Digital/Visual Literacies and Multimodal Strategies in the Writing Classroom

Proposal Title: 
Digital/Visual Literacies and Multimodal Strategies in the Writing Classroom
Presenter(s): 
Abstract: 

This presenter, a Deaf PhD student who communicates through American Sign Language, discusses how her cultural and scholarly identity shapes her teaching approach in her first-year writing courses. She consciously integrates visual projections, online communication, and other multimodal interventions. In particular, this presentation will follow her discoveries teaching a first-year writing section with one hard-of-hearing student; specifically, the digital and multimodal strategies she used to communicate with all her students. The presenter’s inclusive pedagogy could serve as an example for writing instructors who would like to design access to digital, visual, and written literacies for students with various learning styles.

Proposal: 

This presenter, a Deaf PhD student who communicates through American Sign Language, discusses how her cultural and scholarly identity shapes her pedagogical approach to teaching non-deaf freshman students in her first-year writing courses at East Carolina University. Her teaching philosophy draws from her personal appreciation of how web-based and computer technologies enhance her own communication and writing processes. In this presentation, she shows other instructors how she deliberately integrates visual projections, online communication, and other multimodal interventions in traditional face-to-face class sessions. These technological strategies promote the coexisting development of digital, visual, oral, and written literacies in her students.

Designing a multimodal teaching space affirms Kerschbaum’s (2013) declaration that multimodality conveys meaning across multiple channels and amplifies communication—thus enabling all students to access and participate in the learning environment. This presenter will discuss different ways in which the ethics of accessibility and inclusion (Yergeau et al., 2013) can open up pedagogical opportunities for instructors and students alike. As she will describe, she consciously redesigns her writing classrooms (Lewiecki-Wilson and Brueggemann, 2007) in order to benefit each new group of undergraduates. In particular, this presentation will follow her professional discoveries teaching a first-year writing section with one hard-of-hearing student; specifically, the digital and multimodal strategies she used to communicate equally with each person in the room. The presenter’s inclusive pedagogy could serve as an example for writing instructors who would like to design access to digital, visual, and written literacies for students with various learning styles.

Context: 
I discuss how my teaching pedagogy and strategies are influenced by and benefit from technological innovations used in the classroom. As a Deaf teacher-scholar of rhetoric, I am acutely aware of the academic and cultural gateways that online communication and multimodal tools open up for individuals and students of diverse backgrounds. By sharing how—and why—I utilize multimodal and digital tools in the classroom, I “speak” to the theme of developing digital/visual literacies.
Proposal Type: 
individual