Investigating the use of multimodal screencasts to teach disciplinary concepts in higher education.

McDermott-Dalton, Geraldine and Lackovic, Natasa (2023) Investigating the use of multimodal screencasts to teach disciplinary concepts in higher education. PhD thesis, Lancaster University.

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This research study explores the use of multimodal lecture screencasts to teach disciplinary concepts in an Irish higher education (HE) context. It builds on an Inquiry Graphics (IG) framework, extending it into a multimodal inquiry framework (MMI) to examine screencasts crafted by lecturers to teach key concepts within their discipline. Multimodality is a widely recognised and applied approach that observes communication as including language but also encompassing other modes of communication, such as sound, image, touch, gesture, feeling, etc. However, studies that provide an in-depth examination of multimodality in teaching and learning in higher education are still scarce. The proposed MMI framework provides a lens to explore graphic-pictorial, linguistic, aural, and spatial- design modes and analyse the semiotic organisation of lecturers’ screencasts, to understand how multimodality relates to teaching and reveals lecturers’ semiotic choices. Qualitative IG elicitation interviews were conducted with 16 HE lecturers from a range of disciplines, where the IG framework provided an analytical opportunity to co-examine the underlying assumptions about how content is presented multimodally. An awareness of the semiotic dimensions of each mode was uncovered, along with structures within the lecturers’ sociocultural context which influenced their decision-making. The use of the MMI framework revealed the semiotic purpose of the graphic-pictorial elements primarily as unprobed representations of the chosen concept. Linguistic choices helped explain the concept within the discipline, while prosodic features of the voice, along with music, were often used intentionally by the lecturer to highlight the relative importance of the elements on screen. The enactment of software features in the screencast design indicated lecturers’ embodied cognition through multimedia, along with digital fluency. The MMI framework may be a helpful teaching tool to support HE lecturers in video and multimedia analysis to unpack the plurality of conceptual representations within multimodal digital artefacts.

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29 Aug 2023 15:40
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16 Jul 2024 06:04