Multimodal Literacies: Communication and Learning in the Era of Digital Media

About this course: This course introduces innovative approaches to learning and teaching, with a focus on the use of e-learning and social web technologies.

Created by:   University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

  • Dr William Cope
    Taught by:    Dr William Cope, Professor
    Department of Education Policy, Organization & Leadership, College of Education

  • Dr Mary Kalantzis
    Taught by:    Dr Mary Kalantzis, Dean
    College of Education
How To PassPass all graded assignments to complete the course.
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Module 1: Course Orientation + Multimodal Meaning and Synesthesia
This module introduces the key ideas of the course: communication, representation (or making meanings for oneself as an aid to thinking), and the design of meaning. Today, our tools for communication and representation have been widely expanded by digital tools. For these reasons, we need to extend our literacy pedagogy to encompass literacies in the plural, including a wider range of modes of meaning than alphabetic text alone.

4 videos7 readings1 reading
  1. Reading: Syllabus
  2. Reading: Task Overview - How to Pass This Course
  3. Reading: About the Discussion Forums
  4. Practice Quiz: Orientation Quiz
  5. Video: 8.1 Introduction - Representation, Communication and Design
  6. Reading: "Regimes of Literacy," Kalantzis and Cope
  7. Discussion Prompt: Getting to Know Your Classmates
  8. Reading: Updating Your Profile
  9. Reading: Social Media
  10. Video: 8.2 Design and Multimodality
  11. Video: 8.3 A Grammar of Multimodal Meaning
  12. Video: 8.4 Synesthesia or Mode Switching
  13. Reading: Related Readings
  14. Discussion Prompt: Essential Update #1
Graded: Essential Peer Reviewed Update #1
Module 2: Making Meaning by Reading + Making Meaning by Writing + Making Visual Meaning
This module begins with an overview of the conventional focus of literacy pedagogy – reading and writing. In its second half, the module applies a parallel set of tools to analysis of visual meanings. 

16 videos3 readings
  1. Video: 9.1 Learning to Read: Phonics
  2. Video: 9.2 Learning to Read: Reading for Meaning
  3. Reading: Related Readings
  4. Discussion Prompt: Optional Update #2
  5. Peer Review: Optional Peer Reviewed Update #2
  6. Video: 10.1 The Nature of Writing
  7. Video: 10.2 Traditional Grammar and Its Impossibilities
  8. Video: 10.3 Chomsky’s Grammar
  9. Video: 10.4 Halliday’s Grammar
  10. Video: 10.5 A Grammar of Multiliteracies
  11. Video: 10.6 The Writing Process
  12. Reading: Related Readings
  13. Discussion Prompt: Essential Update #3
  14. Video: 11.1 The Contemporary Significance of Visual Meanings
  15. Video: 11.2 Designs of Visual Meanings
  16. Video: 11.3 Perceptual Images and Mental Images
  17. Video: 11.4 A Grammar of the Visual
  18. Video: 11.5 Deconstructing Images
  19. Video: 11.6 Image Making as Design
  20. Video: 11.7 Parsing Images
  21. Video: 11.8 Multimodal Pedagogy in Practice
  22. Reading: Related Readings
  23. Discussion Prompt: Optional Update #4
  24. Peer Review: Optional Peer Reviewed Update #4
Graded: Essential Peer Reviewed Update #3
Module 3: Making Spatial, Tactile, and Gestural Meanings + Making Audio and Oral Meanings + Literacies to Think and to Learn
In this third module of the course, we examine spatial, tactile, gestural, audio, and oral meanings – all today part of a wider repertoire of teaching and learning that we call "literacies" in the plural, or "multiliteracies." In the final section of the module, we explore how we use literacies to think in characteristically "academic" ways. In this sense, literacies play a critical supportive role in the learning process.

13 videos3 readings
  1. Video: 12.1 Spatial, Tactile, and Gestural Meanings
  2. Video: 12.2 A Grammar of Spatial Meaning
  3. Video: 12.3 Tactile Meanings
  4. Video: 12.4 A Grammar of Tactile Meaning
  5. Video: 12.5 Gestural Meanings
  6. Video: 12.6 A Grammar of Gestural Meanings
  7. Reading: Related Readings
  8. Discussion Prompt: Optional Update # 5
  9. Peer Review: Optional Peer Reviewed Update # 5
  10. Video: 13.1 Making Audio Meanings
  11. Video: 13.2 Making Meanings Using Oral Language
  12. Video: 13.3 Synesthesia and Mode Shifting Between Oral and Written Meanings
  13. Video: 13.4 Classroom Discussion in Speech and Writing
  14. Reading: Related Readings
  15. Discussion Prompt: Essential Update #6
  16. Video: 14.1 Literacies to Think and to Learn
  17. Video: 14.2 On Human Meaning Systems
  18. Video: 14.3 Academic Literacies as Ways of Thinking
  19. Reading: Related Readings
  20. Discussion Prompt: Optional Update #7
  21. Peer Review: Optional Peer Reviewed Update #7
Graded: Essential Peer Reviewed Update #6
Module 4: Literacies and Learner Differences + Literacies Standards and Assessment
The final module of the course examines the question of learner differences – including literacies learning at different age levels and second language learning. We also explore strategies for differentiated instruction. Finally, we investigate the range of assessment strategies that can be used to diagnose learner needs, offer feedback during the learning process, and evaluate learning outcomes.

13 videos2 readings
  1. Video: 15.1 Literacies and Learner Differences
  2. Video: 15.2 The Effects of Learner Differences
  3. Video: 15.3 Literacies Learning and Development
  4. Video: 15.4 Recognizing Learner Differences in Literacies Pedagogy
  5. Video: 15.5 Complexities of Learner Differences
  6. Video: 15.6 Differentiated Literacies Instruction
  7. Reading: Related Readings
  8. Discussion Prompt: Essential Update #8
  9. Video: 16.1 Approaches to Literacy Standards and Assessment
  10. Video: 16.2 Standardized and Norm-referenced Assessment
  11. Video: 16.3 Criterion Referenced Assessment
  12. Video: 16.4 Progress Assessment
  13. Video: 16.5 Select and Supply Response Assessments
  14. Video: 16.6 Rubric-Based Peer and Formative Assessment
  15. Video: 16.7 Big Data and the Future of Assessment
  16. Reading: Related Readings
  17. Discussion Prompt: Optional Update #9
  18. Peer Review: Optional Peer Reviewed Update #9
  19. Peer Review: Optional Work 1: Educational Theory
  20. Peer Review: Optional Work 2A: Learning Practice Case Study
  21. Peer Review: Optional Work 2B: Design a Learning Module
Graded: Essential Peer Reviewed Update #8
How It Works
Each course is like an interactive textbook, featuring pre-recorded videos, quizzes and projects.
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