New Media, Multimodality and Learning

Description of Task Force

Against the backdrop of widespread connectivity and the proliferation of digital tools and multimedia, the nature and practices of social life, work, teaching and learning have fallen under the spotlight of educational policy makers, researchers and educators.

The New Media, Multimodality and Learning Taskforce's research interests cover the dynamic ground within and between the use of social media (the mobile and web-based interactive platforms for creating, sharing, discussing and modifying user-generated content), multimodality (the integration of a variety of semiotic resources for meaning-making production and interpretation), new literacy studies (the consideration of literacy not as a set of value-free discursive/essayist skills acquired in school, but rather as a vastly extended amalgam of situated and seamless social purposes including personal expression, meaning-making and identity formation) and learning.

Through design research, our aims cover a broad spectrum of interests that include:

  • Finding pedagogic ways to systematically infuse media and multimodal literacy in the teaching of English in Singapore secondary schools;
  • Understanding contextual factors influencing the extent, success and effectiveness of teaching media and multimodal literacy in Singapore secondary schools;
  • Describing and explaining how teachers and students can be and become ‘successful’ multimodal authors;
  • Specifying and accounting for the assessment of multimodal texts in classroom contexts;
  • Describing and explaining how multimodal composition impacts teacher and learner identities;
  • Describing and explaining the processes by which learners might grow in digital maturity;
  • Studying how learners negotiate meanings both in and among in-school, out-of-school, and new media spaces;
  • Studying how to design for explorations related to issues in criticality, creativity, ethics and aesthetics;
  • Critically studying the roles of interactive media in shaping education and learning in Singapore;
  • Tapping the affordances of new media in supporting seamless learning. Especially using new media as a means and new media theory as a lens for improving learning spaces. Or using social network or social media as a means to bridge learning spaces; and
  • Embedding Universal Design for learning and teaching in new media spaces.

List of team members:

List of team members' publications related to the research theme:

  • Phillip Alexander Towndrow
    • De Souza, D. E., & Towndrow, P. A. (2011). The generative use of ICT in the language arts: Strategies in learning task design and implementation. In C. M. L. Ho, K. T. Anderson, & A. P. Leong (Eds.), Transforming literacies and language: Multimodality and literacy in the new media age (pp. 23-48). London: Continuum.
    • Towndrow, P. A., Brudvik, O. C. & Natarajan, U. (2009). Creating and interpreting multimodal representations of knowledge: Case studies from two Singapore classrooms. In Ng, C.-H., & Renshaw, P. (Eds.), Reforming Learning. Education in the Asia-Pacific region: Issues, concerns and prospects (pp. 129-158). Dordrect: Springer.
    • Towndrow, P. A. (2007). The evaluation of information and communication technology in English language teaching and learning: Assessing effectiveness in the 21st Century. In Prescott, D., Kirkpatrick, A., Hashim, A., & Martin, I. (Eds.), English in Southeast Asia 1996-2005: Varieties, literacies and literatures (pp. 140-161). Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
    • Towndrow, P. A. (2006). Interactivity, social interaction and ICT usage in English language teaching in Singapore. In Hashim, A., & Hassan, N. (Eds.), English in Southeast Asia: Prospects, perspectives and possibilities (pp. 181-189). Kuala Lumpur: University of Malaya Press.
    • Towndrow, P. A. (2001). The role of technology and technology training in shaping educational policy: The Singaporean experience. In Tan, J., Gopinathan, S., & Ho, W. H. (Eds.), Challenges facing the Singapore education system today (pp. 18-32). Singapore: Prentice Hall.
    • Towndrow, P. A. (In-press). Is TESOL ready for new media writing? TESOL-SPAIN Academic Journal.
    • Towndrow, P. A., Wan Fareed (In-press). Innovation Configuration Mapping as a Professional Development Tool: The Case of One-to-One Laptop Computing. Teacher Development.
    • Towndrow, P. A., Fareed Wan (2014). Growing in digital maturity: Students and their computers in an academic laptop programme in Singapore. Asia Pacific Journal of Education.
    • Sen, N. S., & Towndrow, P. A. (2013). Multimodality and metacognitive instruction in developing two reading comprehension strategies. International Journal of Innovation in English Language Teaching and Learning, 2(1), 5-25.
    • Towndrow, P. A. (2013). Information technology in English language learning: Towards a plan in teacher professional development and growth. Accents Asia, 6(1), 12-31.
    • Towndrow, P. A., & Vallance, M. (2013). Making the right decisions: Leadership in 1-to-1 computing in education. International Journal of Educational Management, 27(3), 260-272.
    • Towndrow, P. A., Nelson, M. E., & Wan, F. (2013). Squaring literacies assessment with multimodal design: An analytic case for semiotic awareness. Journal of Literacy Research, 45(4), 327-355.
    • Towndrow, P. A., Wan Fareed (2012). Professional learning during a one-to-one laptop innovation. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 20(3), 331-355.
    • Vallance, M., Towndrow, P. A., & Wiz, C. (2010). Conditions for successful online document collaboration. TechTrends, 54(1), 20-24.
    • Towndrow, P. A., & Vaish, V. (2009). Wireless laptops in English classrooms: A SWOT analysis from Singapore. Educational Media International, 46(3), 207-221.
    • Vallance, M., & Towndrow, P. A. (2007). Towards the 'informed use' of information and communication technology in education: A response to Adams' 'Powerpoint, habits of mind, and classroom culture'. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 39(2), 219-227.
    • Towndrow, P. A. (2005). Teachers as task designers: An agenda for research and professional development. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 37(5), 507-524.
    • Towndrow, P. A. (2007). Task design, implementation and assessment: Integrating information and communication technology in English language teaching and learning. Singapore: McGraw-Hill.
    • Towndrow, P. A., Vallance, M. (2004). Using IT in the language classroom: A guide for teachers and students in Asia. Singapore: Longman.
  • Victor Chen Der-Thanq
    • Chen, D.T., Liang, R. & Wang, Y. M. (2014). Hypermedia Competencies. Journal of Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia, 23 (2), 135-144.
    • Lim, C., Chen, V. D.-T., & Liang, R. (2013). Singapore Youth's New Media Participation: Consuming, being, Learning and Schooling. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 93, 727-731.
    • Chen, D., Wu, J. &Wang, Y. M. (2011). Unpacking New Media. Journal of Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics, 9(2), 84-88.
    • Chen, D., Lin, T. B., Li, J. Y. & Lee, L. (2014). Assessing New Media Literacy: The Singapore Case.  Paper presented at the EdMedia 2014 conference, 23-27 June, 2014, Tampare, Finland.
    • Lim, C., Chen, D & Liang, R. (2013). Singapore Youth’s New Media Participation: Consuming, Being, Learning and Schooling.  Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences.
    • Liang, R. & Chen, D. (2012). Singapore Youth’s Online Engagements: Implications for the Ubiquitous Learning Agenda. Ubiquitous Learning Conference 12 – 13 Oct, 2012, Champagne-Urbana, Illinois.
    • Chen, D. & Wu, J. (2011).  New media literacy in the 21st century society: Key findings, gaps and recommendations. In Domine, V. (Ed) NAMLE 2011 Conference. Philadelphia, United States: National Association for Media Literacy Education.
    • Wu, J. & Chen, D. (2011). 透析新媒体素养. TLCSL 2011 Conference - From Applauded Practitioners to Applied Learners. Singapore.
    • Chen, D. & Wu, J. (2010). Deconstructing new media: from computer literacy to new media literacy.  Paper presented at the 8th International Conference on Education and Information Systems, Technologies and Applications: EISTA 2010, 29 June – 2 July, Orlando, Florida, USA. (Best paper award)
    • Lim, C, Chen, D. & Liang, R. (2012). Genres of Youth’s New Media Participation: the Singapore Perspective. Paper presented at the 3rd World Conference on Learning, Teaching and Educational Leadership, 25-28 October, 2012, Brussels, Belgium.
    • Lin, T., Chen, D. & Chai, C. S. (in press 2014). New Media and Learning: New Media and Learning in the 21st Century: A socio-cultural perspective. Education Innovation in Singapore Series (Eds, W.O, Lee, W. L. Hung & S. S. Teng). Springer: Singapore.
  • Csilla Weninger
    • Williams, J.P., & Weninger, C. (2012, June). Applying Goffman's assumptions about communication to a new media environment. In Altheide, D., Salvini, A., & Nuti, C. (EDS.) The Present and Future of Symbolic Interactionism. Proceedings of the International Symposium, Pisa 2010., 2, 47-60.
    • Weninger, C., & Kiss, T. (2013). Culture in English as a Foreign Language (EFL) Textbooks: A Semiotic Approach. TESOL Quarterly, 47,(4), 694-716.
    • Weninger, Csilla (2006). Semiotic events and roles in Magic. In Williams, J.P., Hendricks, S.Q., Winkler, W.K. (Ed.), Gaming as Culture: Essays in Social Reality, Identity and Experience in Fantasy Games (PP. 57-76). Jefferson, NC.: McFarland.

List of projects from this research group: