Kayla / Student Engagement in the English Classroom Using Multimodal Literacies and Serious Play / Multimodal Literacies, Serious Play, Digital Narratives

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1) identifying issue, controversy, or inquiry topic

Student Engagement in the English Classroom Using Serious Play and Multimodal Literacies

I am interested in the role of serious play and multimodal literacies within the English classroom and how these concepts and tools might increase student engagement.

Possible Research Questions/Ideas:

Does the use of multimodal literacies and/or serious play increase student engagement in the English classroom?

What are some of the ways that multimodal literacies can be used for assessment?

How can multimodal literacies and serious play be used to enable critical reflection of narratives (texts) used in the English classroom?

How can multimodal literacies and serious play be used as a tool for students to explore and create their own narratives?

2) a rationale for why it matters – some brief statement regarding how the topic and/or tool use connects to the course, your life, your research interests, your teaching practice, the world of education and/or culture/society more generally etc…

My broad research interests revolve around student engagement within the classroom. I am interested in the possibility of increasing student engagement by adapting teaching and learning to be more closely aligned with the skills, thinking, and ideas that students in the 21st century require. Given my research interests, for this research project, I want to further explore these ideas of multimodal literacies and serious play in relation to student engagement in the English classroom context. However, I am also interested with how this topic might influence my teaching practice since English is one of my teachables. More specifically, I am interested in exploring this topic and tool (e-book) to learn more information and to alter my assessment practices and student activities that I use in the English classroom (i.e. instead of an essay, students could create an e-book). I also think that this is important for the world of education because I hope that this research project will provide insight for other subjects and areas of education for how to improve teaching and learning so that students are more engaged.

3) some initial research observations and sketches

Intellectual engagement of students in Ontario schools drops drastically from 82% of students in Grade 5 being intellectually engaged to only 45% in Grade 12 (Canadian Education Association, 2011), so my general, but adaptable goal for research is to investigate and explore how multimodal literacies and serious play can be used to help students interact and engage with the English curriculum. I am interested with how digital tools can perhaps engage students with the English curriculum more than traditional essay or presentation type activities and assessments, or at least, how do these ideas engage students differently than the traditional direct teaching and assessment methods. Research might also delve into how letting students explore or experience serious play in the English classroom with multimodal literacies impacts their overall engagement and interest in schooling/the curriculum. Additionally, research might explore how these concepts and tools help students grasp English curriculum content and build their literacy skills. I plan on finding academic sources as well as newspaper articles and first hand teacher accounts of multimodal literacies and serious play in the classroom to inform my research. I will also research how some of the media tools listed below have been used within education already.

4) possible media tools (modes of production): what form will the research project take.

-Kotobee (alternative to iBooks) or an alternative e-book creation tool for Windows if I find one that works better or if anyone has suggestions for a Windows user!

Kotobee example.jpg

-Twine– embed within the book to show how this tool can be used within the English curriculum/classroom as a multimodal tool and for serious play

-Piktochart– embed data, statistics, relevant information in a visual format

-Audiotool– embed original audio into the e-book, also can be used as an example of a serious play tool in the English classroom

I would like to create an interactive e-book that incorporates video, image, and audio elements throughout. Although I have listed some digital tools, I am open to the possibility of adding more as I conduct more research and start creating this e-book.