Explaining multimodality

In the Comments, place a link to your online text. If it’s not accessible online, upload it to the course dropbox, which you should have just gotten an email about in your ilstu account. Let me know if you have questions.

For homework, leave a Comment responding to these two questions:

  1. What other concepts/ideas about multimodality do you have questions about? What else would you have included in your presentation but didn’t have time?
  2. If you had to revise your group’s presentation, what would you do differently?


12 thoughts on “Explaining multimodality

  1. Jenna Salak

    some things I would like to know more about in terms of multi-modality is a specific case when it has been used in order to convey a practice or belief of one culture and translated so another culture may understand. I feel unsure as to how this is done? Is it multimedia, written text, or spoken word?
    I have been thinking about the different types of multi modality and am wondering if facebook is considered a form of multimodal composition? Since discussing in class that blogs are considered to be, I thought that facebook would be as well.
    Something I would have like to have added to our groups presentation would be examples of what each person was describing, which is how I came about asking my first question to this post.
    If I could change anything about our groups presentation, I would have liked to have been able to sync all of the videos into one, or had some sort of better transition from one speaker to the next. I think that our videos were different because of the effects we could use with the lens, but otherwise thought that our information was delivered in a dull manner.

  2. Chris Krueger

    After the reading and presentations I feel like i have a pretty good grasp of multimodality. I understand why it has become an important topic to study and be able to use in everyday life. I am not really sure what questions I have but I think more will come up once we really delve into the subject. I would really like to be able to study the key design concepts because as a future technical writer I think those would be very helpful.
    If we had more time to work on the presentations I would like to have studied the text more and been able to pull out more examples. I would have also liked more time to play around with Prezi because no one in our group had ever used it so we only figured out the basics. I think if we had a better understanding of the program we could have included more information in a more visually pleasing way.

  3. Brian Sorenson

    I feel that my understanding of what multimodality is is strong, That said, I still would be curious to find out more about the history of alternative forms of writing. We have learned that multimodal composition has existed far before the existence of the personal computer, so what then was the impetus for its birth? This ties together what I would have included in my group’s presentation were we given more time: to what does multimodal composition owe for its existence?

    Cohesion is always difficult to achieve when you’re given a task with a short amount of time to complete it as well as when you’re partnered with people you’re not used to working with. That said, were I tasked with changing my group’s presentation, I would try to make ours more of a collaboration that mirrored the vision of all members equally, instead of choosing something that one of us thought up and we ran with for the sake of saving time.
    Further, I would have included more examples from our text that highlighted the points we were making, along with real life instances of multimodality in use today that exemplifies the medium and the benefits gained from its use.

  4. Beth Keller

    I found the NCTE Guidelines reading very interesting because it shows how teachers are trying to incorporate multimodal techniques into their teachings. My question is : Are there specific schools that are having their instructors incorporate these teaching techniques or is it solely up to them whether they believe it is a more effective way of learning? Will this form of teachings begin in the kindergarten level because younger generations have access to the internet? Will instructors have to have certain training in order to teach with these methods? For example, if they do not already know how to work certain applications such as Dreamweaver, will they have to take a class to be able to teach it?

    If I was to change our group presentation, I would do that things mentioned already by Jenna. I wish we could have compiled the videos together. Since the information was a bit dry and hard to understand, I think adding more visuals in the background might keep the interest of the reader better. I think including one of the diagrams in the readings would have helped with the different sections covered. Overall, I would have done something different because I think being able to see the terms we were talking about written out, might help the student grasp the idea because we were throwing out so up information at once, just talking about it might not be the most effective way. I would have set it up like a text message conversation where the sender could ask a question and the receiver would answer with written out explanations and could also send pictures.

  5. Jess Krist

    After the discussion from class last week and listening/ watching the presentations, I think I have a better understanding of what mulitmodality is. I feel like almost anything can be considered multimodal, it seems to be one of those things that exist and we aren’t even conscious of it being thing. Before last weeks class, I would have never guess that gestures or the use of space could be considered under the category multimodal. Its now clear that multimodal does not specifically involve images on a computer or anything technical.

    Regarding any changes I would have made into our presentation, I’d probably say that I wish we dived more into the NCTE Guidelines. However, I liked that my group incorporated and tried to fuse the information from the text book and the webpage into our presentation. Time was clearly a big factor in class last week, so there wasn’t much leeway for adding extra slides to our presentation. I found the NCTE Guidelines interesting because it encompassed so many different ways teachers are attempting to bring multimodality into the classroom and how that has an affect on their students. I wish we had talked more about how multimodality affects each of us as students in classes.

  6. Kristina Mowers

    I do believe that I understand what multimodal communication is. Quite literally, it can be almost any texts that surround us in everyday life. I don’t have any specific questions, but I am very interested to see how it can/will be taught to young children in schools. I suppose I’m most interested if this is a large trend with many teachers and how effective it is with the children who study it. After learning about it, does it give children a better understanding of things like advertisements? Can it help them understand the rhetoric behind certain texts in their everyday environments? Other than that, I don’t have any conceptual questions. More than anything like that, I’m just excited and curious to see how the rest of the class turns out and what new ways I personally might learn about communicating.

    I think that within the hour we were given, our presentation came out decently. However, I think that our presentation could have been a bit more informational and a lot more exciting if we were given more time. This would have allowed us to review the material and pick out more important concepts and also make a more innovative visual. I’m sure if we had longer than an hour we could have come up with something a little less cut and dry than a Prezi slide show.

  7. Chris Snyder

    I think that the presentations we did in class last week helped a good deal to explain what multimodality is and how it can be used. I liked how each ground though of their own creative way to express what they had to get across.
    I think that if we had more time we would have definitely added some more creative touches to our presentation. Though I’m not 100% on exactly what that would be but I’m willing to bet it would have been more interesting than 5 people just reading off a sheet or paper or simply reiterating what they have just read. That’s not to say that I wasn’t pleased with my ground, I was. We got everything done and we were all on board with the idea of what we were doing.
    I think if we were to revise our presentation, we would have made it more linear. Everything that was recorded would have been looked over by the group to make sure it all ran together and actually said something about the topic. We probably would have gone to a quiet room and created some sort of atmosphere that made it easier to complete. But if I had to choose any one revision it would definitely be the concise, linear approach. I was really glad we went with the video blog style of relaying the information.

  8. Kasha Henricks

    I believe that through the reading and presentation I have gained a greater understanding of what multimodality is and what aspects of life it can be applied to. One point within the readings that I am curious about is the application of multimodality in the classroom. I understand that teachers have naturally started to evolve into using multimodality in all aspects of learning but are the schools encouraging it? At some point I feel the use of multimodality will be made mandatory in a classroom to help students learn. Many students learn though multiple paths, for example some learn visually while other learn through audio. If the schools are not currently encouraging or forcing teachers to use multimodality why not? And what are the odd this will change in the future? if there was something we could add to our presentation I think it would be more examples on applying multimodality in the classroom. I am aware that many of the students within the class are education majors and introducing them to more forms of multimodality could be beneficial for the future.
    I feel that for the time allotted to create our presentation it turned out nicely. That being said I feel that a PowerPoint presentation is typical. In the future I would like to explore other options for presenting information and learn how to use more dynamic visuals. For example, the prezi form of presentation is something that I have not seen before and would like to become more educated in that program and others like it.

  9. Erin Lentz

    Another concept about multimodality that I still have a question about is pedagogy, I am still a little bit confused with what that means and entails. I would have included more visual aspects to the presentation including video, pictures and even sound. We did have one of these on most slides but I feel we could have been more creative with it and perhaps had less words to make it more exciting for the rest of the class.
    If I had to revise my groups presentation I would maybe choose a different way besides the traditional power point presentation. If we had more time I am sure we could have been more creative with what program we were using but we all new how to use power point and we didn’t want to waste too much time figuring out different programs when we had more important work to accomplish. I still liked our end product even though we just used power point however by using a different program it could be more interactive and keep the audiences attention better.

  10. Bridget Clemens

    1.) I really enjoyed the spur-of-the-moment group projects that we did last week, because I think the time constraint forced us to really focus on what was most important or stood out to us most. While there is obviously much more to learn about multimodality, I think we got a great, “condensed” version of it that really helps us to have an overall better understanding of the concept.

    I don’t necessarily have specific questions at this point, only because I know there is SO much I DON’T know yet, and I only have a very basic understanding of the concept of multimodality at this point. I am excited to see how the concepts we discussed last week in class will expand, and I look forward to learning new ways of utilizing multimodality to make all of my work more unique and exciting.

    2.) I liked the idea behind our group project, and thought it would have been really cool had we had a bit more time. If we had more time, I think it would have been a bit more thought-out and organized. Since we all worked separately most of the time, and since we all have different styles, the finished product was a bit choppy. But, I think it has the potential to be a cool presentation! 🙂

  11. Casey Kilroy

    While I understand that all forms of multimodality are useful in their own way, I am curious as to which forms can communicate most efficiently to a specific audience. For example, maybe the younger generations are more responsive to a visual medium and not so much so to a written one; while perhaps some of the older generations are responsive to written media and not so much visual. I think knowing this (how the targeted demographic responds to a certain composition of media) would definitely improve the content and presentation of a specific piece of media.
    If I had to revise our group’s presentation I would probably start with the medium we used to present; powerpoint. However, even though it seemed as if the other groups used a more creative way to present, I think that our group did an excellent job in using powerpoint to convey our message while still using a relatively diverse number of mediums (including visual, audio, and video). Considering the little time we were given to come up with this presentation, I think that using something the whole group was familiar with (powerpoint) was a better choice than quickly trying to learn a new program and throwing together an unorganized and unappealing presentation.


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