Making Progress is an empirical investigation into the strategies and processes first-year composition programs can use to center multimodal work in their curricula. Logan Bearden makes a unique contribution to the field, presenting a series of flexible strategies, evolving considerations, and best practices that can be taken up, adapted, and implemented by programs and directors that want to achieve what Bearden brands “multimodal curricular transformation,” or MCT, at their own institutions.
MCT can be achieved at the intersection of program documents and practices. Bearden details ten composition programs that have undergone MCT, offering interview data from the directors who oversaw and/or participated within the processes. He analyzes a corpus of outcomes statements to discover ways we can “make space” for multimodality and gives instructors and programs a broader understanding of the programmatic values for which they should strive if they wish to make space for multimodal composition in curricula. Making Progress also presents how other program documents like syllabi and program websites can bring those outcomes to life and make multimodal composing a meaningful part of first-year composition curricula.
First-year composition programs that do not help their students learn to compose multimodal texts are limiting their rhetorical possibilities. The strategies in Making Progress will assist writing program directors and faculty who are interested in using multimodality to align programs with current trends in disciplinary scholarship and deal with resistance to curricular revision to ultimately help students become more effective communicators in a digital-global age.
About the Author
Logan Bearden directs the First-Year Writing Program and Digital Studio at Eastern Michigan University. He has published on outcomes statements, multimodal composition, and writing program administration in various venues and coedited Radiant Figures: Visual Rhetorics in Everyday Administrative Contexts.
“A needed and important intervention in rhet/comp. WPAs need this data and these models, and teachers can learn a lot from thinking about doing multimodal work on a programmatic scale.”
—Crystal VanKooten, Oakland University
“As twenty-first-century writing instructors, we cannot continue to see multimodal composition as an ‘add-on’ or an afterthought. Making Progress does an excellent job of gently pushing readers to accept this fact, offering evidence for what having multimodal outcomes can look like, and giving suggestions for implementing a ‘multimodal curricular transformation.’”
—Jan Rieman, University of North Carolina Charlotte