10.1 Response

Adam Banks encourages us to take risks and be messy. Indeed, risky and messy is often how I feel when thinking about incorporating multimodal activities and assignments into my classroom. Questions that cross my mind when I do ask students to consider, for instance, music and video clips as texts, when I think about asking them to tell their own personal narratives in forms other than an essay, such as through Instagram or in a video (as I will ask them to do for their final project) are : Am I being rigorous enough? Am I meeting the goals of this course? Am I teaching what the college wants me to be teaching? On the other side of it, I also wonder: Are these activities “different” enough? Am I pushing things far enough? Or am I still staying too close to the traditional? In other words, I sometimes feel that the idea of bringing multimodal texts and activities into my courses makes me unsure.

We are fortunate to read about multimodal writing and discuss a variety of pedagogical approaches in this practicum, and we have each other as support, but what about instructors who don’t and won’t have a home base like this? How do we change the way our classrooms look, when the people who are meant to be changing things are sometimes out there, operating solo. Often as a new adjunct, a sample syllabus might be all you get as a resource, and as these syllabi are from past semesters, they often don’t stray much from standard assignments (at least in my experience). I suppose my concerns center around practicality: How can new (and experienced) instructors learn about multimodal learning and composing and be encouraged to incorporate multimodal techniques?  Where would an adjunct who wants to stray from alphabetic texts, who was on his or her own, turn for inspiration and guidance? I know I for one am often interested in implementing a pedagogical strategy into my classroom and then find myself at a loss for models. What could an administration/department do to help instructors interested in this endeavor? At what point, or rather points, should we begin this transformation?