Going Multimodal in the Writing Classroom


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Going Multimodal in the Writing Classroom

  1. 1. Going ‘Multimodal’ in the Writing Classroom Bob Palmer, May 27, 2007 JALT Hokkaido Presentation Hokkai Gakuen University
  2. 2. Presentation Outline <ul><li>Game Show warm up to topic </li></ul><ul><li>Why this presentation </li></ul><ul><li>Overview/description of multimodal writing </li></ul><ul><li>Multimodal writing demos </li></ul><ul><li>WebQuest – background and rationale </li></ul><ul><li>Implementing WebQuest at HGU: students, challenges, evaluation, lessons learned </li></ul><ul><li>Closing comments </li></ul>
  3. 3. Why this presentation? <ul><li>Articles in Daily Yomiuri piqued interest </li></ul><ul><li>Formulaic essay seems out of touch with today’s world….why? </li></ul><ul><li>Is “good” writing linear and thesis driven? Should form dictate content? Cinderella story: Trying to jam different-sized feet into the same glass slipper </li></ul><ul><li>Many writing textbooks just plain boring  </li></ul>
  4. 4. A scene from your writing class?
  5. 5. What is multimodal writing? <ul><li>Various definitions </li></ul><ul><li>1. A single product comprising two or more media types (multimedia) </li></ul>Multimedia slide show, for example
  6. 6. What is multimodal writing? <ul><li>2. A multi-component project with each component composed in a different media (multiple ways or means of expression) </li></ul>Written Essay Voice Recording Photo Interview Movie
  7. 7. Examples of Multimodal Writing <ul><li>Oral history of a person </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Consists of interview, essay, and video </li></ul></ul><ul><li>‘ Communities’ writing theme </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Persuasive paper, brochure using color, pictures, and text </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Other projects using a combination of text, video, sound essay, slide show, music – Blogs are great for this </li></ul>
  8. 8. Multimodal Example 1 <ul><li>Start with a thought-provoking picture </li></ul>
  9. 9. Multimodal Example 1 <ul><li>Add scaffolding questions, tips </li></ul>
  10. 10. Multimodal Example 1 <ul><li>Product is a short story, recorded interview, and accentuating pictures </li></ul>
  11. 11. Multimodal Example 1
  12. 12. Multimodal Example 2: PhotoStory <ul><li>Start with text, perhaps a short story your students write </li></ul><ul><li>Unbelievable Reunion , by B. Palmer </li></ul><ul><li>Bob and Rob grew up in the same town but they had not seen each other since high school days. One day, however, they met in Sapporo while walking through Chiji Park. They were both teachers living in Sapporo but didn’t know it. Bob invited Rob to attend his speech presentation at Sapporo University. Everything was going well until….Suddenly, the sky turned black! A green-faced witch riding a broomstick screamed: “ !“ </li></ul>
  13. 13. Multimodal Example 2 <ul><li>Add still pictures that relate to the story </li></ul>
  14. 14. Multimodal Example 2 <ul><li>Voice record the story, add BGM and transitions – Voila! </li></ul>Unbelievable Reunion , by B. Palmer Bob and Rob grew up in the same town but had not seen each other since high school days. One day, however, they met in Sapporo while walking through Chiji Park. They were both teachers living in Sapporo but didn’t know it. Bob invited Rob to attend his speech presentation at Sapporo University. Everything was going well until….
  15. 15. What is a WebQuest? <ul><li>Inquiry-oriented activity </li></ul><ul><li>Most information used by learners is drawn from Web </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on using information rather than looking for it </li></ul><ul><li>Support learners’ thinking at levels of analysis, synthesis, and evaluation </li></ul>
  16. 16. A well-planned WebQuest has: <ul><li>Guidance for students </li></ul><ul><li>A creative end project with room for flexibility </li></ul><ul><li>Some tension or conflict that must be resolved </li></ul><ul><li>Links that help answer questions and add to the project </li></ul>
  17. 17. The WebQuest as Multimodal Writing <ul><li>WebQuests are often composed in PowerPoint, combining text with pictures, audio, and even video </li></ul><ul><li>WebQuests can also have discrete text, photo, and audio/video components </li></ul><ul><li>Not restricted to high tech – handwritten text, hand-drawn illustrations, tape-recorded narrations possible </li></ul>
  18. 18. Webquests: Are They For Me? <ul><li>Do you teach high school or college writing? </li></ul><ul><li>Do you teach in a computer lab or other networked environment (ideally)? </li></ul><ul><li>Are your students writing at the sentence or paragraph level? </li></ul><ul><li>Are you and your students losing motivation? </li></ul>
  19. 19. Rationale <ul><li>In many U.S. universities, the 5-paragraph essay is dying </li></ul><ul><li>Today’s buzzword is “multimodal” writing (see handout) </li></ul><ul><li>Products include videos, sound essays, PP presentations, brochures, flyers </li></ul><ul><li>WebQuests can incorporate any of these products </li></ul>
  20. 20. WebQuest Experts Speak Out <ul><li>Dr. Bernie Dodge, San Diego State U., creator of the WebQuest concept </li></ul><ul><li>Elementary school teacher speaking about her success with WebQuests </li></ul>
  21. 21. WebQuest Pluses <ul><li>Say goodbye to “teacher-speak” </li></ul><ul><li>Put the power of the Web behind your topic </li></ul><ul><li>Allow students to work at own pace, individually or in teams </li></ul><ul><li>Good WebQuests motivate students and make learning interesting </li></ul>
  22. 22. WebQuest Minuses <ul><li>Time : A good WebQuest takes lots of time to create, especially finding resources </li></ul><ul><li>Some Web-page editing skill is required </li></ul><ul><li>Students must be literate enough in English to read and process information on the Web </li></ul><ul><li>Shortage of basic-level WebQuests suitable for most Japanese EFL students </li></ul>
  23. 23. WebQuest Structure <ul><li>Most WebQuests have 5-6 steps, including: </li></ul><ul><li>Introduction : Orients students and captures their interest (the hook) </li></ul><ul><li>Task : Describes the end product </li></ul><ul><li>Process : Explains strategies students should use to complete the task </li></ul><ul><li>Resources : Web sites students will use to complete the task </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluation : Measures results of the activity </li></ul><ul><li>Conclusion : Sums up the activity, encourages students to reflect on process and results </li></ul>
  24. 24. Where Do I Start? <ul><li>Don’t reinvent the wheel – thousands of WebQuests online ! More here </li></ul><ul><li>Online WebQuest study sessions (Yahoo Groups) </li></ul><ul><li>Templates, other resources freely available </li></ul><ul><li>See list of links on presentation handout </li></ul>
  25. 25. “ A Trip to the Land Down Under” <ul><li>Part of an online graduate course </li></ul><ul><li>Collaborative effort with an ESL teacher in Australia </li></ul><ul><li>Each teacher responsible for one or more project areas </li></ul><ul><li>Includes real problems that must be resolved </li></ul><ul><li>Degree of success highly influenced by students’ English proficiency </li></ul>
  26. 26. And now… <ul><li>Let’s have a look at the featured WebQuest and some student projects </li></ul>
  27. 27. Meet the Players TEAM 1 TEAM 2 TEAM 3 TEAM 4
  28. 28. WebQuest Samples <ul><li>The WebQuest itself </li></ul><ul><li>Jack and Erina </li></ul><ul><li>Eri and Fumi </li></ul>
  29. 29. Student Feedback <ul><li>Constructivist principle: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ We learn by doing – but we learn even better by talking about what we did.” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Last year, students provided valuable feedback through an online survey </li></ul>
  30. 30. Lessons Learned – Action Plan <ul><li>Spend more time in one place, writing about it in greater detail </li></ul><ul><li>Shorten the stay to 1 week </li></ul><ul><li>Provide more concrete examples, such as the cost of a typical breakfast or lunch </li></ul><ul><li>Consider offering alternative destinations </li></ul><ul><li>Provide more detailed demonstration of each step </li></ul><ul><li>Guidance on do’s and don’ts in PowerPoint </li></ul><ul><li>Work on presentation skills </li></ul>
  31. 31. WebQuest Resources <ul><li>Selected links to WebQuest resources are on the handout </li></ul><ul><li>Download this presentation from jalthokkaido.net or eltportal.com </li></ul><ul><li>Questions? bpalmer AT gol.com </li></ul><ul><li>Thank you for attending this session, and I hope you will create and share your own WebQuests  </li></ul>