A multimodal composition is one that uses more than one modality to achieve its intended purpose. The modalities are “visual, audio, gestural, spatial, or linguistic means of creating meaning” (Selfe, 195). Multimodal assignments have become common in English composition courses across the country. The idea is that, since teachers are asking their students to compose in the new media age, they should allow and encourage them to explore “all the available means of persuasion” (Aristotle). Beyond that, many students will have to present information in their careers or future classes that will require them to move beyond alphabetic text. Multimodal composing gives them the opportunity to develop and practice these skills.
You may be asked to compose a multimodal project for an English or religion class here at Kettering. This page should help you understand some of the basic ideas and provide you with examples of projects students have done in the past.
Visual – typeface, lines, shapes, background, color, transitions, quality of images, visual coherence, repetition, contrast
Audio – intonation of spoken text, sound effects, ambient noise, music, volume, silence, transitions from different audio clips
Gestural – facial expressions, gestures, body language
Spatial – line spacing, navigation, transitions, size of page, size of photos, proximity of photos and other elements to each other, line length, visual salience, white space, visual organization, alignment
Linguistic – written text or spoken words/narration, word choice, delivery, organization of ideas
When composing a multimodal project, you'll want to carefully consider the choices you make related to the different features listed above. For example, if your presentation also consists of your standing at the front and talking, make sure your project complements what you say and does not simply repeat it. Never read your slides to an audience-- they can read!
Commonly Used Media:
This website has links to many free presentation platforms. Check a few out, take them for a ride before you commit to one.
Movie (made with iMovie [Mac] or Moviemaker [Windows])
Website (Weebly is a good tool for this)