Resources on Teaching and Multimodality

“We must recognize that English Departments no longer sustain culture behind impenetrable walls of print. Culture, the product of our human relations, now produces texts in multiple, often overlapping forms. If it has become acceptable to recognize the work of scholars in English
Departments who use cultural studies approaches to texts in everything from film to clothing to museum exhibits, it should be part of an English Department’s mission to regard its students as capable of composing intellectual work in forms other than traditional print essays. And we should also recognize that other disciplines across campus are increasingly moving to multimodal texts in their courses and that our students need to know how to write to learn and write to inform and persuade in these forms as well as they do in print. We need to teach the forms of literacy that are producing the culture on our campuses and in our communities.” — Bronwyn Williams

Many of us in composition, literature, and creative writing classes are using new media and and ever-expanding array of digital tools to support our teaching and our students’ learning. This list is by no means comprehensive, but it is meant to be a starting point for instructors interested in learning more about the logistics, ethics, pedagogical value, and theories of multimodal composition, digital rhetoric, and digital humanities pedagogy. (And if “multimodal” is a word you keep hearing people say but doesn’t seem to mean something specific, you’re not alone! The term is contested, but for a mainstream approach to its definition in composition studies, check out Claire Lauer’s [2012] piece on defining multimodality and new media, including the difference between “modes” and “media.”)

As always, if you have any questions, or if you have suggestions to add to the list, please let us know in the comments or by email (see contact info below).

UW Resources

English CIC


  • Ongoing free workshops on digital technologies for UW faculty, staff, and students
  • Free customized in-class workshops for UW instructors – also check out our blog post on English department lecturer Elizabeth Simmons-O’Neill’s experience with a UW-IT custom workshop on presentation software
  • Online tutorials on web publishing, graphics and design, digital video, digital audio, and documents and spreadsheets
  • Digital Audio Workshops in the Odegaard Sound Studio
  • Contact UW-IT by phone (206-221-5000), email, or in person at the UW Tower, C-3000, for advice on technologies and teaching tools

Pedagogical materials

Online resources for vetting multimodal and new media teaching tools, technologies, and pedagogies

Overviews of the history and theory of multimodal composition, digital rhetoric, and digital humanities

Engaging critical issues in/with multimodality

by Ann Shivers-McNair