EXPERIENCE OF DEVELOPING STUDENTS’ MULTIMODAL LITERACY IN THE DIGITAL LEARNING ENVIRONMENT OF HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS
AbstractThe paper presents a theoretical overview of the notion “multimodal literacy” in the context of the multiliteracies pedagogy focusing on the research relevant to developing notions of literacy for twenty-first century higher education standards. The relevance of the topic is explained by the fact that the modern world is becoming more and more pluralist and increasingly dependent on new technologies and different modes of communication, students require new transdisciplinary skills and methods of learning. The author examines the changing pattern of literacy as broad, multidimensional knowledge, skills and attitudes. Literacy is viewed as a personal sociocultural capacity the development of which provides every student with the rules how to solve problems, to relate to others and survive in diverse social settings, and creates numerous opportunities for enhancing critical thinking and reflection as well. The foundation for students’ multimodal literacy in the digital learning environment of a higher education institution through theoretical and applied frameworks of visual, media, information and multicultural literacy is considered. The diverse affordance of digital tools and range of multimodal genres offer engaging new avenues for students’ creative expression on the basis of developing multimodal literacy. It is emphasized that successful life in a world of multimodal information requires fluency in a broad range of literacies to consume and create texts in visual, audio, and written formats, to evaluate messages in a variety of mediums, and to gain sociocultural awareness and the ability to communicate and live in a global diverse society. Pedagogic techniques across disciplines (multimodal essay, digital mapping project) are highlighted in view of their effectiveness in developing multicultural literacy of undergraduate students. It is an empowering practice for modern educators to incorporate multimodal tasks into a diverse learning environment, which teaches critical thinking and multimodal skills, enhances audio-visual rhetoric, develops writing and oral communication skills, and aids in self-expression and self-reflection.
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