Date of Degree
PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)
Teaching and Learning
First Committee Member
Second Committee Member
Third Committee Member
Fourth Committee Member
Since the personal computing revolution began in the 1980s, digital technologies have become more powerful, affordable, and portable. Those tools have made possible the information age and new ways of communicating. When we connect, we encounter prompts to post, comment, edit, tweet, snap, capture, collaborate, and share. Within an app loaded on a device close at hand are the tools necessary to create and bring together images, videos, sounds, animations, and text. When we mix forms of communication in this way, we create multimodal compositions.
Teachers, students, politicians, corporations, universities, journalists, employers, artists, authors, role models, and friends now communicate with multimodal compositions. The growing significance of multimodal compositions suggests the importance of learning how to consume and create these new media. Many educators consider such skills essential to literacy in the information age. In the context of higher education, rhetoric and composition courses increasingly take on the responsibility of teaching future leaders to make effective and responsible use of multimodal compositions in their communication.
This study considers how college-level composition and rhetoric teachers and their students experience a time of transition between traditional speaking and writing assignments and multimodal composition projects that ask students to integrate different ways of communicating. I use qualitative methods to examine three levels of the composition curriculum: a single assignment, a single course, and a single department. The results point to possible advantages, obstacles, and complications of using multimodality as an approach to college-level literacy teaching and learning.
Composition, Computers and Writing, Literacy, Multimodal, New Media, Rhetoric
ix, 265 pages
Includes bibliographical references (pages 251-265).
Copyright © 2018 Matthew James Gilchrist
Gilchrist, Matthew James. "The ground beneath our feet: a multi-sited analysis of multimodal composition." PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) thesis, University of Iowa, 2018.