University of the Basque Country (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN14 Proceedings
Publication year: 2014
Pages: 5546-5554
ISBN: 978-84-617-0557-3
ISSN: 2340-1117
Conference name: 6th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 7-9 July, 2014
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Multimodality is a core issue of the transmedia narrative. The possibilities of combining different communication modes in a transmedia product force media professionals to think about the particular characteristics of each mode and the way they semiotically function and combine in the transmedia discourse worlds. Media professional must now be fluent in several semiotic systems (linguistic, visual, gestural, spatial and audio) and understand how they can combine to achieve the desired outcome with the intended audience (Kress 2003, 2009; Kress and van Leeuwen 2001).

Also in media competence training and education, we are considering the way multimodal text has reshaped the reading practices of consumers of media and also how the pedagogy to teach writing to future professionals of media should adapt to that change.

To answer to that question is one of the main goals of the laboratory MultimediaLab of the Master of Multimedia UPV/EHU_EITB of the University of the Basque Country. MultimediaLab is a laboratory that brings students of the Master to explore the challenges of producing and developing content across multiple forms of media. Since 2011 the students of the master get immersed in a week of practical media development and production about a specific actual topic. The practical week culminates in the creation of several digital products to be published in different media of EITB, always under the supervision of an interdisciplinary professor group of the master —experts in audiovisual, journalism and linguistics applied to the media— and the media professionals of the Basque Public Media (EITB).

In the edition of 2013/14, we are trying to explore the methods of transmedia storytelling in journalism context. We look into how journalism can achieve better audience engagement and participation and also how can more thoroughly communicate the complexity and context of any story through various media platforms (Moloney 2011, Scolari 2013).

Focusing in that last communicative goal, we carry out a workshop to introduce understanding about the concept of multimodal digital text. The codes and conventions of the semiotic systems are tools that enable the reader and the writer of any transmedia story to work out the meanings. Each semiotic system provide a grammar that enables the reader and writer to identify and describe how attention is capture, how emphasis of particular elements is created and, therefore, how meaning is shaped (Jewitt 2009).

For the workshop, we designed a number of Reflections Strategies based on the analysis of transmedia products, and also several Practical Activities to explore the enabling and constraining properties of different combinations of modes in transmedia narrative productions. In both cases, we apply the criteria of the Pedagogy of Multiliteracies (New London Group 1996) and, in particular, those pedagogical proposals into that approach that try to deal with the teaching of multimodal digital text (Bull & Anstey 2010). In our presentation we will explain the theoretical multimodal bases of those Reflections Strategies and Practical Activities, and also the pedagogical criteria we have applied in them.
Multimodality, media competence traininig, transmedia narrative, media laboratory.