Investigating a Learning Design for Collaborative Authoring of Multimodal Texts for its Efficacy to Support Student Learning: A Case Study Based in an English as a Second Language (ESL) Classroom in Hong Kong

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Over the past two decades, major shifts in the information and communication landscape have brought about a change in the everyday literacy practices of the 21st century learner, necessitating a change in the provision of language and literacy education in schools. While pen and paper is still the norm in the English language writing classrooms in Hong Kong, students are now able to use multimedia technologies to support learning and express themselves in new and creative ways. Making these powerful knowledge creation tools integral to the literacy classroom may open doors to new emancipatory ways of learning in the Hong Kong context. Guiding learners along this new learning trajectory involves transforming pedagogical practices, including use of contemporary learning spaces. Learning designs can help address this challenge and offer best-practice strategies and guidelines for contemporary technology-enhanced learning. However, facilitating this transition without a clear road map poses a challenge to educators and researchers, given the limited number of learning designs available in this area to guide practice. This thesis reports on the findings from a study investigating a learning design for collaborative authoring of multimodal texts for its efficacy to support student learning in an English as a second language (ESL) classroom in Hong Kong. An interpretive case study was adopted for the investigation that lasted two years including the trial. The case was a class of 22 Form 4 students, including boys and girls, who were 15 years of age at the start of the study, and their teacher. Data sources include the researcher’s observation notes supported by screen recordings and videos; student participants’ reflective journals, focus groups and knowledge artefacts; and the teacher participant’s reflective journals, stimulated recall interview and learning design evaluation. Findings indicate that the use of the learning design fostered learner autonomy and amplified real-world relevance for students, mediated their problem-solving processes and scaffolded their multimodal literacy development.
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