This article argues that to help students join academic conversations we should look for opportunities to integrate multimedia texts into the classroom, both as artifacts to study and as models for assignments. In contrast to traditional assignments like response papers, projects that invite students to engage with texts and ideas in multiple ways—digital, oral and nonverbal, and visual, as well as through writing—can make our classrooms and academic conversations more accessible and inclusive. Often our students struggle with not what to say but how to say it in an academic register; using a more accessible and inclusive approach creates space for students to join the conversation while they are still learning the norms of academic discourse. Drawing on my experience teaching a freely accessible online adaptation of a classic novel, I emphasize that models of more inclusive and accessible ways for students to respond to course material can be found all around us. I offer teachers strategies and a rationale for integrating more digital texts, tools, and platforms into their course and assignment design.
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Caitlin Kelly; Learning to Talk Back to Texts: Multimedia Models for Students (and Teachers). Pedagogy 1 January 2018; 18 (1): 174–180. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/15314200-4217026
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