For many people, the idea of a research report is that of a typed text, very possibly, with headings such as ‘introduction and background’, ‘research methods’ and ‘findings’, with additional modes of meaning such as layout, font, colour and emphasis, as well as graphs and, possibly, other graphics.
However, equally, a research report could consist of the spoken (recorded) word, perhaps with a video of someone explaining previous research findings or analysing research outcomes.
In order to understand the term ‘multimodal’ and its relation to action research, it may be helpful to reflect on a film, for example, or a website. In such contexts, multiple modes of meaning, including visuals, sounds, colour, layout, placement in relation to other parts, shape and so on, are critical factors when presenting information to the world.
Participants in the programme were encouraged to think of the audience for their final report and decide what would be an appropriate format.
To support them a Multimodal Reporting Guide was produced.
To find out more look at the work of the New London Group (NLG) see ‘Cope, B and Kalantzis, M. (eds) (2000) Multiliteracies: Literacy Learning and the Design of Social Futures, Routledge‘.