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Learning with multimodal meaning representation : engaging students in creating video representation on community issues

Triggered by the rapid development of information technology, the global teaching and learning environment is facing a revolutionary change in terms of the modes of communication. Since the advent of the first schools, verbal presentation and written text have been the dominant modes of teaching. However, as information technology becomes increasingly integrated in education—with the development of social network communication acting as a catalyst—students are communicating beyond the text mode to incorporate other visual elements, experiencing ‘multimodal communication’. New modes of communication between teachers and students are emerging to replace the once unique textual mode, both within and beyond school. Audio, pictures, symbols and gestures are widely used in the multimodal communication of meaning. Literacy, which is about ability in reading and writing, has gradually shifted towards the emerging multiliteracies. Given this growing use—supported by information technology—of multimodal communication among students, more research is needed to enhance our understanding of the learning processes involved.

The objective of my thesis is to explore what and how students learn through multimodal meaning representation on community issues. The research focused in particular on 2007, a transitional year in the curriculum reform of Hong Kong’s secondary schools. During this time, the global social communication network was well used by youth in a local context, and it was found that students were able to create video artefacts including multimodal meaning representation of issues beyond the subject disciplines included in the curriculum reform.

This research involved a multiple-case study of six Grade 10 students creating multimodal meaning representation of community issues in 2007, in preparation for a new core subject, “Liberal Studies”, prior to its implementation in the new Hong Kong senior secondary school curriculum in 2009. The Hong Kong Education Bureau introduced a new school-based assessment in the new curriculum, along with the written examination. It specified that each student must make an enquiry on community issues and submit an Independent Enquiry Study (IES) report, in either written or non-written mode such as a video artefact. By conducting participant observations of and in-depth interviews with the students and teachers involved, and applying multimodal analysis to the student video artefacts, the research found that students had learnt through multimodal meaning representation.

The findings have helped to conceptualise a new learning framework beyond traditional literacy learning at school. The results have implications for further understanding of how students learn with multimodal meaning representation, and add value to the curriculum reform by incorporating innovative pedagogy in engaging student learning through creating video artefacts on community issues beyond the traditional subject-based curriculum. It is argued that traditional literacy might not be the only condition for the development of multiliteracies, and that the use of multimodal representation will facilitate the development of multiliteracies. Overall, students will learn about topics related to community issues by creating video artefacts with multimodal meaning representation to explain the issues, and at the same time they will develop important thinking skills related to the 21st century. / published_or_final_version / Education / Doctoral / Doctor of Philosophy
Date January 2014
CreatorsHung, Hing-keung, 孔慶強
ContributorsYuen, HK
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Source SetsHong Kong University Theses
Detected LanguageEnglish
RightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License, The author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.
RelationHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)

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