Integrating multimodal compositions into the thesis writing process<br />A Culminating Project Submitted to the <br />College of Education<br />In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the<br /> Degree of Masters of Arts in Education<br />University of Findlay<br />2011<br />
Introduction<br />Learning to write academically is a struggle for students<br />Recent studies show that writing is directly correlated to academic, occupational and social success in the United States.<br />
Problem Statement<br />Getting off to the right start – writing a thesis statement<br />A thesis statement should be treated as a writing guide<br />Functions as a tool to discovery<br />
This study will investigate if the integration of a multimodal composition will enhance students’ ability to create and develop a concise, focused thesis statement to begin working with, thereby allowing for more ease and overall success throughout the writing process.<br />
What is a multimodal composition?<br />Multimodal texts are texts that exceed the alphabetic and may include still and moving images, animations, color, words, music and sound.<br />
Context<br />The study will be conducted by assessing the writing habits of two advanced placement classes of high school juniors. <br />Hypothesis: It is hypothesized that if students become interested and focused on a topic through the integration of a multimodal composition at the beginning of the writing process that they will be more successful in the later stages, and that their overall final drafts will yield better academic results.<br />
Review of Literature<br />However, the acknowledgement of the fact that the concept of literacy is expanding to include multimodal compositions and texts, is not to say the skills of reading and writing are no longer effective in society, just that they that might not be as effective. (Walsh, 2008).<br />
Review of Literature<br />“To participate in a global society, we continue to extend our ways of communicating. Viewing and visually representing (defined in the NCTE/IRA Standards for the English Language Arts) are a part of our growing consciousness of how people gather and share information. Teachers and students need to expand their appreciation of print and non-print texts. Teachers should guide students in constructing meaning through creating and viewing non-print texts.” (NCTE as cited in Selfe, 2007 p.7)<br />
Design<br />Class A (receiving intervention)<br />Class Time: 8AM to 8:50 AM<br />20 Students<br />7 boys; 13 girls<br />Most students were receiving A’s and B’s in their coursework up until the point of the intervention.<br />Class B<br />Class Time: 3rd Period Class<br />22 Students <br />8 boys; 14 girls<br />Students in the class were also mainly receiving A’s and B’s in their coursework. <br />
Explanation of Procedures<br />Students in Class A received the intervention and spent one week completing a multimodal project, specifically aimed at helping them construct their thesis. <br />Students in Class B who were not receiving the intervention spent the same amount of time working on traditional graphic organizers and receiving lectures to help them develop a working thesis statement.<br />
Figure 5: <br />During Test Survey Assessment (Class A)<br />Figure 6: <br />During Test Survey Assessment (Class B)<br />
Surveys<br />Class B: Post Survey Results:<br />“collecting my thoughts”, “putting it into words”, “trying to support both good and bad sides”, “making it specific”, “not rambling”, “had trouble explaining myself”, “staying on topic”, “making it sound convincing while putting my views into it” and “what to make it about” <br />Class A:<br />Students in Class A reported experiencing very few difficulties writing their thesis statements with only one student noting he or she had any difficulties. In fact, the overwhelming majority of students in Class A reported that the integration of the multimodal project not only helped them write their thesis statements but it also was an enjoyable experience .<br />
Discussion<br />Encountered issues with video production and technology<br />Weather delays and assemblies<br />
Conclusion<br />“Overall, I think this was a difficult, yet rewarding assignment. Although I ran into many issues with the software that we used, when my project was complete, <br />I was very proud of my work. I think that I approached my topic from a good angle and my PSA was a strong reflection of this. I did not insist that my viewers took a side on the issue. I simply wanted to educate them. The use of technology in presentations will be vital, especially within the next few years of our education, and I think that this assignment was very beneficial .”<br />
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