Favorable Outcomes: How Outcomes Can Make Space for Multimodal Composition Curricula

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Fall 2019

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WPA: Writing Program Administration





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While some composition programs have done the important work of integrating multimodality into their curricula, there still exists a disconnect between the scholarship of writing studies, which seems to suggest the presence and success of a multimodal turn, and the day-to-day work of individual programs, which still focus overwhelmingly on alphabetic writing. In this article, I perform and detail an analysis of a collection of twenty-five outcomes statements to determine what those programs value at the curricular level. Outcomes yield rich insights in this regard because of the ways in which they outline definitions of and orientations to the work of composition. This analysis suggests that certain outcomes allow for a multimodal composition curriculum while others leave little space for such content. With this information, writing program administrators who want to include multimodality at the programmatic level can use outcomes to (re)examine their values, to initiate conversations about the possibility of aligning those values with disciplinary research, and to take the first steps in that process.


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