Addressing FYC Instructors' Lack of Technological Expertise in Implementing Multimodal Assignments

Addressing FYC Instructors' Lack of Technological Expertise in Implementing Multimodal Assignments

Ashok Bhusal (The University of Texas at El Paso, USA)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 21
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7183-4.ch007

Abstract

The chapter argues that teacher training should focus on providing guidelines to instructors on how to use technology and on the skills necessary to implement multimodal assignments. It uses UTEP's first-year writing program as a case study to investigate the multimodal assignments as part of the syllabus given to first-year students. It presents an analysis of interviews with current first-year composition instructors regarding their experience teaching multimodal projects and examines current first-year composition courses and teacher training practices at the University of Texas El Paso (UTEP) to gauge the effective implementation of multimodal assignments. Finally, it offers recommendations to address the obstacles and lack of expertise of instructors in employing multimodality in the classroom.
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Pedagogical Implications And Challenges For Implementing Multimodal Assignments

Because of the emergence of new technologies, the importance of implementing multimodal assignments in first-year composition has increased. Elizabeth Clerk (2010) says that traditional literacies that still dominate composition classes should be replaced with something new that “engages students in the interactivity, collaboration, ownership, authority and malleability of texts” (p. 27). She introduces multimodal practices such as ePortfolios, online games, blogs, Second Life, and ePortofolios in her composition classes as a venue for digital rhetoric. Though she discusses many ways of including new media, her focus is the ePortfolio, which she says is “an ideal bridge between traditional, essayistic literacy pedagogies and emerging digital rhetoric” (p. 29). For Jody Shipka (2011), multimodal composition provides many opportunities for students to “consider how they are continually positioned in ways that require them to read, respond to, align within short, to negotiate --a streaming interplay of words, images, sounds, scents, and movements” (p. 21). Many students see and employ various technological devices in their own homes and workplaces. By providing opportunities for those students to create mode blending texts, instructors enable them to draw from their own experiences and to make sense of their own world. In addition, those students who have limited access to technology should be taught how to use it so they can employ multimodal texts.

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