University of Technology Sydney

024705 Multimodal Texts: Comprehending and Creating

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2020 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Education: Applied Language and Literacy Studies
Credit points: 6 cp

Subject level:


Result type: Grade, no marks


In this subject, students develop an understanding of the elements of multimodal texts (in print, visual, aural, static and moving forms) and the way multimodal texts can be navigated and interpreted. They learn to make appropriate choices of multimodal texts for primary and secondary school curriculum and to address the needs of learners from diverse backgrounds. They develop teaching strategies to support learners’ comprehension of, response to, and creation of multimodal texts.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

a. Identify and interpret the elements of visual grammar in multimodal texts
b. Select appropriate multimodal texts to support learners from diverse linguistic, cultural, gender, and socio-economic backgrounds
c. Develop knowledge of teaching strategies to support learners’ comprehension of, and response to, multimodal texts
d. Develop knowledge of teaching strategies to support learners’ creation of multimodal texts for particular purposes
e. Design suitable tasks to assess learners’ understanding of multimodal texts
f. Produce accurate and cohesive academic and professional texts.

Teaching and learning strategies

The subject is offered as a completely online subject. The subject runs over six weeks. The subject is organised around three modules. While there is considerable flexibility for students to plan the pace at which they study, assignments must be submitted before or on the due dates listed in the subject outline. Students will receive feedback at the end of each module after completing the open discussion and quiz check. There are a series of check-in points to enable students to receive feedback from the class tutor.

Teaching strategies

  • A series of introductory videos.
  • Stimulus clips, modelling of online tasks.
  • Scaffolding of learning and assessment tasks.
  • Online tutor check-in points.

Learning Strategies

  • Independent reading and viewing of multimodal input.
  • Independent tasks uploaded to a ‘task basket’ which cumulatively builds a portfolio of student designed teaching and learning strategies.
  • Independent research, academic reading and assessment preparation.
  • Independent online check in quizzes.
  • Group discussion boards.

Content (topics)

The subject content is organised around three modules. The first module focuses on the development of a semiotic grammar for analysing multimodal texts. The second module focuses on the selection and critical analysis of appropriate multimodal texts. The third module develops strategies that use multimodality as a basis for generating classroom literacy activities.


Assessment task 1: Analysing and teaching a multimodal text


a, b, c, d, e and f

Weight: 50%

1300 words

Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Appropriateness and depth of visual grammar analysis 20 a 1.1
Effectiveness of modelled and guided reading / viewing activity 30 b, c 1.2
Effectiveness of independent response activity 30 d, e 1.2
Academic citations, accuracy and cohesiveness of the written text 20 f 6.2
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Assessment task 2: Produce a multimodal teaching resource


a, b, c, d, e and f

Weight: 50%

Approx. 300-words for each written online module task.

Approx. 250-word overview of the final designed and produced multimodal text.

One designed and produced final multimodal text with an accompanying A3 sized student instruction page.

Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Effectiveness and submission of the online module tasks 25 b, c, d 1.1
Effectiveness in design and production of a multimodal text 30 a, c 1.1
Appropriateness of the multimodal text for a specific group of learners 10 b, c, e 3.2
Effectiveness, originality and appropriateness of a designed student instruction sheet 15 c, e 3.2
Academic citations, accuracy and cohesiveness of written texts 20 f 6.2
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Required texts

Subject textbook:

Callow, J. (2013). The shape of text to come: How image and text work, Newtown, PETAA.

Available, in print and e-book form, from the Primary English Teachers Association of Australia. Order e-book from


Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority. (2019). Australian Curriculum: English. Retrieved from

Baroutsis, A. & Towers, C. (2017). Makerspaces: Inspiring writing in young children. Practical Literacy, 22(3), 32-34.

Barton, G. & Unsworth, L. (2014). Music, multiliteracies and multimodality: Exploring the book and movie versions of Shaun Tan’s The Lost Thing. Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, 37(1), 3-20.

Callow, J. (2017). ‘Nobody spoke like I did’: Picture books, critical literacy, and global contexts. The Reading Teacher,71(2), 231-237.

Cleary, A. (2016). Contentious picture books in our culturally and linguistically diverse classrooms. Practical Literacy, 21(2), 17-19.

Dale, L.P., Higgins, B.E., Pinkerton, N., Couto, M. et al (2016) Princess picture books: Content and messages. Journal of Research in Childhood Education, 30(2), 185-199.

French, R. (2017). ‘The picture is pleading with us to help’: Primary school children interpret a persuasive online video. Practical Literacy, 22(3) 29-31.

Kwaymullina, A. (2017, 14 June). Indigenous picture books offering windows onto worlds. The Conversation, Retrieved from

Mills, K.A. & Levido, A. (2011). iPed: Pedagogy for digital text production. The Reading Teacher, 65(1), 85-91.

NSW Education Standards Authority. (2012). Suggested texts for the English K-10 Syllabus.Retrieved from

NSW Education Standards Authority. (2019). English K-10. Retrieved from

NSW Education Standards Authority. (2019). English K-10: Work samples. Retrieved from

Primary English Teaching Association of Australia. (2015). Teaching visual literacy with multimodal texts.Retrieved from

Staley, B. (2017). Vamp TV: Curating multimodal literacies for remote Northern Territory schools. Practical Literacy,22(3), 19-20.

Victorian Department of Education and Training. (2018). Visual metalanguage for comprehending and composing visual meaning.Retrieved from

Walsh, M., Durrant, C. and Simpson, A. (2015). Moving in a multimodal landscape: Examining 21st century pedagogy for multicultural and multilingual students. English Australia, 15(1), 67-76.

Yenawine, P. (2013).Visual thinking strategies: Using art to deepen learning across school disciplines. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press.

Picture books (additional to NESA list of suggested texts):