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EDU8415 Multi-Modal Texts and New Literacies

Semester 1, 2013 Online Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Education
School or Department : Education
Version produced : 21 July 2014

Contents on this page


Examiner: Kathryn Young
Moderator: Robyn Henderson


In a rapidly changing world, the widespread use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) including knowledge networks and social connectivity has led to a significant break from the media of our recent past. Print is only one of many media available for facilitating the sharing of information and communication. Text of today and the future are and will be multimodal and hybrid. They are delivered by a range of platforms embedding several modes and genres simultaneously. Engaging with the new media for curriculum and classroom practices has necessitated changes to both social and literate knowledge and behaviour. As a result, literacy educators need to understand how ICTs influence, shape and transform social and literate practices, and how they need to be proactive in the use of technology to achieve educational goals. They also need to understand how digital electronic texts are similar yet different from paper and print technologies, delivered on a variety of platforms. Literacy educators are being challenged to reconceptualise the ways in which literacy impact on their roles, understand the complex relationships between visuals, space and text, and interpret a range of symbols in critical and culturally appropriate ways. This is essential if future generations are to participate empoweringly in their own lives.


The purpose of this course is to provide opportunities for students to critically and constructively engage with issues associated with the interface between the theory and practice ofmultiliteracies across the curriculum. It includes the need for educational institutions to engage with and know more about informal ways students learn outside of education and bring aspects of their world into that institution. It further requires replacing instructional pedagogies with learning processes that support the creation of social and literate futures. These learning processes will incorporate the diversities and divergences of today's globalised world. A study will be made of the characteristics of texts delivered via new platforms and the codes and conventions which aid in the construction and deconstruction of meaning. Students will draw conclusions about the techno-literacy practices required to be literate in the 21st century and develop learning processes to support critical engagement with these practices. The focus of the course will be on texts and literate practices arising from technology rather than the specifics of the technologies themselves.


The course objectives define the student learning outcomes for a course. The assessment item(s) that may be used to assess student achievement of an objective are shown in parenthesis. On completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. explain how ICT's have influenced, shaped and transformed social and literate practices across relevant and unique discipline areas and contexts in which they are placed (Both assessment items)
  2. identify the issues arising from these changes which are critical for literacy education (Both assessment items)
  3. identify the codes and conventions which assist the construction and deconstruction of multi-modal texts in their own context (Both assessment items)
  4. identify and explain how multi-modal texts and hybrid texts are constructed and read differently from mono-modal print-based texts (Both assessment items)
  5. draw conclusions about appropriate content and pedagogy for literacy learning which acknowledge the impact of ICTs on social and literate behaviours and practices (Both assessment items)
  6. translate their knowledge and conclusions about ICTs and literacy into a task/project relevant to their particular context, needs and interests (Project)
  7. demonstrate competence in and appropriate use of language and literacy, including spelling, grammar, punctuation and bibliographic referencing.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Defining a new communication order and identifying its impact on social and literate practices 30.00
2. Investigating the multi-modal and hybrid texts of ICTs and the implications for teaching and learning how to read and use them 30.00
3. Developing appropriate curriculum and pedagogy for the new communication order 40.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • There is no prescribed text for this course.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • Alverman, D. (Ed) (2002), Adolescents and literacies in a digital world, Peter Lang, New York.
  • Coiro, J., Knobel, M., Lankshear, C., Leu, D (2008), Handbook of research on new literacies, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates/Taylor & Francis Group, New York.
  • Cole, D.R. & Pullen, D.L. (eds) (2010), Multiliteracies in motion, Current Thought and Practice, Routledge, New York and London.
  • Lankshear, C. and Knobel, M (2003), New Literacies: Changing Knowledge and Classroom Practice, Open University Press, Buckingham, UK.
  • Pullen, D.L. & Cole (2010), Multiliteracies and Technology Enhanced Education: Social practice and the global classroom, Hershey, New York.
  • Snyder, I. and Beavis, C. (Eds) (2004), Doing Literacy online: Teaching, Learning and Playing in an Electronic World, Hampton Press, New Jersey.
  • Walsh, M (2011), Multimodal literacy: Researching classroom practice, Primary English Teaching Association, Newtown: NSW.
  • Whether you are on, or off campus, the USQ Library is an excellent source of information

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Directed Study 80.00
Independent Study 80.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ASSIGNMENT 1 50 50 24 Apr 2013
ASSIGNMENT 2 50 50 22 May 2013

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students' responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit assignments after the due date without (prior) approval of the examiner then a penalty of 5% of the total marks gained by the student for the assignment may apply for each working day late up to ten working days at which time a mark of zero may be recorded. No assignments will be accepted after model answers have been posted.

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the weighted aggregate of the marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    There is no examination in this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    There will be no Deferred or Supplementary examinations in this course.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. APA style is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use APA style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The APA style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide.

Other requirements

  1. Students must be able to access, use and view multi-modal texts via a range of technologies in order to complete the course; eg, computer, the internet, email, film, television, video and CDROM.

  2. The topic and style of the negotiated project will involve negotiation with the course examiner and will require a high degree of independent learning

  3. Students are to use a recognised referencing system as specified by the examiner.

  4. Students enrolling in ONLINE courses MUST have ongoing convenient and reliable access to the Internet in order to access course materials and participate in activities that will affect assessment. The levels of equipment required may change from time to time, with the most recent specification listed at You can check whether your computer system meets these requirements from USQAssist (