Multimedia Introduction

Welcome to the course orientation for Workplace Safety. I am Penelope, your instructor for this course. I have 17 years’ experience, working as an instructional technology educator and instructional designer; with 9 years’ experience as a learning management system administrator.

For the first 20 years of my career, I was a registered nurse. I graduated from a hospital-based nursing program in 1976; earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing in 1992, and expect to graduate in December 2013 with a Master of Science in Instructional Design and Technology.

Instructor Information


Work Phone: 1-800-761-7536

Office Location: Lydia, Maryland

Office Hours: Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM Eastern

Contact: The best way to contact me is via email. I am online most days and will return your message within 48 hours. You may also call and leave a voice message on my phone. Issues of a personal nature should be addressed in an email message to me. For issues which may benefit the entire group, please use the Contact the Instructor section in the course site.

Notes: I am a native Marylander, having grown up eating steamed crabs, mountain mushrooms, Red Velvet cake, and other delicacies. My hobbies are listening to music, reading, and baking cakes. My most requested cakes are Red Velvet, Chocolate with Peanut Butter Icing, and Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing. I also enjoy camping with my family in our RV.

Please leave a comment on my blog, remembering to include your reasons for taking this course and what you hope to learn in the next eight weeks.

Click on the Play button to listen to this podcast:

To illustrate the possibilities for combining audio narration and multimedia, I created a speaking avatar for this introduction. An avatar is a character in a virtual world; often representing an actual person (Baker, Wentz, & Woods, 2009). This avatar is a representation of me, your instructor.

Avatars have the ability to engage online students in interactions with the instructor and other students (Baker et al., 2009, p. 59). In addition, the use of virtual world avatars helps to build a sense of community in the online environment (Steinkuehler & Williams, 2006; as cited in Baker et al., 2009, p. 59).

My introduction begins by having the avatar speak using narration typed into a text box on the Voki website (Voki, 2013). In the second half of my introduction, I uploaded a pre-recorded MP3 audio file, recorded in Audacity, a free digital audio editor (Audacity, 2013). Using a pre-recorded audio file allows for a longer introduction and adds a human touch to the speaking avatar. The audio for this last section was recorded as a podcast.


Audacity (2013, July 27). About audacity. Retrieved from

Baker, S. C., Wentz, R. K., & Woods, M. M. (2009). Using virtual worlds in education: Second life as an educational tool. Teaching of Psychology, 36, 59-64. DOI: 10.1080/00986280802529079

Voki (2013, July 27). Create speaking avatars and use them as an effective learning tool. Retrieved from


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