Creating and Sharing Multimodal Tutorials to Scaffold Learners

Creating and Sharing Multimodal Tutorials to Scaffold Learners

A 21st century educational system must educate all students in the effective and authentic use of the technologies that permeate society to prepare them for the future. In the past, our educational system emphasized the use of traditional tools such as textbooks, chalkboards, overhead projectors, ring binders, and composition books.

Now however, our culture has embraced vastly new and dynamically changing media in everyday life. Additionally, our classrooms and learning environments are increasingly moving to online and hybrid learning environments. To effectively teach in these online, multimodal spaces, high-quality visual teaching and learning materials are needed.

Think of the last time a student or colleague asked for help or directions in an online or digital space. Consider the directions you would give as you indicate how to get around a digital environment using only text directions. I find myself typing up emails directing students to “go to the top right corner”…”click on the blue box”…”enter your password”…”scroll to the bottom”…etc. As if this wasn’t bad enough, I would then copy and paste these directions out to the ten other people that needed the same directions. This is when I started to develop the use of multimodal tutorials to scaffold learners.

flickr photo shared by Sakurako Kitsa under a Creative Commons ( BY-NC-ND ) license

Multimodal tutorials

Multimodal tutorials are defined as screencasts, or screencaptures of teaching materials shared on your computer screen. Up to this point, primarily static images or video walkthroughs have been used to produce and share these tutorials. As online content and information becomes increasingly sophisticated, so too should online teaching materials. Put simply, educators need to understand how to create and experiment with these teaching materials to best support students.

Multimodal tutorials are  screencaptures (images) or screencasts (video) that are created using content on your computer screen. They may include audio narration or annotations. I typically use Skitch to create and annotate screencaptures. For screencasts I have been using Screencast-o-matic after having used Jing for a number of years. As I begin to spend more time on Chromebooks, I use Snagit for most of my screencaptures and screencasts. There are many excellent tools on Android and iOs (iPad/iPhone) that can be used as well. I’ll discuss those in an upcoming post.

For an overview of the tools that I use and the process involved, please review this post.

flickr photo shared by ingermaaike2 under a Creative Commons ( BY ) license

Creating & sharing multimodal tutorials

As you start creating these multimodal tutorials, it’s helpful to save, share, and archive them in one space online. This makes it easier for your students and colleagues to access all of your individual screencaptures and screencasts. Paste in a link to an image or video into an email, or add a link to a worksheet or blog post.

I think you should have one website or learning hub that is used to collect and share all teaching and learning materials. The reason is that you train your students and colleagues to expect that most of your materials will all be available on this one space. You do not want your students traipsing across the Internet looking for your materials. It’s far better (IMHO) to have them all embedded on your website.

flickr photo shared by Sakurako Kitsa under a Creative Commons ( BY-NC-ND ) license

An archive of multimodal tutorials

As I began building up my digital identity, I used different tools to create and share my work. I slowly started aggregating all of these materials into one Google Site. After building up this resource, I then opened up this resource to allow others to share and utilize the teaching materials. The end result is the Digital Texts and Tools online repository. I’ll soon start pulling this content over into my main website.

There are numerous resources on the Digital Texts and Tools site. The one section that most educators use often is the Multimodal Tutorials section. This website is a communal spot in which my students and colleagues have archived their work over time. The tutorials in this space should give you a guide as to best practices as you build your work. We also set up a template to guide my students as they develop and share their tutorials.

Feel free to use/revise/repost the tutorials to your site if needed. All of the materials on the site are Creative Commons licensed.If you have a tutorial that you want to use, copy/paste that work over to your website. Please leave an attribution link on the bottom of your page back to the repository. Our hope is to encourage everyone to take, share, use, and revise the tutorials to support and scaffold your own learners. If you need a tutorial on Padlet or Socrative…great…we’ve got those.

Please also feel free to add/edit/revise content on the site. Have a better version of a tutorial…or a screencast that would help…go ahead and add it. Have a tutorial that isn’t included… add that as well. Slowly we can collaborate and build up a library of resources to use online.

flickr photo shared by under a Creative Commons ( BY-NC-ND ) license


Like what you see here? Sign up for my newsletter to stay on top of weekly events in literacy, technology, & education.

Also published on Medium.

16 Comments Creating and Sharing Multimodal Tutorials to Scaffold Learners

  1. wiobyrne

    Welcome to week four of the Online Research and Media Skills (ORMS) Mentored Open Online Community (MOOC). The ORMS MOOC has existed in different iterations over the last two years. This current version is developed as an open learning experience for students in ED 6671 (syllabus here). ED 6671 examines opportunities for the use of instructional technologies in an educational context. We’ll not only discuss what to use in your classroom…but also how to use it.
    As discussed in the post for last week, the MOOC will now be organized around five modules…each module lasting two weeks. Currently we’re in the second week of the first module on Multimodal Tutorials. Next week…we’ll start up Module 2 and look at Online Collaborative Inquiry.
    flickr photo shared by Nosey Nest under a Creative Commons ( BY-ND ) license
    What do I need to do this week?
    As mentioned in the post last week, you should have read and synthesized the materials in Module 1 of the ORMS MOOC at this point. After you read and synthesize, you should post a response to the reflection question posed on the Discussion and Badges page for Module 1. You should incorporate the use of Storify to help indicate what you read, where you read it…and whom you communicated with in your research for Module 1.
    Once again…this should have been completed last week and shared out to the Google+ Community, and out to your favorite social networks. Be sure to use the hashtags (#ORMSMOOC and #ed6671).
    If you reference the syllabus, this week you are to first provide a blog post that updates your progress on your networked learning project. In your blog post you should indicate your specific learning goals or objectives in your networked learning project. Yes…I want you to write these in the same format you would write learning goals for your students.
    flickr photo shared by Nosey Nest under a Creative Commons ( BY-ND ) license
    Multimodal Tutorials and Digital Badges
    This week you’ll also develop a multimodal tutorial for a digital text or tool of your choice that you would use with your students. In the #ORMSMOOC you will develop a series of materials using educational technologies that you can integrate into a unit or theme you would like to teach in your content area. As you think about the digital text or tool you would like to use with your students…think about a unit, theme, or piece of content you love to teach. Consider a digital tool that you could embed into this unit, in your content area.
    flickr photo shared by Nosey Nest under a Creative Commons ( BY-ND ) license
    Once you have selected a digital text or tool, develop a multimodal tutorial for your unit or content area. Your multimodal tutorial should include text, links, and screencaptures, screencasts…or both. Think about what your students would need to really utilize the tool you’re suggesting. If you have worksheets, rubrics, graphic organizers, or other scaffolding tools…please include them. Add all of this content to one page on your blog or learning hub.
    You’ll then have to share your work out to a couple different places.
    First, share your post or page out to the Google+ Community, and out to your favorite social networks. Be sure to use the hashtags (#ORMSMOOC and #ed6671).
    Second, share the post or page out to the Google Group we’re using to keep track of the badges for the ORMS MOOC. In this post in the Google Group, you’ll need to leave some text indicating what you’re sharing. Please also include links out to the blog post, or web page that houses all of your materials for the multimodal tutorial. This content will be reviewed…and if it is acceptable and appropriate, you’ll earn a badge for Module 1. You will receive feedback in the Google Group letting you know if you earned the badge…or need to make changes to your content.
    After you are awarded the badge for your multimodal tutorial and Module 1, please add your multimodal tutorial to the other tutorials available on the Digital Texts and Tools repository. You should follow the template that we developed to guide individuals as they add content to the tutorials pages.
    Celebrate. You’re finished the work for Module 1. Share out your badge for Module 1…try and find ways to show it off on your blog or classroom website.
    Good work all. This week we’ll wrap up Module 1, and move on to Module 2. As detailed earlier…all of this work is self-paced. Each module lasts two weeks, but we really do not have any due dates. When you finish the modules…apply for the badges. You should be able to complete all of the work and earn all of the badges by the end of the trimester. Good luck!!!

    flickr photo shared by Nosey Nest under a Creative Commons ( BY-ND ) license

    Cover image by an untrained eye shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC) license
    Share this:GoogleTwitterFacebookRedditPocket

    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

  2. Pingback: Gerald Ardito

  3. Pingback: Reconsideration Based on Audience-Multimodal Tutorial | Reggina Kailan: A Journey Into the World of Digital Literacy

  4. Pingback: Creating and Sharing Multimodal Tutorials to Sc...

Leave a Reply