Designing (Multimodal) Learning

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Image from flickr.com by Capture Queen

What does it mean for a teacher to design learning experiences and environments. As a teacher grows into the role of a learning designer, the teacher understands that there are different ways in which knowledge can be represented, and which teaching and learning can be conveyed. As a learning designer, the teacher, possesses a range of teaching strategies and selects the best fit for purpose. The teacher appreciates the unique profile and differentiated needs of the students, and understands which methods best engage and motivate learning. In addition, the teacher, as a learning designer, has strong content mastery and knows which pedagogy is most suitable to covey the requisite learning. Ultimately, as a learning designer, the teacher nurtures students to become multimodal literate – viewing critically and representing creatively.

Multimodality is about meaning-making – how various semiotic resources work together to communicate. Technology enables multimodal learning as it opens up a myriad of ways for teaching and learning. Technological tools offer a wider range of affordances than that of traditional tools. This broadens the pedagogical repertoire for the learning designer.

The heart of learning design is artful multimodal selection. Designing learning involves recognising and understanding that knowledge is multimodally represented and that teaching and learning is multimodally conveyed. It involves a consideration of the multimodal affordances of the technological tools at our disposal. In a sense, designing learning is about appreciating that all of life is multimodal and that the very act of teaching a lesson demands the teacher to orchestrate a range of multimodal resources.

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