thompsett, 1992). From the foregoing review, it is clearthat multimedia is being increasingly used in businesses as well as in the educational sector. Since multimedia is expected to have a big impact on education, the perceptions of the educators regarding this new set of technologies will result in the adoption or lack thereof of this technology in business schools and colleges. This research effort studies the perceptions of information systems faculty concerning the importance that should be accorded to the introduction and utilization of multimedia technologies in business schools. The study attempts to find out whether information systems faculty see multimedia as a technology that will have a great impact and whether multimedia is something that deserves increased attention -or whether it is just another passing technological fad that has no relevance to business?
Beatty, Bob and Prabhakar, Bipin, "Multimedia -Is it a Fad?Perceptions of Information Systems Faculty" (1995). AMCIS 1995 Proceedings. 126.