Crossing Over to the Multimodal Side: A Study of the Consensus Building Strategies Employed by Miami University in Support of a Multimodal First-year Writing Curriculum

by Ninacs, Michele

Abstract (Summary)
This single-case study examines the consensus building strategies employed by the Digital Writing Collaborative (DWC) at Miami University in support of the implementation of a multimodal first-year composition curriculum. This study focuses on circumstances within the institution that facilitated the curricular shift, specific strategies employed in developing institutional consensus, and how institutional stakeholders are working toward sustainability of the new curriculum. Miami University’s curricular innovation is significant. Expansion of multimodality into first-year writing curricula signals a greater acceptance of multimodal composition pedagogy and suggests the possibility of further expansion of multimodal practice across disciplines. The inclusion of multimodal composition practice in first-year writing courses by extension formalizes the role of multimodality within the academy and redefines academic discourse itself as multimodally constructed. This shift demands an ideological re-alignment that involves not only the re-conceptualization of literacy as multiple, but also a re-conceptualization of the function of digital technology within literacy instruction. This study revealed a number of actions and circumstances that facilitated the implementation of the multimodal curriculum. The ideological infrastructure at the university was consistent with the objectives and actions of the curricular innovation. As a result there were significant resources available for technological upgrades, conversion of physical infrastructures, and faculty development. The success of the program was developed over time and was not dependant upon a single individual. As a group, the DWC embraced an ideology of inclusion that served to build relationships across campus. They also developed successful articulation strategies, including a focus on multiple pedagogies. Early implementation of programmatic assessment practices figured prominently in their success. The program still faces challenges, such as obtaining additional resources, both financial and human, and continued development of ideological consensus within the English Department. The DWC continues to work towards developing a formal plan for programmatic sustainability.
Bibliographical Information:


School:Indiana University of Pennsylvania

School Location:USA - Pennsylvania

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:composition curriculum higher education multiliteracies multimodal writing


Date of Publication:05/06/2009

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