Document Type


Date of Degree

Fall 2016

Access Restrictions


Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Teaching and Learning

First Advisor

Hand, Brian

First Committee Member

Linebarger, Deborah

Second Committee Member

Park, Soonhye

Third Committee Member

McDermott, Mark

Fourth Committee Member

Forbes, Andrew


This study was designed to examine the effect of Science Writing Heuristic Approach on Students’ Learning of Multimodal Representations across 4th Grade to 8the Grade Levels. Multimodal representations in the forms of figures, tables, pictures, and charts are part of scientific language. A quasi-experimental design with control and treatment group of classes was used. Students completed the summary writing task by including multimodal representations in the both control and treatment classes. The students’ writing samples were evaluated with four measures of multimodal categories, including sign, functional, conceptual and embeddedness structures. To examine the differences of treatment and control groups and the effect of age, the Hierarchical Linear Modeling (HLM) analysis was used in this study. The HLM provides an opportunity to use statistical models that account for nesting of the data. Analysis of quantitative data indicated that the treatment classes significantly outperformed than the control classes on four measures of categories. Age also was a significant contributor to students’ learning of multimodal representations. Three key points emerged from the results. Firstly, the SWH approach had positive effects on students’ understanding of the multimodal representations. Secondly, the impact of the age was different for each category. Thirdly, the categories were used in this study had significant potential when exploring the students learning of multimodal representations. The study indicated some practical benefits that the strategy of promoting argumentative scientific language effectively was resulted in better communication, understanding of the topic with multimodal representations, and some transferring impacts of all these with the summary writing activities.


Argument Based Inquiry, Multimodal Representations, Science Writing Heuristic


x, 111 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 106-111).


Copyright © 2016 Nurcan Keles