A keynote presentation ("Intro to Multimodal Composition") given to instructors at Colorado State University attending a curriculum redesign workshop for the CO300 Writing Arguments course. Given May 24, 2010.
Major question that visual rhetoric asks us to understand is: how do visuals (photos, videos, ads, etc.) make meaning? How does the context of publication, the juxtaposition of elements in a visual text, the use of color and framing, foreground and background, all contribute to what the text is saying to readers? As writing instructor, I’m primarily interested in how “authors” make meaning using visuals to reach particular audiences, and within particular contexts and purposes. In other words, how can a writer use visuals to persuade a reader? 6yo CD used to introduce visual rhetoric to students in writing classes.
13 “everyday” terms based on theoretical models: Kress, Kostelnick & Roberts, Williams, others in the bib THREE PARTS (mini-textbook) define the term using an example analyze a visual text using the term(s) offer an assignment with a different example where student has to analyze the visual text using the term [NO royalties] show you some examples (5 minutes) … [REQUESTS??] when we created IX, we made it for multimodal projects (updating for that), which comes from The New London Group’s book “Multiliteracies”
moved from visual and some aural to multimodal – as a theory for teaching and analyzing texts. 1999 was a breakthrough year in this research when The New London Group published Multiliteracies: Literacy Learning and the Design of Social Futures. Publication of this book, accompanied by similar research in the humanities and sciences, helped to dramatically increase the attention that the teaching of visual literacy received in college classrooms. My primary interest in this book coalesced in the rise of personal computing and desktop publishing, of both print and web-based texts. As a PhD student with a background in poetics, electronic literature, the relationship between word and image, basic web design, and rhetoric, this book helped me to understand that writing towards a specific audience, purpose, and context didn’t have to just mean writing. With personal computers, writers, including the students I was teaching to write, could learn to compose visuals just as they were learning to compose with words.
(screenshot = detailed view of how they explain what multimodality is). let’s look closer….
5 “modes of meaning” as outlined by the NLG all texts are multimodal
have to analyze texts that use modes of meaning that are different from what students are used to. (really, any text, because we assume…) analysis EX: Murmuring Insects (3 min) (in ix) [full analysis of this, ask me] issues to consider when teaching multimodal literacies production EX: Video CFP (show, then explain class on next slide
teaching English 239: Multimodal Composition students have made varieties of genres (websites, video poems, etc.) most successful classes scholarly multimedia (“webtexts”), for particular publication venues Kairos, digital book collection have had a chapter and two collaborative student projects accepted for publication to complete these projects, students perform a series of analyses to help prepare themselves to compose their own pieces *** groupwork, using whatever technologies and media and modes of meaning they need to be persuasive to the audience they’ve identified. `
Kuhn + 2 (1) based on Virginia Kuhn’s Four Components of Scholarly Multimedia (USC’s honors theses assessment criteria) (2) Kairos manifesto special issue peer-review criteria (3) Warner’s heuristic on evaluating scholarly webtexts for T&P
based on a genre studies approach to writing this is based on MY knowledge and expertise…
going back to the issues of teaching texts using multiple media, drawbacks depends on -- what the teacher knows -- access (school, home) -- # of students (non-traditionals) -- kind of class? (I’m not sure… Business civic engagement pitches, Science posters, Politics & Govt blogging)
in the end, have to do what works for you. Start small, discuss pedagogy with other teachers, form an on-campus peer-review group
Thank you. Questions? Questions raised from CSU MAD workshop: How do I keep myself from being too excited? How to incorporate the adv. rhetorical readings? What is multimodal comp & how do I do it? How do we turn something we don’t want to do into something we do want to do? How can multimodality reinvigorate our teaching? How does technology help us teach? (It’s not just an add-on) How will we “do” this? How do we assess it? How do we teach this when the students in K-12 are already doing some of this? What are digital natives? Do they exist? How do I use a theme with multimodal comp? How do I use a textbook in CO300? How do I balance being prescriptive in grading and being descriptive? How do I put this all together???? How do I transfer what I know about writing to multimodal comp? What about plagiarism? How do I deal with students’ citing YouTube, etc.? What about Fair Use? How do I teach “aesthetics” in a writing class? Do I? Is there a difference between rhetoric and aesthetics when we talk about mm writing? Who is leading the charge on mm comp? How do we balance student-centered instruction with maybe what we’re used to? How do we teach mm comp in an infrastructure that doesn’t support what we might want? How does this actually HAPPEN?
"Multimodal Argument Decoded" Keynote Speech
Introduction to Multimodal Composition Dr. Cheryl E. Ball Illinois State University email@example.com | ceball.com
Benefits of Scholarly Multimedia <ul><li>real genres & audiences </li></ul><ul><li>real-world assessment criteria </li></ul><ul><li>productive peer-review workshops </li></ul><ul><li>contingency of textual production </li></ul><ul><li>transfer </li></ul><ul><li>investment </li></ul><ul><li>fun (and also hard) </li></ul><ul><li>EX: http://ceball.com/classes/239 </li></ul>
Issues in Teaching Multiliteracies <ul><li>analysis / production </li></ul><ul><li>digital / analog </li></ul><ul><li>high / low tech </li></ul><ul><li>open / closed assignments </li></ul><ul><li>individual / group assignments </li></ul>
What Works For You? <ul><li>What language do you use to describe texts in your field? Transfer? </li></ul><ul><li>What assignments/options would work as “multimodal”? Student ideas? </li></ul><ul><li>What can your students teach you? </li></ul><ul><li>What assessment criteria can you co-create with students? </li></ul><ul><li>Who are technological allies on campus? </li></ul><ul><li>What free software is available? </li></ul>