VCU Libraries

Research Guides

Develop Multimodal Assignments: a Faculty Guide

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

Examples of successful multimodal work by students and others

Below you can find good examples of multimodal work done in different media--primarily by students, but occasionally from others as well.  These are intended to serve as examples of work that stands out and that should be achievable by students at VCU.

Online multimodal compositions: blogs, web pages, multimodal essays

Coming soon:

  • Introduction to the medium
  • Links to the examples
  • Plus tools and guidance to help them produce these

Documentaries

Documentaries defined:

"Documentaries bring viewers into new worlds and experiences through the presentation of factual information about real people, places, and events, generally -- but not always -- portrayed through the use of actual images and artifacts. But factuality alone does not define documentary films; it's what the filmmaker does with those factual elements, weaving them into an overall narrative that strives to be as compelling as it is truthful and is often greater than the sum of its parts."

--Sheila Curran Bernard, Author of Documentary Storytelling

Examples of student-made documentary film projects:

Example #1: "Locked Out" by Hannah Carroll, Florida A&M University

Tools and Guidance for Creating Documentaries

Prezis/Powerpoints

What is Prezi?

Prezi is a visual presentation software and storytelling tool (not unlike PowerPoint) that allows users to present ideas with motion, zoom, and spatial relations on a virtual canvas.

What is PowerPoint?

PowerPoint is another--and perhaps the most famous--visual presentation software.  It allows users to create individual "slides" with text, images, animation, and sound. Note that there is a web-based version of PowerPoint as well.

Examples of good Prezis

agriMORE

The Amazing Human Body

World Business - Prezi Template

Examples of good PowerPoints

 

Tools and Guidance

Prezi:

PowerPoint:

 

Infographics

What is an Infographic?

An infographic is a quickly understood and clear visual representation of information, such as through diagrams, timelines, flowcharts, maps, word clouds, graphs, tables, and so on.

Examples

Charles Minard's map of Napoleon's 1812 campaign into Russia.

Metrorail System Map 2013

Other infographics examples:

Tools and Guidance

The most popular, and proven effective, organizational model is called L.A.T.C.H. (see  vimeo.com/17430125):

  • Location; organizing information based on space or place, such as a map
  • Alphabetical; if there’s no other prevailing strong organizational structure
  • Time; as in timelines, directions, or other sequential information
  • Category; types of information, like gender, music genre or product type
  • Hierarchy; as in tallest to shortest, most expensive to least, youngest to oldest

Sites to assist in creating infographics:

  • easel.ly - a few templates, fairly customizable, requires login, free
  • piktochart.com - a few templates, requires login, basic features free
  • infogr.am - a few templates, requires login, basic features free
  • creately.com - free diagram creator, many templates
  • gliffy.com - free diagram creator/editor, very customizable
  • dipity.com - free timeline creator, with many cool features
  • canva.com - many shared templates, customizable, requires login, free
  • prezi.com - pan and zoom canvas, requires login, basic features free
  • wordle.net - word cloud generator

Audio Files / Podcasts

What is a podcast or audio presentation?

A podcast is a talk or music program that is made available for download over the Internet.  Generally, podcasts proper are themed collections of such programs released in a series over (definite or indefinite) time.  Typically podcast files are downloaded directly by the listener or through the use of a "podcatcher" software that automatically pulls down new files to a local application which makes them available when the user is off-line.

Examples

TEDTalks podcast

Radiolab

15 Minute History (produced by students and faculty at The University of Texas at Austin)