Navigation can be defined as the act of going from one location to another. In multimedia this would generally mean clicking on links to move through various screens or documents. After all, one of the benefits of multimedia is allowing users easy access to a wide variety of information. However, without an effective navigational layout that information can be impossible to find.

In instructional situations navigation allows users to move through the information you have provided for them. There are many different types of navigation options that can be presented to learners, from sequential to hierarchical to search-based. How you set up this navigation determines what information they encounter, the sequence in which they encounter it, and the pace at which they go through it. The elements that make up your instructional program can be orchestrated in such a way that they are presented to the user in a linear fashion, or they can be set up in such a way that the user can choose to navigate through the content in a nonlinear fashion. In other words, the navigation structure helps determine the amount of control afforded to the learners over their own learning.

For example, if you create a simple slide show in which the user progresses in a linear fashion, with no option to select what they want to view, then they don't really have much control over the content or the sequence. On the other hand, if they are presented with a comprehensive menu and allowed to choose what materials they encounter then they have more control over the content and the sequence.

For this competency we'd like for you to play around with your authoring program's various ways of creating navigation. Depending on the authoring software you are using, here are some LinkedIn Learning tutorials we recommend that you go through. These tutorials may cover more than just navigation, so don't worry if you pick up extra skills along the way. Once again, keep in mind that the names of the tutorials may differ slightly depending on which set of tutorials you are using.

PowerPoint Introduction: Templates and the Slide Master
Advanced: Creating Hyperlinks
Dreamweaver Creating Links and Anchors
Using Image Maps
Creating a Frameset
Web Pages in Framesets
Frame Link Destinations
Flash Transforming and Grouping Vector Shapes
Importing Artwork and Working with Bitmaps
Converting an Object to a Graphic Symbol
Creating Button Symbols
Creating a Movie Clip Symbol
Other programs Creating interactivity with interactions

Navigation Activity

When you've explored your authoring program's various ways of creating navigation, we'd like you to demonstrate your ability to create different navigation options for users. How you accomplish this will differ depending on the program you are using.

To start with, create a main screen with some sort of title and introductory text. Below that there should be a main menu that allows users to choose between several different courses of action. It's up to you how you create this menu. However, keep in mind the following limitations:

  • There should be at least three separate options for the user.
  • The menu should be graphical in nature. You could use three separate buttons, or perhaps an image map of some sort. You should not use plain text links.

Each of the options available on the main menu should lead users to a new page or screen. These separate screens should contain the following:

  • Each of the screens should have a title at the top that corresponds with the button from the main menu. It doesn't have to be an identical match, but it should be obvious to the user that the button they selected led them to the correct place.
  • One of the pages should have a block of text as the content.
  • One of the pages should have a single graphic on it as the content.
  • One of the pages should have both a block of text and a graphic as the content.
  • Each page should have some sort of background image (it can be the same on each page).
  • Below the content on each page, there should be a button to allow users to go back to the main page. Don't leave them hanging!

Finally, include your name somewhere on the main screen.

Submitting your Activity

Save this activity in your program's native file format. Name the file "navigation". Depending on the program you are using, you will end up with one of the following types of files:

  • Flash MX - fla (navigation.fla)
  • PowerPoint - ppt or pptx (navigation.ppt or navigation.pptx)
  • Dreamweaver - htm or html (navigation.htm or navigation.html)
  • Other programs - swf or other supported export formats (navigation.swf)

After you have saved the file, go to the student interface and submit your assignment for grading. Click here if you need additional information regarding submission of your assignment.

Assignment: Navigation Activity

Grading Criteria:

  • Main screen includes title and introductory text.
  • Main screen includes graphical menu with at least three options.
  • Each menu option leads to a new screen.
  • Each new screen has a title at the top. Title should match the menu item from the main screen.
  • One of the screens has a block of text as the content.
  • One of the screens has a single graphic as the content.
  • One of the screens has a block of text and a graphic as the content.
  • Each screen includes some sort of background image (it can be the same on each page).
  • Each screen includes a button that leads back to the main screen.
  • Student's name included somewhere on the main screen.