Having revisited and then categorised the data from the seven interviews, I've rewritten the my original research questions (submitted within my 17 December Research Proposal). On reflection, questions 2 and 3 from my Research Proposal cover too much of the same ground. Also, the questions ignore the conditions that promote/discourage multimodal approaches to assignments, which has been one of more interesting themes to emerge from both the data and my lit review. I think the new combination of questions are also more able to directly address my overarching question posed within the dissertation. Anyway, I have gone...
Another helpful e-mail from Sian:
So there you go! Land's work on crests....was Sian's work.
This could go in the concluding part of my literature review.
To date, critical discussion of multimodality and the related fields of digital literacies and hypertext writing have taken a number of approaches and attended to a range of different areas. This has included the institutional implications of a shift towards digitisation within the academy, the potential implications upon how academic information and ideas are presented and how multimodal texts might be deconstructed or analysed. Less critical attention however has considered the experience of the tutor. With some exceptions, the focus has been upon the institution, the student and the researcher.
Within the lit review, rather than talking at great length about the fact that multimodality already exists within the academy - I'll put the message across in a multimodal way.
Within the lit review i will use the phrase 'a wander around the campus...' and will hyperlink to the video. The video - which I've already explore in this blog - will take a multimodal approach to explain what would otherwise seem quite forced and incomplete in words.
The video could include a combination of sound, photography and perhaps a few short captions.
I would include music, art and a PowerPoint presentation. It would be good to extend this to another subject area within Edinburgh University but time is really tight.
Following on from my previous post (about McEwan Hall entrance) here's a picture I took of an (old) University crest attached to a wall on Bristo Square. I'm not sure where this will come into my dissertation (if at all) however I'm adding it here as a reminder, and also because I like the photo. Actually, the ideal place for this would be within the Literature review when I'm talking about Ray Land's reflections on university crests. Perhaps I include the static image alongside the text. Or perhaps I develop it in some animated way. Or both.
Just noting this down over lunch as it has come to me. During our last meeting Sian suggested that within my Lit Review I need to discuss what multimodal artefacts can look like. She also suggested that I need to talk more specifically about my research questions, rather than distancing myself from the work. Sian suggested offering examples of Alisdair Gray's work, however I think I would like to offer something with a strong education/assessment focus. Taking on board all these points then, here's a question to put to Sian the next time I speak to her/email her:
Within my Literature Review, would it be appropriate to make direct reference to examples of multimodal assessment artefacts within the MSc in Digital Education? Or should this wait for the discussion of findings section? I actually think it would be really helpful to draw the reader's attention to specific examples at this stage - and of course I could use screenshots (perhaps edited).
I've had a quick look at the literature review from Michael's dissertation. The subject matter is entirely different to my own, however I'm interested in style, structure and length.
It will be useful to see how this compares with other literature reviews.
Last Friday afternoon I caught up briefly with Jeremy to get his thoughts on preparing a lit review, based upon his own experience of completing the MSc dissertation. Here are a few of the key points:
Jeremy has since sent me a link to his dissertation, although he notes that his entire dissertation was a lit review i.e. entirely desk bound research based upon the theory.
Over lunch I'm reading Carey Jewitt's 'Rethinking Assessment: Multimodality, literacy and computer mediated learning (2003). It's a really good (and relevant) read, even if the focus is upon high school study of a CD-Rom version of John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men.
Using the celestial metaphor of stars within a constellation. The autor created the all the individual elements of the multimodal assignments. These might be images, sound clips, passages of written text, animation. These are the stars. They are projected onto the canvas by the author. The author intends to demonstrate his understanding or world view through this assesmblage of stars.
The reader has a gazes upon the different stars glistening on the black canvas overhead. She then follows her own path between the different stars, studying one element, then another and then another. She follows her own path between the stars. She might return to a star of pariticular interest. She might do this more than once for, having seen subsequent stars the first star might make more sense. She is making sense of the relationship between the elements. She tries to make sense of the the elements by making sense of the combined knowledge they project. She is intepreting meaning from the assemblage of image, text and sound. She attaches meaning to this constellation based upon the unique journey she followed between them.
The reader/astronomer has followed her own path, not a trajectory proposed by the author. She is not receiving the message transmitted by the stars (author), she is constructing meaning upon what has been projected onto the sky canvas. As such she is a producer - she is constructing information. She negotiates this meaning with the author.