For my final project, I want to explore the ways that multimodality can transform the basic writing classroom. Because I have no personal experience with basic writing, I plan on surveying a group of basic writing professors to figure out the most common methods for teaching basic writers. From this data, I will have a better understanding of how widespread multimodality currently is and what issues or affordances it creates. I will then record an interview with Professor Medina to work out some of the concerns that professors may have with multimodal composition.
With the interview and a recorded narration, I will compose and produce a podcast that I will post online. I decided on the podcast format because I wanted to include a multiplicity of voices—Professor Medina’s, the basic writing professors’ and mine—and I thought a podcast would be the most seamless way to do that. Creating the podcast will also somewhat be an exercise in meta-analysis, since I will be using a multimodal format to argue for the use of multimodality. In that sense, I hope to show in my project that multimodality can be used to convey complex, interesting ideas.
Basic writing is a relatively nascent field of research within writing studies, having only been studied seriously since the 1970s. Despite its recent development, basic writing scholarship has provided tremendous insights into both the literacy struggles of developmental writers and composition studies as a whole. In recent years, basic writing programs have faced erosion at four-year and community colleges as a result of declining graduation rates. Many researchers have thus turned their attention to basic writing pedagogies to understand how to better prepare and nurture basic writers.