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DISCOVERINGANEWEDGEOFLITERACY 1

DiscoveringaNewEdgeofLiteracy:

FLE101FinalPortfolio

EmanAlhajji

NorthCarolinaStateUniversity


DISCOVERINGANEWEDGEOFLITERACY 2

DearJuliana,

FLE101wasaveryfruitfulclass.IfacedalotofchallengesthatI,withyourgreat

support,successfullysurmounted.Ihavelearnedfromexperiencethatprofessorscouldindeed

makeadifferencebytheiroutstandingperformancesasinstructorsleadingtheirstudentstolearn

deepconceptsinameaningfulwayandtoapplythemintheirdailylives.I,sincerely,foundyou

oneoftheserareteachers,whodonotjustteachuswhattolearnbutalsoteachushowtolearn.

Yourencouragementtaughtustocaremoreaboutwhatwelearnedthanwhatgradeweearned.I

clearlysawthatwhenyouencouragedustoemailyouwheneverwefeltconfusedevenifthe

deadlineofaprojecthadalreadypassed.Ialsosawthatwhenyouextendedthedeadlinesand

gaveusopportunitiestoreviseourworkbothinprojectoneandfive,andwhenyougaveus

detailedfeedbacks,givingusinsightintoanewlevelofknowledge.FLE101wastheplace

wheremyclassmatesandIbenefitedthemosttocontinuediscoveringmoreaboutourliteracy

development.

Inmyjourneyofdiscoveringanewedgeofliteracy,projecttwowasthemostchallenging

projectbecausewritingaproposalitselfwasanewthingthatrequiredmetoexploreanewtopic.

IwasoverwhelmedbytheresearchpapersIreadandfeltlikeIwasfailing.Withyourinspiring

words,IeventuallysurvivedandevengotagradeofA.Projecttwowasboththehardestandthe

strongest.Thus,itistheonethatIammostproudofbecauseitistheoneinwhichIlearnedthe

mostbysufferingthemost.However,projectthreewastheeasiestbecausewehadtotakeavery

structuredapproachinwritingthepaper,whereyouwalkedusstepbystepintheprocess.Whenit
DISCOVERINGANEWEDGEOFLITERACY 3

comestocreativity,projectoneandfivewerethemostartisticprojects,wherewehadmore

spacetoexpressourthoughts.

Ihavegrownverymuchasawriterthissemester.Ilearnedthatneatresearchpapers

usuallyhidealotofitslimitationsbehinditsbeautifullywrittenwords.Itisliterallytheartof

persuadingotherstobelieveinawayofthinkingortotakeanactiontowardaspecificclaimby

applyingthethreeappeals:

Inprojectone,Ilearnedbasicprinciplesofrhetoricanddevelopedanunderstandingof

writingasthinkingandtextsasargumentsgeneratedforparticularpurposes,audiences,and

rhetoricalcontexts.Inprojecttwo,Ilearnedhowtofindandevaluateprintandelectronicsources

appropriateforacademicresearchprojects.Inprojectthree,Ilearnedhowtodeveloporiginal

argumentsforarangeofacademicpurposes.Iwasgiventheopportunitytoconductaresearch

study,whereIlearnedhowtocollectdatausingGoogleForm,howtocreatedifferenttypesof

graphsusingGoogleSpreadsheetandhowtoeffectivelyintegratethemintotheresearchpaper.

Inprojectfour,myunderstandingofenteringtheconversionofscholarsbeingpartof

TheySay,ISayhasmatured.Iexaminedsimilaritiesanddifferencesinformsofinquiryand

writingacrossacademicdisciplines.Ialsopracticedanalyticalreadingstrategiesandimproved

theabilitytosummarize,paraphrase,drawevidencefrom,synthesize,andrespondtothe

scholarshipofothers.Ipracticedcriticallyevaluatingmyownandothersworkandcollaborating

effectivelywithotherwritersthroughoutthewritingprocess.Foremost,Ilearnedthatneat

researchpapersusuallyhidealotofitslimitationsbehinditsbeautifullywrittenwords.Itis

literallytheartofpersuadingotherstobelieveinacertainwayofthinkingortotakeanaction
DISCOVERINGANEWEDGEOFLITERACY 4

towardaspecificclaimbyapplyingthethreeappeals:ethos,pathosandlogo.Inprojectfive,I

successfullyappliedthethreeappealstoconveymymessage.Attheendofthisjourney,this

portfolioenabledmetorefinetechnicalskillsinareassuchasgrammar,mechanics,andsource

documentation.

WhenIlookbackatwhereIstartedandwhereIamnow,Icantellthatthisjourneywasa

journeyofexploringanewedgeofliteracy,andIamlookingforwardtobeginanotherjourneyof

exploration.Thankyou!


DISCOVERINGANEWEDGEOFLITERACY 5

IntroductiontoProjectOne

Throughthisproject,Ilearnedthatreadingandwritingarenotassimpleasthings

consistingofletters,buttheyaremethodsofcommunicatingideaswithinonesinnerandouter

world.Projectonehelpedmedevelopmyunderstandingofwhatacademicwritingis.Isawhow

theconceptofWritingisthinkingcouldbeapplied.Isuccessfullyexplainedwhatthemost

importantaspectsformyliteracydevelopmentwere,andhowtheyexplainthewriterIam

today.ThisprojectseemedatfirsttobehardbecauseIhadverylimitedtimetocompleteit

comparingtothepapersIwroteintheIntensiveEnglishProgram.Usually,apaperwithfive

pagestookmethreeweekstowrite.However,nowIfeelveryproudofmyselfthatIhave

completeditin4daysalongwithotherclassesassignments.Oneofs pecifica reasintheprojectthat

Ibelievea ree speciallystrongishowIdevelopedtheideaofwritingandthinkingasspiral.Inthe

processofrevising,Ilearnedhowtouse***inatransitionfromoneeventtoanother.

DISCOVERINGANEWEDGEOFLITERACY 6

ManyWhyQuestions

EmanAlhajji

NorthCarolinaStateUniversity


DISCOVERINGANEWEDGEOFLITERACY 7

ManyWhyQuestions

Dad,whydidthathappen?Whatdoesthismean?Dad,tellmewhy?Iwasalittlegirl

whobotheredherfatherbyaskinghimsomanywhyquestions,growingupseekingtoknowwhy

Iwasbroughtintothisamazingworld.IdecidedtospendmylifegettingclosertoTruthand

startedtounderstandwhattrueliteracywas.Literacyisnotsimplytheabilitytowriteandread,

butithasamuchdeepermeaning.Itisrathertheabilitytocommunicateonesinnerworldwith

otherouterworldswiththecognizanceoftheconnectionsbetweenthem.Literacyistheability

todiscoveronespotentialandinvestinherorhimselfinthebestwaypossible.Isawtwoways

thatwouldleadmethere:thenearest,theemotionalwayofknowingrightandwrong,andthe

clearestway,thescientificway,whichisthewayIhavespentmoreefforton.

Beingastudentwhoapproachestheworldasaresearcherwillalwaysbeasignificantkey

toachievingmygoalofgettingclosertoTruth.Thisapproachhasbeenmywaytobeatrue

literate,whichhasshapedthewayIperceivemysurroundingsandgeneratemythoughtsto

writtenwords.GettingdeeperanddeeperintoknowledgemakesmemoreawareofthethingsI

cannotsee.Thestronglinkbetweenyou,meandtheworldunifiesustobeamirrorforbigger

valuessuchasbalance,fairness,anddiligence.Thiscanbeseenwhenabreezeblowspastasa

resultofthebeautifuloceanswaves,causingtheleavesinthetreestostartdancing.Allofthisis

physics,areactiontoshiftsinenergy.Inotherwords,thisnaturalscenereflectstheconnections

andunityoflife.Understandingthisteachesusbalanceandgivesourlivesmeaning.Therefore,a

literatepersonisconsideredtobetheonewhoisabletounderstandthebeautyandunseenorder

ofthenaturalworldandtoseekharmony,bothinthenaturalworldandinhumanconnections.
DISCOVERINGANEWEDGEOFLITERACY 8

Asaseekerofliteracy,someoftheseconnectionsseemclearwhenIthinkofthewayI

developedmyunderstatingofwhattrueliteracymeans.Myreligionandmyfamilyhavethemost

impactonmyliteracydevelopment.Myreligion,Islam,inspiresmetobeanactivereader.

ReadwasthefirstwordbroughtdownbyGodintheQur'an.Myfatherhasalwaysbeen

supportingmetohavethecouragetoexploretheworldinmyownway.WhenIwasaround10

yearsold,Ikeptthreejournals,oneofwhichwasnamedE
xplorationsandInnovationsBook,

whereIwroteallofthephilosophicalquestionsthatcametomymindasachild.Also,mymom

continuouslyinsistedonherstrongdesireformetocompletemystudies.Shehelpedme

strengthenmylifeskillsasIgrewupwhichledtomebeingabletoovercomemanychallenges.

Ontheotherhand,otherconnectionstoberecognizedneedmoreeffortthatiswriting.

Writingisnotjustputtingwordsonpaperstoformsentences.Itismoreanintellectualcognitive

process,includingsynthesizingideas,whichrequiresahighlevelofcriticalthinking.WheneverI

faceadilemma,Igoandwritewhatevercomestomind.Doingthisenablesmetothinklogically,

andthatalwaysresultsinwiseactionsandwellmadedecisions.Writingandthinkingarelikea

spiral.Eachoneleadstoahigherleveloftheotherone.

***

OnthemorningofNovember10th2011,Iwokeinahospitalbedsufferingfroma

Caesareanprocedure,buttherewassomethingmorepainfulatthattime,whichwasmythinking

aboutwhatwouldbenext.Itwassoconfusingtohavehundredsofunansweredquestions.There

wereonlytwomonthsuntilthefirstsemesterfinalexamsofmysenioryearinhighschool.Who

wouldhelpmetakecareofmybabywhileIneededtocompletemynotesandstudy?Woulditbe
DISCOVERINGANEWEDGEOFLITERACY 9

possibletoacquireagoodenoughscoretogetintomydreamuniversity?Besidesthat,would

focusingonmystudiesnegativelyaffectmyperformanceasawifeandasamother?Itookadeep

breathandwrotedown,"Doallwhatyoucando,Eman.

ImadeaplantokeepmyselffromfallingbehindasIrecoveredinthehospital.Iaskedmy

fivebestfriendstodomeafavor,eachtakenotesonmyfiveacademicsubjectsandclarifyanyof

mymisunderstoodquestions.Theydidagreatjob.Mymom,ofcourse,didagreatjobtoo.She

wasthenumbertwocaregiverformybabyandcaredformeduringmyrecovery.Indeed,Inever

forgottheemotionalsupportfrommyhusband,whobelievedthatmyGPAwouldincreaseafterI

gotmarriedwhilemostofthepeoplearoundmeexpectedtheopposite!Iworkedhardereveryday.

Evenwhilerecoveringfromthesurgery,Ibrieflystudiedsomemath,chemistryandphysics.Once

Iwentbacktoschool,Istartedtostudythoroughly.Thefinalexamsfinishedandresultedina4.0

GPA.IwasveryhappythatIhadmademyfamilysoproudofme.Thankstothewritingthinking

spiral,IwasenabledtoachievemygoalandgainmorethanwhatIplannedto.

Asamotheratayoungage,IacquiredalotofvaluesthathavechangedthewayI

perceivetheworld,thewayIwriteandthink.Itmademefeelmoreresponsibleforthefutureof

allchildrenaroundtheworld.Italsomademeaharderworker,enablingmetolearnselfcontrol

underdifficultsituations.Once,myhusbandwonderedaloudhowIcouldworkefficientlywhen

sufferingfromhardshipwhilehecouldnot.ThemorebalancedpersonthatIbecamestemmed

fromthepartofliteracy,beingabletoeffectivelycommunicatemyinnerworldwithmyouter

world,thatIobtainedfromseekingTruth.
DISCOVERINGANEWEDGEOFLITERACY 10

Throughmyliteracydevelopment,Ihavefalleninlovewithmanysciencesubjects.

Chemistryismyfavoritewhenitcomestoexploringgiganticquantitiesconsistingoftinythings

likeatoms.Anotherloveisbiologywhenitcomestothehumanbody,namelythebrainandits

amazingsignificanceinhowthebodyoperates.IalsolovemathematicsbecauseIcanplaywith

numberslogically.IadmirephysicsforteachingmethattheworldismuchsimplerthanI

previouslythoughtbysimplifyingmysteriousphenomenaintoequations.Howeverafter

accumulatingallthisknowledge,IdecidedtostartmyjourneywithMaterialScienceand

Engineering.Itisagoodfoundationformyacademicjourneytobebuilton.Itisanexcitingwide

majorthatcanhelpfurthermyunderstandingofthegeneralscientificconceptsbyreinforcingthe

applicationsofpurescience.ItwillenablemetobethewriterIwanttobe,expressingmyselfto

theworldthroughscience.

SincemyfirstWhy,dad?,Ihavebeenpursuingknowledge,andIwillneverstopchasing

mydreamofgettingcloserTruth.WheneverIholdabookorgotoalecture,IfeelthatthemoreI

know,themoreIbecomecertainthatIknownothing.ThoughIacknowledgethatIwillneverget

tocoreTruth,gettingcloserisenoughformetopursueitasawaytobealiteratepersonofthe

twanyfirstcentury.


DISCOVERINGANEWEDGEOFLITERACY 11

IntroductiontoProjectTwo

BeforeIbeganmakingmyowndiscoveriesaboutmultimodality,Ihadfirsttobecome

familiarwithpriorscholarlyresearchrelatedtothetopic.Theseideashelpedguidemeasa

researcherinwhatIwantedtostudyaboutmultimodality.Igroundedmytopicinthecurrent

conversationbyprovidinganannotatedlistofpeerreviewed,scholarlysources.Locatingand

carefullyreadingatleastfivereliable,peerreviewedscholarlysourcesrelatedtomyresearch

topiciswhatIamthemostproudof.Inmytopicproposal,Iprovidedjustificationforwhythe

topicisworthyofstudy,explainedbrieflymypersonalinterestinthetopic,andofferedaconcise

overviewofcurrentresearchonthetopic,whichmadeitquitestrong.SomeofthetheareasI

revisedarecorrectlyformattingtheAPAandmovingthereferenceofMultimodalityfromtopic

proposalparttotheannotatedbibliographypart.

DISCOVERINGANEWEDGEOFLITERACY 12

NCSUStudentsPerspectivesofIntegratingMultimodalityinClassrooms:

TopicProposalandAnnotatedBibliography

EmanAlhajji

NorthCarolinaStateUniversity


DISCOVERINGANEWEDGEOFLITERACY 13

NCSUStudentsPerspectivesofIntegratingMultimodalityinClassrooms

Theworldinthetwentyfirstcenturyhasauniquefeature:theenormousnumberof

innovationswhoseapplicationsbothscientistsandmanufacturersracetoproduce.Smartphones,

videogames,andwebsitesareimprovinginafascinatingway.Thesetechnologiesenableall

individuals,includingpoliticians,doctors,traders,andeducators,toaccomplishtheirgoalsinthe

mostefficientway.Whatmakesthesetechnologiesdistinctiveistheirabilitytograspmeaning

inavarietyofformssuchastexts,pictures,andsounds,allofwhichcontributeinonewayor

anothertoattractthefivesensesofhumans.Thatexplainswhysmallchildrenmixing

drawing,colors,letters,andlayoutseemtocomposemultimodalityalmostnaturally

(Multimodality,2014,p514).Inthelastdecades,educatorshavebeentryingtointegrate

multimodalitytothetraditionalclassroomsbecauseitfacilitatesthecomplicatedlearning

processes.

Withthehugegrowthoftechnology,multimodalityhasbecomeacentraltopiconwhich

manyeducationalresearcherschoosetospendtheirtimeandefforttoargueabout.Ononehand,

BazalgetteandBuckingham(2013)claimthatmultimodalitytheoryhasinherentlimitations

thatpreventeducatorstoapplyitsprinciplesintheirfieldsfordifferentpurposes.Onetheother

hand,MorenoandMayer(2007)concludethatmultimodallearningenvironmentsareextremely

criticalinpromotingstudentslearningprocessingthroughengagements.KressandSelander

(2012)emphasizethatalllearnersarenaturallydesigners.However,Serafini(2012)notesthat

theystillneedtolearnappropriateskillsandstrategiestobeabletonavigateandunderstandthe

textsofthetwentyfirstcentury.
DISCOVERINGANEWEDGEOFLITERACY 14

Manyeducationalleaderssupporttheintegrationofmultimodalityintraditional

classroomsbecauseofitsattractivenessofenablingthestudentstothinkmorecriticallybyusing

lessefforttodeeplyunderstandthematerials.Itisagivenfactthattheeffectivenessofacquiring

knowledgedependsonhowsmoothlyscholarscommunicatewiththeirsurroundings.Itisnotonly

importantforinstructorsbutalsostudentsatNorthCarolinaStateUniversitytobe

knowledgeableaboutthewaystheyapproachtolearn.Itisacrucialrelationshipinthe

complicatedlearningprocessbetweenagiverandataker.Therefore,inmyresearch,Iaimto

explorehowstudentsatNCSUviewmultimodality,andwhethertheyareawareoftheintegration

ofitintheirclassrooms.Ialsohopetodiscoverifagapbetweentheiracademicand

nonacademiclivesexistsandifsohowitcanbeaddressed.Nevertheless,mymainfocusisto

determineifthereisacorrelationbetweenmultimodalityandthelevelofclasses.Hopefully,this

researchwillcontributeinacceleratingthelearningprocessthroughpromotingmultimodalityin

classrooms.ThisresearchcanbethoroughlyconductedbysurveyingNCSUstudentsindifferent

stagesoftheiracademicdevelopment.

AnnotatedBibliography

Bazalgette,C.,&Buckingham,D.(2013),Literacy,mediaandmultimodality:acritical

response.Literacy,47(2),95102.doi:10.1111/j.17414369.2012.00666.x

Thisresearchwasconductedin2013byCaryBazalgette,LondonKnowledgeLab,
InstituteofEducation,UniversityofLondonandDavidBuckingham,Mediaand
Communications,LoughboroughUniversity,Loughborough,UK.Thedatewhen
thisarticlewaswritteniscurrent,whichusuallyprovidesvaluableandrelevant
informationonwhatispresentlyhappeninginthezoneofeducation.Thepurposeof
thisarticleistoevaluatethetheoryofmultimodalityandhowithasbeen
appropriatedincurriculumbysayingthatmultimodalitytheoryisusedinaway
thatsimplyemphasizesthedifferencebetweenprintandnonprinttexts.This
distinctioncontributesspecificallytoanongoingabandonmentofthemedia
DISCOVERINGANEWEDGEOFLITERACY 15

movement,whichisconsideredtobeessentialforanindividualliteracy
development.Theyexplainthatalthoughthetheoryshouldbefullyknownand
criticallyconsideredinthecontextofliteracy,ithasintrinsiclimitationsand
oversimplificationsthatmakeitfeasiblyappliedinonlyanidealworld.They
concludethatThecrucialpointhereisthatunlikemultimodalitytheorythese
approachesdonotremainatthelevelofthetext:theyalsolookbeyondthetext,to
considerhowtextsareactuallyproduced,circulatedandusedineveryday
life(p101).Multimodalitytheorycanbejustoneofmanyapproachesthatcanbe
takenonlytoinformliteracylearningandteaching.Theyaddthatthetheoryhas
notbeentakeninthewayitissupposedtoberatherithasbeenusedinapolitical
interferenceineducation.Theyexplainthatbystatingconservativeforcesin
severalcountriesaremountingacynicalpopulistresistancetoanythingthat
smacksofculturalrelativism(p101)Thisresearchservesasacounterargument
openingnewdoorsthatmightstrengthenmyresearchbyevaluatingthesituationat
NCSUandaddressingsomeissuestheauthorsraise.

Kress,G.,&Selander,S.(2012).Multimodaldesign,learningandculturesofrecognition.T
he

InternetandHigherEducation,15(4),265268.doi:10.1016/j.iheduc.2011.12.003

Thisresearchwascompletedin2012byGuntherKressandStaffanSelander,Stockholm
University,Dept.ofEducation,SE10691Stockholm,Sweden.Theauthorsattemptto
comprehendlearningthroughthreedesignperspectivesinadditiontohighlightingthe
importanceofinteractivedesign.Theyclaimthatinteractivedesignisanessential
facetoflearning.Theyarguethatnotonlyprofessionalsbutalsoanyoneinvolvedin
communicationisadesigner.Astheauthorsdefine,Designistheplanningofsomething
newtohappen,eitherseenfromtheperspectiveofthedesignerasproducer,orfromthe
designerasuser,pointofview(p266).Then,theymovetodescribehowsign
configurationsmakemeaningthatcanfitwellinthecontextandhowtheseconfigurations
seenasknowledgearerelatedtothecultureofappreciation.Theauthorsendthearticle
bycommendingabouthowculturalacknowledgmentsandassessmentshouldtakeplace
.TheyemphasizethatThiscultureofrecognitionisatthesametimeacultureof
valuationavaluingoftheagencyofalllearners(p268).Theusefulnessofthisarticle
canbeseeninitsexplanationofhowpeoplearenaturallymultimodallearnersthrough
theiruseofdesigntocommunicatetheirideaswiththeiracademicpeers.Thisresearch
canbetakenasasupportiveargumentencounteringtheclaimoflimitationsof
multimodality(Bazalgette&Buckingham,2013).

Kiili,C.,Mkinen,M.,&Coiro,J.(2013).Rethinkingacademicliteracies:designing

multifacetedacademicliteracyexperiencesforpreserviceteachers.J ournalof

Adolescent&AdultLiteracy,57(3),223232.doi:10.1002/JAAL.223
DISCOVERINGANEWEDGEOFLITERACY 16

Publishedin2013,thisscholarlypeerreviewedarticlewaswrittenbyCarita
Kiili,apostdoctoralresearcherattheUniversityofJyvskyl,Finland,Marita
Mkinen,aprofessorattheUniversityofTampere,Finland,andJulieCoiro,an
associateprofessorattheUniversityofRhodeIsland,Kingston,USA.The
authorsformamultifacetedoutlineforacademicliteraciesthatcanbeusedto
supportstudentslearningskillsbyhelpinginstructorsbemoreawareofthe
varietyofliteracyaspectsandhowtheycanproduce
meaningfulmultidimensionalliteracyinvolvementsintheclassrooms.Precisely,
theyestablishthecomprehensiveframeworkforliteracyandlearningthatplainly
reflectstheoverlappingroleofquestioning,digitalinvestigation,partnership,and
innovationastheyareappliedtocontinuouslyevolvingliteracypractices.
Ultimately,theauthorsprovideasummaryofdifferentareasofacademic
literaciesandpedagogicalguidingprinciplestoassistinstructorsinapplyingthe
outlineintheirownteachingcontexts.Thisarticlesupportsthetheorystating
thateverylearnerisactuallyadesignerusinghisorhercommunicationskillsto
constructideasthroughmultimodality(Kress&Selander,2012).Thisresearch
givesanoverviewofhowintegratingmultimodalpresentationsinthetraditional
classroomsshouldbeimplemented,whichwillbeneficialinprovidingthe
sensationalbackgroundinformationonwhichmyresearchcanbeconstructed.

Moreno,R.,&Mayer,R.(2007).Interactivemultimodallearningenvironments.Educational

PsychologyReview,19(3),309326.doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s1064800790472

PublishedinEducationalPsychologyReviewbySpringerScience&Business
Media,thearticleprovidesareviewofthefindingsofstudyconductedbyRoxana
MorenoandRichardMayeroninteractivemultimodallearningatmospheres.
RoxanaMorenoisamemberoftheEducationalPsychologyProgram,Universityof
NewMexico,andRichardE.MayerisamemberoftheDepartmentofPsychology,
UniversityofCalifornia,andSantaBarbara.Theauthorsattempttocontributeto
instructionalschemebyevaluatingasetofphilosophiesresultingfromcognitive
theoriesoflearning(Mayer2001,2005aMayerandMoreno2003Moreno2005a,
2006a).Specifically,theydiscoursethefollowingfourquestions:(1)Whatare
interactivemultimodallearningenvironments?(2)Howdostudentslearnfrom
interactivemultimodalenvironmentsaccordingtocognitivetheoriesoflearning?
(3)Whataresomeinstructionaldesignprinciplesthatcanbederivedfrom
cognitivetheoriesoflearningandwhatistheirempiricalsupport?(4)Whatare
someproductivedirectionsforfutureresearch?(p309).Theyconcludethatthe
actionsofthereadersdefinestheinteractivityduringlearning,andtheylistfive
typesofit:dialoguing,controlling,manipulating,searchingandnavigating.Then,
theyexplainthatstudentscanregulatetheirlearninginsuchenvironmentswhen
theyareawareoftheirstrengthsandweaknessbydirectingtheintellectual
processesrequiredforunderstanding.Inaddition,someoftheinstructionaldesign
DISCOVERINGANEWEDGEOFLITERACY 17

principlesforinteractivemultimodallearningthattheauthorsanalyzeare
reflections,promotingessentialprocessingbyencouragingmoreactiveintegration
ofnewinformation,andguidedactivity,encouragingstudentstoengagein
selectionsandorganizations.Finally,theauthorssuggestresearchonidentifying
when,where,how,forwhatmaterial,andforwhomvariousaspectsof
interactivityandmultimodalpresentationcanimprovelearning(323).Thisstudy
helpsmebetterunderstandhowtheenvironmentsinfluencethelearningprocesses
anddeterminewhatthegapsthatneedtobefilled.

Multimodality.(2014).CollegeCompositionandCommunication,65(3),514.Retrievedfrom

http://proxying.lib.ncsu.edu/index.php?url=/docview/1497179019?accountid=12725

Serafini,F.(2012).Readingmultimodaltextsinthe21stcentury.ResearchintheSchools,

19(1),2632.Retrievedfrom

http://proxying.lib.ncsu.edu/index.php?url=/docview/1284528261?accountid=12725

Astudyoninterpretingmultimodalmanuscriptsinthetwentyfirstcenturywas
directedin2012byFrankSerafiniwhoisanAssociateProfessorofLiteracy
EducationandChildren'sLiteratureatArizonaStateUniversity.Publishedin
ResearchintheSchools,thescholarlyjournalarticlethathewritesemphasizes
howimportantitistosupporttwentyfirstreadersastheyencounterthenew
approachofreceivingknowledge.AccordingtoFrank,forstudentstobe
successfulinthenewenvironment,theyshouldhavetheappropriateskillsand
strategiesforcircumnavigatingandunderstandingvisualdesignfundamentals
andimages.HeexplicitlyexplainsthatThereconceptualizedfourresourcesor
socialpracticesproposedarereadervieweras:(a)navigator,(b)interpreter,(c)
designer,and(d)interrogator(p27).Healsomentionsthegapbetweenthetexts
thatstudentsfaceinschoolandthetextsthattheyfaceintheirdailylivesoutof
school.Heendshisarticlebydiscussinghowtwoprintbasedtexts,modernand
postmodernpicturebooksandgraphicnovels,mayfunctionasabridgeeasingthe
transitionfromtheoldstyleliteraciesthatcontroleducationalinstitutionstoday
tothemultimodalcompositionsofthenewage.HeconcludesthatPicture
books,textbooks,andhowtomanualshavecontainedavarietyofvisualimages
anddesignsforyears.However,whatisnotasobviousistheassertedeffortto
understandhowthesevariousfeaturesworktogether,andhowtheyinteractand
oftencontradictoneanotherinanefforttocommunicateideasandtellstories.
Theseinvestigationshaveonlyrecentlybeguninearnest(p31).Thisisa
welldonestudywhosemethodsarereliableandtheconclusionsarelogical.This
researchprovidesausefulinsightintothecomplexityofmovingfromonestyleof
learning,writing,andcommunicatingtoanother.

DISCOVERINGANEWEDGEOFLITERACY 18

IntroductiontoProject3

ThenthatIhadconductedagreatdealofsecondaryresearchformytopic,itwastimefor

metocontributetotheongoingacademicdiscussionaboutmultimodality.Forproject3,my

assignmentwastodesign,conduct,andreportonaprimaryresearchstudythatexaminesa

researchquestionformulatedaboutmytopic.ThekeyareasinwhichIrevisedmyprojectare

spelling,languageandformatting.Ilearnedhowtos pellthenumbersappropriately.Forinstance,

IchangedthirtysixtoThirtysix.Ialsorevisedthewordingofthesentenceincluding

supreme.Forthecaseofthissentence,softeningthelanguageisthemostappropriaterevision

becausedifferentwordsthataresimilarinmeaningmayhavedifferenteffectsonthewaythe

readerunderstandthecontent.Forformatting,Iaddedanintextcitationandareferencetothe

MultimediaResearchContestatNCSUsothatmyreaderscangoanddofurtherresearchif

interested.Italsoseemsmoreacademic.


DISCOVERINGANEWEDGEOFLITERACY 19

NCSUStudentsPerspectivesofIntegratingMultimodality

intheClassrooms:PrimaryResearch

EmanAlhajji

NorthCarolinaStateUniversity


DISCOVERINGANEWEDGEOFLITERACY 20

NCSUStudentsPerspectivesofIntegratingMultimodalityinClassrooms

Theworldinthetwentyfirstcenturyhasauniquefeature:theenormousnumberof

innovationswhoseapplicationsbothscientistsandmanufacturersracetoproduce.Smartphones,

videogames,andwebsitesareimprovinginafascinatingway.Thesetechnologiesenableall

individuals,includingpoliticians,doctors,traders,andeducators,toaccomplishtheirgoalsinthe

mostefficientway.Whatmakesthesetechnologiesdistinctiveistheirabilitytograspmeaning

inavarietyofformssuchastexts,pictures,andsounds,allofwhichcontributeinonewayor

anothertoattractthefivesensesofhumans.Thatexplainswhysmallchildrenmixing

drawing,colors,letters,andlayoutseemtocomposemultimodalityalmostnaturally

(Multimodality,2014,p.514).Withthehugegrowthoftechnology,thetheoryofmultimodality,

definedastheuseofseveralmodes,includingtextual,aural,andvisualresources,toconveya

singlemessage,hasbecomeacentraltopicthatmanyeducationalresearchersandscholars

choosetoconductresearchstudiestoexplorehowthisnewtrendcouldbenefiteducation.

Manyeducationalleaderssupporttheintegrationofmultimodalityintraditional

classroomsbecauseofitsattractivenessforenablingthestudentstothinkmorecriticallyby

usinglessefforttodeeplyunderstandthematerials.However,itisreasonabletothinkthatthe

effectivenessofacquiringknowledgedependsonhowsmoothlyscholarscommunicatewiththeir

surroundings.Therefore,itisnotonlyimportantforinstructorsbutalsostudentsatNorthCarolina

StateUniversitytobeknowledgeableaboutthewaysthattheyapproachlearning.Itisacrucial

relationshipinthecomplicatedlearningprocessbetweenagiver,teacher,andataker,student.

Therefore,inmyresearch,IaimtoexploreananswertoHowdostudentsatNCSUview
DISCOVERINGANEWEDGEOFLITERACY 21

multimodality?Nevertheless,mymainfocusistodeterminehowmultimodalityisappliedin

NCSUclassroomsbyansweringthefollowingquestions.Canapositivecorrelationbetween

multimodalityandthelevelofclassesbeeasilyidentified?Ifnot,whatarethefactorslimiting

theapplicationsofmultimodalityintheclassroomsfromthestudentsperspectives?This

researchcanbethoroughlyconductedbysurveyingNCSUstudentsindifferentstagesoftheir

academicdevelopment.Myhypothesisisthatitcanbeseenclearlythatthemoreadvanceda

courseis,themoremodesareintegratedinitbecausemultimodallearningmakessophisticated

subjectsmucheasiertobeabsorbed.Hopefully,thisresearchwillcontributetoacceleratingthe

learningprocessthroughlettingNCSUeducationalleadersbetterunderstandtheintegrationof

multimodalityinNCSUclassroomsfromthestudents'perspectives,whichwillhelpthem

promoteabetterlearningstyleintheclassrooms.

Methods

Thestudywasconductedusingasurveytogatherinformationabouttheintegrationof

multimodalityinNCSUclassrooms.Thequestionnaire,locatedinAppendixA,wascomposedof

atotalof14multiplechoicequestions,threeopenquestionsandtwocheckboxquestions.Three

ofthesequestionsweredemographicquestionsandtheother16wererelatedtotheintegrationof

multimodality.Thesamplegroupconsistedof32collegestudentsattendingNorthCarolinaState

University.Thestudypopulationwasmadeupof14graduatestudents,twoseniorstudents,seven

juniorstudents,twosophomorestudents,andsixfreshmenstudents.Studentswereaskedwhether

theywouldliketotakeashortsurveyabouttheintegrationofmultimodality,andthemajority

werewillingtoparticipate.Aimingtosurveyparticipantsfromeachlevelofclasseswasthe

mosteffectivewaytoshowtherelationshipbetweentheleveloflearningandtheusageof
DISCOVERINGANEWEDGEOFLITERACY 22

multimodalityifitexisted.ThesurveywasdistributedtoparticipantsbyNCSUemailandin

personatDH.HillLibrary.Participantscooperatedtotakethetimetoreflectarealresultofthe

educationalsituationatNCSU.Finally,thedatawascollectedusingGoogleFormsandthe

responseswereanalyzedinGoogleSpreadsheets.

Results

Becausethisstudyexamineswhetheradistinctivecorrelationexistsbetweenthe

integrationofmultimodalityinNCSUclassroomsandhowadvancedtheclassestakenare,the32

participantsresultscanbedividedintosixmaincategoriesbasedontheirresponsestoquestions

oneandeightinthequestionnaire:Whatisyourprofessionalstatusandwhatdifferentmodes

haveyouusedinyourFall14classessofar?Thehighestnumberofmodeswasusedby

sophomores.Theaveragesophomorerespondedthathisorherclassesareusingdifferentseven

modes.Bothfreshmenandjuniorssaidthattheyareusing3.67modes,andtheaveragegraduate

studentsaidthat3.64differentmodesarebeingused.Theleastnumberofmodeswereusedin

seniorsclassroomsseniorssaidthatonly1.5modesarebeingused.Regardlessofhowadvanced

aclassatNCSUis,videocontentisusedin71%oftheNCSUclasses,whichmakesitthemost

commonmodeused.However,themodethatisthemostrarelyusedispodcasts,usedonlyin3%

oftheclasses.Thepreviousanalysisshowsanambiguouscorrelationbetweenhowmultimodality

isintegratedandhowadvancedtheclassesare.Thepreviousdataisalsoillustratedinthebar

graphinFigure1.
DISCOVERINGANEWEDGEOFLITERACY 23

Figure1.TheaveragenumberofmodesusedinNCSUclassrooms.Thisgraphrepresentsthe

responsesofhowmanymodesareusedintheclassrooms.

Sincetheresponsesofthesixcategoriesofstudentscannotbebrokendownduetothe

vaguecorrelationbetweentheirclassesandtheusageofmultimodality,thefollowinganalysis

includesalltheparticipants.Whentheparticipantswereaskedabouttheirlearningstyles,56%

(19outof32participants)answeredthattheyaretactile/kinestheticlearnerswhereasthirtyfive

percent(12outof32participants)saidtheyareauditorylearners.Nineteenofthe32respondents

(56%)claimedthatmostoftheirclassesareunabletorespondtoavarietyoflearningstyles.

Sixteenofthe32participants(47%)saidthatteachingtodaysstudentsusingonlyawrittentext

cannotwork.Foracompleteanalysisoftheresultstothepreviousquestion,refertofigure2.The

majority(38%)saidthatmorethanhalfoftheirinstructorsusemorethanawhiteboardanda
DISCOVERINGANEWEDGEOFLITERACY 24

textbooktoteachanewconcept.However,26oftherespondents(76%)agreedthattheir

instructorsshouldusemoremodeswhenteaching,whileonlyfiveofthem(15%)saidthattheydo

notcare.

Figure2.Doyouthinkteachingtodaysstudentsusingonlyawrittentextcanwork?Thisgraph

representstheparticipantsopinionsaboutteachingusingonlyawrittentext.

Twentysevenoftheparticipants(79%)saidthatusingseveralmodesincreasestheir

motivationtolearn,whereasfiveparticipantssaiditdoesnot.Similarly,27ofthe32(79%)

participantsagreedthattodaysstudentsaredigitalnativestheyneedtheirclassroomsto

embraceatwentyfirstcenturycurriculum.Despiteofthat,18oftheparticipants(53%)thought

thattechnologyisbecomingmoreofacrutchthanitoughttobe.Still,24participants(71%)said

thattechnologyisateachingaidthatwouldbehardtolivewithout.Twentysixofthe32

participants(76%)saidthatmultimodalitycreatesanenvironmentofgreaterstudent

collaboration.

Discussion
DISCOVERINGANEWEDGEOFLITERACY 25

Thefindingsofthisstudydemonstratethatthecorrelationbetweenhowadvancedaclass

isandhowmuchmultimodalityisintegratedisindistinct.Surprisingly,theaveragesophomore

respondedthathisorherclassesareusingsevendifferentmodes.Boththeaveragefreshmenand

juniorsaidthattheyareusing3.67modes.Theaveragegraduatestudents,whowereexpectedto

checkmostofthemodespresentedinthequestionnaire,saidthatonly3.64differentmodesare

beingusedintheirclassrooms.Theaverageseniorrespondedtoonly1.5modes.Thisopposesthe

hypothesisthatwasmadeitdoesnotindicatethatthemoreadvancedaclassgets,themore

multimodalityisintegrated.TheresultsimplythatNCSUhasnotyetreachedthestagewhere

integratingmoremultimodalityintheclassroomsrisesasthedifficultyofclassesgoeshigher.In

otherwords,NCSUclassroomsshouldaimtogetclosertothisideallevelofcorrelationto

demonstrateaperfectviewoflearningfacilitation.

Whentheparticipantswereaskedabouttheirlearningstyles,56%ofNCSUstudents(19

outof32participants)answeredthattheyaretactile/kinestheticlearnerswhereasthirtyfive

percent(12outof32participants)saidtheyareauditorylearners.Nineteenofthe32respondents

(56%)claimedthatmostoftheirclassesareunabletorespondtoavarietyoflearningstyles.

Furthermore,themajorityoftheparticipants(79%)suggestedthatinstructorsshouldusemore

modeswhenexplaininganewconcept.ThisclearlyshowsthatNCSUclassroomsneedtohave

moremultimodalitytofulfilltheneedandthediversityoflearningstylesofitsstudents.With

theacknowledgmentofthegreateffortsofhighlightingmultimodallearningthroughestablishing

anannualMultimediaResearchContest(MultimediaResearchContest,2014),multimodalityin

theclassroomsstillneedsmoreemphasis.Thisneededpromotioncanbeimplementedbyholding
DISCOVERINGANEWEDGEOFLITERACY 26

conferencesandworkshopsforinstructorsabouttheeffectivenessofusingmultimodalityinthe

classroomstoraisetheirawarenessoftheirstudentsneeds.

Severalimprovementscanbemadetothisstudytoobtainmorereliableresultsinthe

future.Researchersshouldsurveyawiderrangeofparticipantswithagreateramountofdiversity.

Thelargerasamplepopulation,theeasieritistocorrelatevariables.Inaddition,researchers

shouldincludeamoredetailedquestionaboutthelevelofclassesthattheparticipantsaretaking

toavoidthelimitationsofhavingsimilarresults.Aseniorstudentmaybetakingtwo500

graduatelevelclassesinhisorhermajorwhiletakinga200levelclassinanelective.

Thesignificancethatstemsfromthisstudyisthatmultimodalityshouldbemore

integratedinNCSUclassrooms.Multimodalityfacilitateslearningbycreatingamotivational

environmentthatpromotescollaboration.Theresultsofthisstudyshowthatthemajorityof

NCSUstudentsbelievethatthemorewaystheycanlearnanewconcepts,themoretheybecome

engagedwithit,themoretheyunderstandit.Researchersmayaskhowapplicableincreasingthe

integrationofmultimodalityinNCSUclassroomscanbe,andhowmuchcanmultimodality

increaseNCSUstudentscreativityandoutcomes.Answerstosuchquestions,inadditiontothe

findingsofthisstudy,havethepotentialtoprovideNCSUeducationalleaderswithabetter

understandingoftheimpactmultimodalityhasonlearninganditsapplicationsinthetwentyfirst

century.


DISCOVERINGANEWEDGEOFLITERACY 27


References

MultimediaResearchContest.(n.d.).RetrievedAugest13,2014,from

http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/multimediacontest

Multimodality.(2014).CollegeCompositionandCommunication,65(3),514.Retrievedfrom

http://proxying.lib.ncsu.edu/index.php?url=/docview/1497179019?accountid=12725

DISCOVERINGANEWEDGEOFLITERACY 28

AppendixA

Fall2014SurveyfortheIntegrationofMultimodality

Withthehugegrowthoftechnology,thetheoryofmultimodality,definedastheuseof
severalmodes,includingtextual,aural,andvisualresources,toconveyasinglemessage,has
becomeacentraltopicthatmanyeducationalresearchersandscholarschoosetoconducta
researchon.
Byparticipatinginthisstudy,youwillcontributetoacceleratingthelearningprocess
throughlettingtheeducationalleadersbetterunderstandtheintegrationofmultimodalityin
NCSUclassroomsfromthestudents'perspectives.Here,youcanspeakupandmakeadifference.
1.Whatisyourprofessionalstatus?
Freshman
Sophomore
Junior
Senior
Graduate
2.Whatisyourmajor?__________________
3.Whatisyourlearningstyle?
AuditoryLearnerslearnbestwheninformationispresentedinanauditorylanguageformat.Visual
Learnerslearnbestwheninformationispresentedinvisualformatsuchaspicturesordiagrams.
Tactile/KinestheticLearnerslearnbestinhandsonlearningsettingsinwhichtheycan
physicallymanipulatesomethinginordertolearnaboutit.Youmaychoosemorethanone.
avisuallearner
atactile/kinestheticlearner
anauditorylearner
4.Areyourclassesabletorespondtoavarietyoflearningstyles?
Choosefrom1(none)to6(all)
5.Whatisthepercentageofyourinstructorsusingmorethanawhiteboardandatextbooktoteach
anewconcept?
Lessthan50%
50%
DISCOVERINGANEWEDGEOFLITERACY 29

Morethan50%
6.Doyouthinkthatteachingtoday'sstudentsusingonlyawrittentextcanwork?
Yes
Dependsonthesubject
No
7.WhatmodeshaveyouusedinyourFall14classessofar?
8.Selectallifapplicable.
Broadcast
Blogs
Mobileapps
CloudStorage
Onlinecommunityordiscussionforums
Videocontent
Images
Webbasedinteractivegames
Music
3Dobjects
Handwritingassignments
9.Doyouagreethatyourinstructorsshouldusemoremodeswhenteaching?
stronglyagree
agree
donotcare
disagree
stronglydisagree
10.Whatisthelevelofyourcompositionskillsusingtechnology?
Compositionskillsarenotlimitedtoyourabilitytowrite.Theyincludetechnologybasedtasks.
Idonotconsidermyselfatechnologyuser.
Iconsidermyselfanoviceuser.Iaccomplishassignedtasks,butIammoreefficientwhen
Idon'tusetechnologytodomyassignment.
Iconsidermyselfaboutaverage.
Myskillsareverygood.IuseavarietyoftechnologytoolsandIusethemefficiently.
Iamatechnologyleader.Iusetechnologyefficiently,effectivelyandincreativewaysto
accomplishmyacademicgoals.Ioftenteachotherstousetechnologyresources.
11.Doyouthinkthatusingseveralmodesincreasesyourmotivationtolearn?
Yes
No
12.Doyouthinkthatthetechnologytodayallowsteacherstodomuchmorethaneverbefore?
Whyorwhynot?___________________________________________________________
13.Doyouthinkthatstudentstodayaredigitalnativestheyneedtheirclassroomstoembracea
21stcenturycurriculum?
Yes
No
14.Doyouthinkthattechnologyisateachingaidthatwouldbehardtolivewithout?
Yes
No
DISCOVERINGANEWEDGEOFLITERACY 30

15.Doyouthinkthatstudentsareabletoharnessthepowerofthemultimodalitythattheyare
alreadysurroundedbyandusingitforeducationalprogress?
Yes
No
16.Doyouthinkthatmultimodalitycreatesanenvironmentofgreaterstudentcollaboration?
Yes
No
17.Doyouthinkthatmultimodalityismoreofadistractionthananteachingasset?Whyorwhy
not?________________________________________________________________________

18.Doyouthinkthattechnologyisbecomingmoreofacrutchthanitoughttobe?
Yes
No
19.Doyouthinkthatmultimodalityrequirestoomuchplanning/maintenance?
Yes
No
Keys:
Thissymbolisusedformultiplechoicequestions.
Thissymbolisusedforcheckboxesquestions.
__Thisisusedforopenquestions.


DISCOVERINGANEWEDGEOFLITERACY 31

IntroductiontoProject4

Thoroughlystudiedmytopicaboutliteracythroughbothprimaryandsecondaryresearch,I

wasreadytopresenttheculminationofyourresearchtotheacademiccommunity.Presentinga

thoroughliteraturereviewandthoughtfulresponse,inwhichreviewingkeypriorresearchabout

multimodalitywasinvolved,detailingthefindingsofmyownresearch,andmakingan

authoritativeargumentaboutthecurrentstateofunderstandingaboutmytopicand

literacyrelatedresearchwerethegoalsthataimedandaccomplished.SomeofspecificpointsI

revisedinthisprojectareaddingmoresentencestotheintroductionwhereImovedabitquickly

from'territory'to'occupyingtheniche'.OnethingIwishtodoishavingascholarthattalkstothe

ideaofhowmultimodalitycanfulfiltheneedofhavingclassesthatareabletorespondtoa

varietyoflearningstyle,butnoneofthefivesourcesthatIfoundhasmentionedthat.


DISCOVERINGANEWEDGEOFLITERACY 32

TowardaChangeinNCSUClassrooms:NCSUStudentsPerspectives

ofIntegratingMultimodalityintheClassrooms

EmanAlhajji

NorthCarolinaStateUniversity


DISCOVERINGANEWEDGEOFLITERACY 33

TowardaChangeinNCSUClassrooms:NCSUStudentsPerspectives

ofIntegratingMultimodalityintheClassrooms

Theworldinthetwentyfirstcenturyhasauniquefeature:theenormousnumberof

innovationswhoseapplicationsbothscientistsandmanufacturersracetoproduce.Smartphones,

videogames,andwebsitesareimprovinginafascinatingway.Thesetechnologieshaveenabled

allindividuals,includingpoliticians,doctors,traders,andeducators,toaccomplishtheirgoalsin

themostefficientway.Whatmakesthesetechnologiesdistinctiveistheirabilitytograsp

meaninginavarietyofformssuchastexts,pictures,andsounds,allofwhichcontributeinone

wayoranothertoattractthefivesensesofhumans.Thatexplainswhysmallchildrenmixing

drawing,colors,letters,andlayoutseemtocomposemultimodalityalmostnaturally

(Multimodality,2014,p.514).Withthehugegrowthoftechnology,thetheoryofmultimodality,

definedastheuseofseveralmodes,includingtextual,aural,andvisualresources,toconveya

singlemessage,hasbecomeacentraltopiconwhichmanyeducationalresearchersandscholars

choosetoconductresearchstudiestoexplorehowthisnewtrendcouldbenefiteducation.

Formanyeducationalleaders,itisreasonabletothinkthattheeffectivenessofacquiring

knowledgedependsonhowsmoothlyscholarscommunicatewiththeirsurroundings.Therefore,it

isnotonlyimportantforinstructorsbutalsostudentsatNorthCarolinaStateUniversitytobe

knowledgeableaboutthewaysthattheyapproachlearning.Itisacrucialrelationshipinthe

complicatedlearningprocessbetweenagiverandataker.Iaimtofilloutthegapofreachingthe

studentsperspectivesabouttheintegrationofmultimodalityintheirclassrooms.Theframework

ofthispaperistoreviewwhatotherresearchershavesaidabouttheintegrationofmultimodality,
DISCOVERINGANEWEDGEOFLITERACY 34

tosynthesizetheirargumentswiththenewfindingsofwhatstudentshaverespondedtothe

distributedquestionnaire,andtodrawaconclusionandsuggestfurtherresearchonthetopic.

Multimodality:AReviewoftheLiterature

Discussionsofmultimodalitycantakemultipleapproachestobegin.Ononehand,

BazalgetteandBuckingham(2013)claimthatthetheoryofmultimodalityhasinherent

limitationsthatpreventeducatorstoapplyitsprinciplesintheirfieldsfordifferentpurposes.On

theotherhand,MorenoandMayer(2007)arguethatmultimodalitycanbeeffectively

incorporatedineducation,butfurtherresearchonidentifyingwhen,where,how,forwhat

material,andforwhomvariousaspectsofinteractivityandmultimodalpresentationcanimprove

learningisneeded(p.323).Multimodallearningenvironmentsareextremelycriticalin

promotingstudentslearningprocessingthroughengagements(Moreno&Mayer,2007).Kiiliet

al.(2013)addthatmultimodalitycanproducemeaningfulmultidimensionalliteracy

involvementsintheclassrooms.KressandSelander(2012)emphasizethataninteractive

designisanessentialfacetoflearning.

Inthediscussionoftheusageofmultimodality,BazalgetteandBuckingham(2013)say

thetheoryofmultimodalityisusedinawaythatsimplyemphasizesthedifferencebetweenprint

andnonprinttexts.Thisdistinctioncontributesspecificallytoanongoingabandonmentofthe

mediamovement(Bazalgette&Buckingham,2013).Nevertheless,Serafini(2012)debateshow

twoprintbasedtexts,modernandpostmodernpicturebooksandgraphicnovels,mayfunctionasa

bridgeeasingthetransitionfromtheoldstyleliteraciesthatcontroleducationalinstitutions

todaytothemultimodalcompositionsofthenewage.Kiilietal.(2013)gofurtherbyestablishing
DISCOVERINGANEWEDGEOFLITERACY 35

thecomprehensiveframeworkforliteracyandlearningthatclearlyreflectstheoverlappingrole

ofquestioning,digitalinvestigation,partnership,andinnovationastheyareappliedto

continuouslyevolvingliteracypractices,whichshowshowusefulmultimodalitycanbeinthe

classrooms.Addingtothat,theactionsofthereadersfivetypesofwhicharedialoguing,

controlling,manipulating,searchingandnavigatingdefinetheinteractivityduringlearning

(Moreno&Mayer,2007).

Withregardoftheacademicdisciplineswheremultimodalitycanbeapplicable,

BazalgetteandBuckingham(2013)pointoutthatthetheoryofmultimodalitycanbetakenonly

toinformliteracylearningandteaching.KressandSelander(2012)rejectthatbyarguingnotonly

professionalsbutalsoanyoneinvolvedincommunicationisadesigner,amultimodallearner.The

previousstatementsindicatesthatthetheoryofmultimodalitycanbeextensivelyappliedin

almostifnotalldailylifeacademicpractices.Kiilietal(2013)provideasummaryofdifferent

areasofacademicliteraciesandpedagogicalguidingprinciplestoassistinstructorsinapplying

theoutlineintheirownteachingcontexts.

Whenitcomestostudentsabilitytonavigatemultimodality,KressandSelander(2012)

emphasizethatpeoplearenaturallymultimodallearnersthroughtheircapacityofusingdesignto

effectivelycommunicatetheirideaswiththeiracademicpeers.MorenoandMayer(2007)state

thatstudentscanregulatetheirlearninginsuchenvironmentswhentheyareawareoftheir

strengthsandweaknessesbydirectingtheintellectualprocessesrequiredforunderstanding.

However,Serafini(2012)notesthattodaysstudents,facingthegapbetweenthetextsinschool

andthetextsintheirdailylivesoutofschool,stillneedtolearnappropriateskillsandstrategies
DISCOVERINGANEWEDGEOFLITERACY 36

tobeabletonavigateandunderstandthetextsofthetwentyfirstcentury.Fortodaysstudentsto

besuccessfulinthenewenvironment,theyshouldfirsthavethesuitableskillsandstrategiesfor

circumnavigatingandunderstandingvisualdesignfundamentalsandimages.Heexplicitly

explainsthatThereconceptualizedfourresourcesorsocialpracticesproposedare

readervieweras:(a)navigator,(b)interpreter,(c)designer,and(d)interrogator(p.27).

Inallofthesescholarlywrittenarticles,itisnotablethattheauthorselaboratewellinthe

topicofmultimodality.However,noonehaseverevaluatedmultimodalityfromstudents

perspectivesanditsexistenceinNCSUclassrooms.

NewFindings

Inmyresearch,IaimtofilloutthisgapbysurveyingNCSUstudentswithdifferent

academiclevels,analyzingtheirresponsesandbringingtheirvoicetothediscussionof

multimodalitytocontributetocreatingabetterlearningatmosphere.Thisgoalcanbe

implementedbydetermininghowmultimodalityisappliedinNCSUclassroomswithregardto

thefollowingquestions:Canapositivecorrelationbetweenmultimodalityandthelevelof

classesbeeasilyidentified?Ifnot,whatarethefactorslimitingtheapplicationsof

multimodalityintheclassroomsfromthestudentsperspectives?Theanswertosuchaquestion

isbasedontheassumptionthatthemoreadvancedacourseis,themoremodesareintegratedin

itbecausemultimodallearningmakessophisticatedsubjectsmucheasiertobeabsorbed.

Thestudywasconductedusingasurveytogatherinformationabouttheintegrationof

multimodalityinNCSUclassrooms.Thequestionnaire(locatedinAppendixA)wascomposedof

atotalof14multiplechoicequestions,threeopenquestionsandtwocheckboxquestions.Three
DISCOVERINGANEWEDGEOFLITERACY 37

ofthesequestionsweredemographicquestionsandtheother16wererelatedtotheintegrationof

multimodality.Thesamplegroupconsistedof32collegestudentsattendingNorthCarolinaState

University.Thestudypopulationwasmadeupof14graduatestudents,twoseniorstudents,seven

juniorstudents,twosophomorestudents,andsixfreshmenstudents.Aimingtosurveyparticipants

fromeachlevelofclasseswasthemosteffectivewaytoshowtherelationshipbetweenthelevel

oflearningandtheusageofmultimodalityifitexisted.

Becausethisstudyexamineswhetheradistinctivecorrelationexistsbetweenthe

integrationofmultimodalityinNCSUclassroomsandhowadvancedtheclassestakenare,the32

participantsresultscanbedividedintosixmaincategoriesbasedontheirresponsestoquestions

oneandeightinthequestionnaire:Whatisyourprofessionalstatusandwhatdifferentmodes

haveyouusedinyourFall14classessofar?Nonetheless,thefindingofthisstudydemonstrates

thatthecorrelationbetweenhowadvancedaclassisandhowmuchmultimodalityisintegrated

isindistinct.Surprisingly,theaveragesophomorerespondedthathisorherclassesareusingseven

differentmodes.Boththeaveragefreshmenandjuniorsaidthattheyareusing3.67modes.The

averagegraduatestudents,whowereexpectedtocheckmostofthemodespresentedinthe

questionnaire,saidthatonly3.64differentmodesarebeingusedintheirclassrooms.Theaverage

seniorrespondedtoonly1.5modes.Thisopposesthehypothesisthatwasmadeitdoesnot

indicatethatthemoreadvanceaclassgets,themoremultimodalityisintegrated.These

seeminglyconflictingresultsunderscorethatNCSUhasnotyetreachedthestagewhere

integratingmoremultimodalityintheclassroomsrisesasthedifficultyofclassesgoeshigher.In

otherwords,NCSUclassroomsneedtogetclosetothisideallevelofcorrelationtodemonstrate

aperfectviewoflearningfacilitation.Severalscholarssupportthisinterruption.Kiilietal(2013)
DISCOVERINGANEWEDGEOFLITERACY 38

assertthatmultimodalcompositionsencouragestudentstosolvecomplicatedproblems.Itisa

wellknownfactthatasstudentsgetmoreadvanced,thelevelofcomplexityoftheproblems

neededtobesolvedgetshigher.Thus,wearebroughtagaintoourconclusionthatmoremodesin

teachingshouldbeusedasthecomplexityofacourseincreasessimplybecausemultimodality

facilitateslearning.

Whentheparticipantswereaskedabouttheirlearningstyles,56%ofNCSUstudents(19

outof32participants)answeredthattheyaretactile/kinestheticlearnerswhereasthirtyfive

percent(12outof32participants)saidtheyareauditorylearners.Nineteenofthe32respondents

(56%)claimedthatmostoftheirclassesareunabletorespondtoavarietyoflearningstyles.

Furthermore,themajorityoftheparticipants(79%)suggestedthatinstructorsshouldusemore

modeswhenexplaininganewconcept.ThisclearlyshowsthatNCSUclassroomsneedtohave

moremultimodalitytofulfilltheneedandthediversityoflearningstylesofitsstudents.Withthe

acknowledgmentofthegreateffortsofhighlightingmultimodallearningthroughestablishingan

annualMultimediaResearchContest(MultimediaResearchContest,2014),multimodalityin

theclassroomsstillneedsmoreemphasis.Thisneededpromotioncanbeimplementedbyholding

conferencesandworkshopsforinstructorsabouttheeffectivenessofusingmultimodalityinthe

classroomstoraisetheirawarenessoftheirstudentsneeds.

Severalimprovementscanbemadetothisstudytoobtainmorereliableresultsinthe

future.Researchersshouldsurveyawiderrangeofparticipantswithagreateramountofdiversity.

Thelargerasamplepopulation,theeasieritistocorrelatevariables.Inaddition,researchers

shouldincludeamoredetailedquestionaboutthelevelofclassesthattheparticipantsaretaking
DISCOVERINGANEWEDGEOFLITERACY 39

toavoidthelimitationsofhavingsimilarresults.Aseniorstudentmaybetakingtwo500

graduatelevelclassesinhisorhermajorwhiletakinga200levelclassinanelective.

Conclusion

Thestudycommencedtodeterminehowstudentsperspectivesaresimilaranddifferent

fromwhatscholarshaveclaimedintheirstudiesaboutintegratingmultimodalityinthe

classrooms.ThesignificancethatstemsfromthisstudyisthatthemajorityofNCSUstudents

wantmultimodalitytobemoreintegratedinNCSUclassrooms.Itfacilitateslearningbycreating

amotivationalenvironmentthatpromoteslearnerscollaboration.AsMorenoandMayer(2007)

pointout,theeffectivenessofacquiringknowledgeinanenvironmentwheremultimodallearning

isappliedgreatlydependsontheactionsoflearners.Theresultsofmystudyshowthatthe

majorityofNCSUstudentsbelievethatthemorewaystheycanlearnanewconcepts,themore

theybecomeengagedwithit,themoretheyunderstandit.Similarly,resultsinMorenosand

Mayers(2007)studyshowsthatmultimodalityenablesstudentstousetheirmetacognitive

learningskillstoregulatetheirmotivationandcognitiveprocessingduringlearning(p.314).

Thecurrentstudyrevealedthatmoremultimodalityshouldbeintegrated,additional

researchisneededtoidentifyhowapplicableincreasingtheintegrationofmultimodalityin

NCSUclassroomscanbe,andhowmuchmultimodalitycanincreaseNCSUstudentscreativity

andoutcomes.Answerstosuchquestions,inadditiontothefindingsofthisstudy,havethe

potentialtoprovideNCSUeducationalleaderswithabetterunderstandingoftheimpact

multimodalityhasonlearninganditsapplicationsinthetwentyfirstcentury.Thisstudyandthe

previousmentionedstudiesleadthewayforwardtowardsachangeinNCSUclassrooms.
DISCOVERINGANEWEDGEOFLITERACY 40

References

Bazalgette,C.,&Buckingham,D.(2013),Literacy,mediaandmultimodality:acritical

response.Literacy,47(2),95102.doi:10.1111/j.17414369.2012.00666.x

Kress,G.,&Selander,S.(2012).Multimodaldesign,learningandculturesofrecognition.T
he

InternetandHigherEducation,15(4),265268.doi:10.1016/j.iheduc.2011.12.003

Kiili,C.,Mkinen,M.,&Coiro,J.(2013).Rethinkingacademicliteracies:designing

multifacetedacademicliteracyexperiencesforpreserviceteachers.J ournalof

Adolescent&AdultLiteracy,57(3),223232.doi:10.1002/JAAL.223

Moreno,R.,&Mayer,R.(2007).Interactivemultimodallearningenvironments.Educational

PsychologyReview,19(3),309326.doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s1064800790472

MultimediaResearchContest.(n.d.).RetrievedAugest13,2014,from

http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/multimediacontes

Multimodality.(2014).CollegeCompositionandCommunication,65(3),514.Retrievedfrom

http://proxying.lib.ncsu.edu/index.php?url=/docview/1497179019?accountid=12725

Serafini,F.(2012).Readingmultimodaltextsinthe21stcentury.ResearchintheSchools,19(1),

2632.Retrievedfrom

http://proxying.lib.ncsu.edu/index.php?url=/docview/1284528261?accountid=12725
DISCOVERINGANEWEDGEOFLITERACY 41

AppendixA

Fall2014SurveyfortheIntegrationofMultimodality
Withthehugegrowthoftechnology,thetheoryofmultimodality,definedastheuseof
severalmodes,includingtextual,aural,andvisualresources,toconveyasinglemessage,has
becomeacentraltopicthatmanyeducationalresearchersandscholarschoosetoconducta
researchon.
Byparticipatinginthisstudy,youwillcontributetoacceleratingthelearningprocess
throughlettingtheeducationalleadersbetterunderstandtheintegrationofmultimodalityin
NCSUclassroomsfromthestudents'perspectives.Here,youcanspeakupandmakeadifference.
1.Whatisyourprofessionalstatus?
Freshman
Sophomore
Junior
Senior
Graduate
2.Whatisyourmajor?__________________
3.Whatisyourlearningstyle?
AuditoryLearnerslearnbestwheninformationispresentedinanauditorylanguageformat.Visual
Learnerslearnbestwheninformationispresentedinvisualformatsuchaspicturesordiagrams.
Tactile/KinestheticLearnerslearnbestinhandsonlearningsettingsinwhichtheycan
physicallymanipulatesomethinginordertolearnaboutit.Youmaychoosemorethanone.
avisuallearner
atactile/kinestheticlearner
anauditorylearner
4.Areyourclassesabletorespondtoavarietyoflearningstyles?
Choosefrom1(none)to6(all)
5.Whatisthepercentageofyourinstructorsusingmorethanawhiteboardandatextbooktoteach
anewconcept?
Lessthan50%
50%
Morethan50%
6.Doyouthinkthatteachingtoday'sstudentsusingonlyawrittentextcanwork?
Yes
Dependsonthesubject
DISCOVERINGANEWEDGEOFLITERACY 42

No
7.WhatmodeshaveyouusedinyourFall14classessofar?
8.Selectallifapplicable.
Broadcast
Blogs
Mobileapps
CloudStorage
Onlinecommunityordiscussionforums
Videocontent
Images
Webbasedinteractivegames
Music
3Dobjects
Handwritingassignments
9.Doyouagreethatyourinstructorsshouldusemoremodeswhenteaching?
stronglyagree
agree
donotcare
disagree
stronglydisagree
10.Whatisthelevelofyourcompositionskillsusingtechnology?
Compositionskillsarenotlimitedtoyourabilitytowrite.Theyincludetechnologybasedtasks.
Idonotconsidermyselfatechnologyuser.
Iconsidermyselfanoviceuser.Iaccomplishassignedtasks,butIammoreefficientwhen
Idon'tusetechnologytodomyassignment.
Iconsidermyselfaboutaverage.
Myskillsareverygood.IuseavarietyoftechnologytoolsandIusethemefficiently.
Iamatechnologyleader.Iusetechnologyefficiently,effectivelyandincreativewaysto
accomplishmyacademicgoals.Ioftenteachotherstousetechnologyresources.
11.Doyouthinkthatusingseveralmodesincreasesyourmotivationtolearn?
Yes
No
12.Doyouthinkthatthetechnologytodayallowsteacherstodomuchmorethaneverbefore?
Whyorwhynot?___________________________________________________________
13.Doyouthinkthatstudentstodayaredigitalnativestheyneedtheirclassroomstoembracea
21stcenturycurriculum?
Yes
No
14.Doyouthinkthattechnologyisateachingaidthatwouldbehardtolivewithout?
Yes
No
15.Doyouthinkthatstudentsareabletoharnessthepowerofthemultimodalitythattheyare
alreadysurroundedbyandusingitforeducationalprogress?
Yes
No
DISCOVERINGANEWEDGEOFLITERACY 43

16.Doyouthinkthatmultimodalitycreatesanenvironmentofgreaterstudentcollaboration?
Yes
No
17.Doyouthinkthatmultimodalityismoreofadistractionthananteachingasset?Whyorwhy
not?________________________________________________________________________

18.Doyouthinkthattechnologyisbecomingmoreofacrutchthanitoughttobe?
Yes
No
19.Doyouthinkthatmultimodalityrequirestoomuchplanning/maintenance?
Yes
No

Keys:
Thissymbolisusedformultiplechoicequestions.
Thissymbolisusedforcheckboxesquestions.
__Thisisusedforopenquestions.


DISCOVERINGANEWEDGEOFLITERACY 44

IntroductiontoProjectFive

Inthisproject,Iwasassignedtomultimodallyremediateoneofmypreviousprojects,

andIdecidedtoremediateprojectfour.Itookthesamecontentandideasfromthatprojectand

translateditintoanewgenre,agameboardthatusesmultiplemodesofcommunication.I

learnedhowtoattractmyaudiencetolistentomebybuildingmygameonthethreeprinciplesof

persuasion,whichareethos,pathosandlogos.ThekeyareainwhichIrevisedmyprojectisthe

styleofbills.Billscanbeapowerfultooltoconveymeaning.Belowyouwillseetwoexamples

whereIcustomizedtheU.Sdollarstoincludepicturesoftheauthorswhowrotetheresourcesthat

Ioccupiedinmyliteraturereview.Inthebackofthebills,youwillfindsomequotesand

informationabouttheauthorsandwhattheyhavesaid.IfIhadenoughtime,Iwouldalternatethe

sentencesinthebackofthebillswithothersentencesprovidedinthefollowinglink.

https://docs.google.com/a/ncsu.edu/document/d/12YIGoaGSbMVxE_CtaWPxNLZNQubAsF9Rtf

Ek02Y2nbc/edit?usp=sharing

DISCOVERINGANEWEDGEOFLITERACY 45

MultimodalityGameBoard


DISCOVERINGANEWEDGEOFLITERACY 46