Viewing Multimodal Texts

“What makes a multimodal story successful?

When creating a mulitmodal story greater consideration needs to be taken as you immediately immerse the reader into a world where words do not exist on their own (Bill Cope  ) The meaning is interpreted  through the use of at least two semiotic systems:

There are five semiotic systems in total:

  1. Linguistic: comprising aspects such as vocabulary, generic structure and the grammar of oral and written language
  2. Visual: comprising aspects such as colour, vectors and viewpoint in still and moving images
  3. Audio: comprising aspects such as volume, pitch and rhythm of music and sound effects
  4. Gestural: comprising aspects such as movement, speed and stillness in facial expression and body language
  5. Spatial: comprising aspects such as proximity, direction, position of layout and organisation of objects in space.

Examples of multimodal texts are:

  • a picture book, in which the textual and visual elements are arranged on individual pages that contribute to an overall set of bound pages
  • a webpage, in which elements such as sound effects, oral language, written language, music and still or moving images are combined
  • a live ballet performance, in which gesture, music, and space are the main elements.

Multimodal texts can be delivered via different media or technologies. They may be live, paper, or digital electronic.,31522.html?issueID=12141

Woven into this is the multiplicity of the information or story, fitting with or to a particular group in society. When putting this into perspective a multimodal story has many layers that need to support each other to create a fluid story. I wonder whether this makes creating a story using a multimodal format more challenging? Does it change the way we draft and edit to create a final product? Does this engage a greater level of literacy? Or is it engaging the new literacies, rather than a greater level of literacy? It certainly builds in a new level of critique and one that changes as technologies become more refined. I gave Inanimate Alice to a grade 9 student to look at. This student is very familiar with creating and making meaning through ICT tools. He felt that there were areas that could be built on to make the story more fluid with regard to its interactivity hence enabling greater immersion into the story. This is something that is determined by two factors, the knowledge of the user regarding the technology used and the level of the technology used (keeping in mind that technology is continually changing, growing and refining). The student could see the relevance of Inanimate Alice for a primary audience with regard to themes and the story presentation. He also felt that it was a good entry point for teachers with little background in gaming and more complicated technologies. Further to this it has inspired him to contemplate his own multimodal story – Inanimate Alice is achieving its purpose on many levels.

As a result of sharing this with the student, he immediately sent me which needs to be viewed in google chrome. The possibilities are growing…


About dbatty1

I'm a teacher who loves to dabble with a range of technologies that enhance learning. At the moment I have taken a sea change delving deeper into social media. FTW
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