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Widening the Literary Lens: Genre Studies and Multimodal Learning in the Literature Classroom

Author: Amanda Rose
Faculty Mentor: N/A


While teachers like Jody Shipka have long advocated for the benefits of multimedia learning and genre studies, there is still very little research available today concerning the effects of multimodal learning in the literature classroom. In the past two years, I have incorporated multi-genre projects into two of my literature courses (one at the University of Boston and the other at the University of Florida). Alongside these courses, I have also taught key concepts such as “discourse community”, “strategic knowledge”, and metacognition”, thus helping my students to more easily recognize the ways in which their learning approaches to reading, writing, and thinking can influence their perceptions of themselves and the world around them. This kind of teaching model seeks to highlight the complexity of communication, and, more importantly, it emphasizes the difficulties concerning communicative choices in the 21st century (i.e. the challenges related to metacognitive thinking and attentiveness in a media-dominant world). In this way, my literature courses require students to carefully assess their deliberate communicative choices and, in turn, investigate the ways in which each communicative choice can be seen to change in the meaning and perception of the messages being conveyed. While these assignments haven’t always productively contributed to the literary conversation, I would like to discuss the ways in which this kind of learning approach may allow for a more complex understanding of communication, genre, and transparency in the 21st century.
Research Types: Graduate Research


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8 Responses

  1. I love this idea. Multimedia learning isn’t well studied but I think it’s great that someone is taking the time to talk about it. I would love to see more about what they find and how they implement it. Unfortunately, it is really hard to read the poster even when expanded.

  2. I like how they focus on the point of sometimes it is the way a message is conveyed that says more than the actual content of the message, I think that is such a key point that gets forgotten. I wish I could read more and see what exactly they were using H.P Lovecraft for!

  3. I hadn’t realized there is a dearth of research on multi-modal learning in literature classrooms, as you mention. It seems like your approach to curriculum design will contribute valuably to that conversation!

  4. Necessary and useful approach to education. Glad to see the focus on showing students how their learning approaches affect their perceptions (and vice versa).
    Regarding the inclusion of HP Lovecraft, do students also learn about the author’s controversial views that in turn “widen the literary lens?”

  5. I love how easy to follow the showcase is even with all the different types of media exhibited. Focusing on how media is presented rather than what media is presented is a really cool idea, and makes one see that there are a plethora of ways one can effectively present media.

  6. I’ve always wondered why we haven’t studied more on the most effective ways to study and how it can change someone’s absorption of material, so I like this idea of how the way the media is presented can change the level of understanding. I do wish the poster was a bit easier to read, but what I could read I thought was very interesting. I like how you made the learning more fun, I wish I had more teachers who thought like this while I was growing up!

  7. Amanda I like your approach to this topic and the comparison you did between the different readings. Understanding that these assignments haven’t always been productive but still provide vital information needed to make advancements is important enough to put your ideas into conceptualization.

  8. By approaching the work from so many different modalities, you find space for more analysis and conversation. I would not have thought of the drawing or handwriting myself, but I can see the value in this — especially for creative learning.

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