Just as in the analog classroom, multimodal assignment sequences typically scaffold a series of shorter student activities that then build-up into the final draft of longer projects. Through short, low stakes activities students can practice key skills and receive faculty and peer feedback they can then revise into the project that caps off the sequence or course. Because multimodal assignments may be published at any stage of the sequence, students are free to negotiate an array of stepped demands during their projects to emerge with knowledge of the course content and formal conventions.
In their article “’Convince Me!’ Valuing Multimodal Literacies and Composing Public Service Announcements,” Richard and Cynthia Selfe argue their PSA sequence exposes students to the skills necessary to participate in shifting global literacies that value “traditional alphabetic writing skills” alongside “audio and video transmissions, images, sounds, music, animations, and multimedia presentations” (85-86). The authors break the PSA assignment into modules in which students compose on the same research topic, but in different modalities such as alphanumeric, poster, audio, and video.
The following are some highlights from Selfe and Selfe’s multimodal assignment sequence, each stage of which is a module unto itself that can be rearranged according to student needs. Though it pertains specifically to the Multimodal PSA, the sequence can also be extrapolated to fit a variety of digital assignments.
Research & Research Writing
Models & Descriptive Analysis
Print PSA & Studio Review #1
Audio PSA & Studio Review #2
Video PSA & Studio Review #3
The resources below provide some more ideas for multimodal assignment sequences: