VCU Libraries

Research Guides

Develop Multimodal Assignments: a Faculty Guide

Resources and guidance to assist faculty in assigning and assessing multimodal/multimedia projects.

Definition

From the curriculum document:

Multimodal compositions, as defined by Selfe and Takayoshi, are “texts that exceed the alphabetic and may include still and moving images, animations, color, words, music and sound.” For our purposes multimodal compositions must include written or verbal language and at least one other communicative mode. Students engaged in multimodal work will develop the understanding that meaning is not constructed solely through language.

--Selfe, Cynthia and Pamela Takayoshi. “Thinking about Multimodality” from Multimodal Composition: Resources for Teachers. Cynthia Selfe, ed. New York: Bedford St. Martin, 2007.’

Typical Multimodal Assignments

From UNIV 111:

  • Course outcomes include the ability of students to:
    • create an online presence appropriate to their learning community (Writing Proficiency).
    • engage in analysis of a multimodal text (Critical Thinking).
    • demonstrate a habit of citation in written work and oral presentation, including sources of images and video (Information Fluency).
    • make informed decisions regarding issues of privacy on the open web (Ethical and Civic Responsibility).
    • recognize how an online platform can facilitate connected and / or collaborative learning (Collaborative Learning).

From UNIV 112:

  • Course outcomes include the ability of students to:
    • transfer considerations of audience, context, and purpose across media (Writing Proficiency).
    • distinguish between different formats of information (Information Fluency).
    • engage in online collaboration (Collaborative Learning).
  • Unit 1 assignment:
    • a multimodal analysis - shaped to consider the needs of audience and purpose - that includes a claim, reasons, and evidence.

From UNIV 200:

  • Unit 4 assignment--Focus on Multimodal Composition.  Students will be able to:
    • Recognize that argument can be conveyed in multiple mediums
    • Consider the relationship between purpose and audience and make appropriate choices
    • Consider the relationship between form and function and what will be required to convey argument in a new medium
    • Distill and convert the argument into a new medium
    • Reflect on how argument transcends any particular project
  • Requirements include:
    • A remediation of the semester’s research that is shared in a public forum.
    • A reflective letter of a minimum of 1000 words (3 pages) in which students explain their process (throughout course) and/or think critically about the conversion of the argument into a new form. Additional research is not required.

Example Assignments:

  • Coming soon.

Other Multimodal Assignments

Other classes also provide opportunity for multimodal/multimedia assignments, such as:

  1. Adding audio narration to Powerpoint presentations
  2. Recording a podcast, vlog, PSA or videocast for a class assignment
  3. Editing short video projects such as a speech or class presentation
  4. Creating and practicing group presentations
  5. Interviews
  6. Studying or working collaboratively
  7. Viewing academic media as a small group