Investigating the impact of ICT-based multimodal mapping in developing effective learning dialogues

Nigel R. Riley


Assessment of student?ǨѢs writing shows a deficiency in developing coherent ideas, with student?ǨѢs following the prompts of the teacher and showing little individual extension. In order to improve this situation, this paper explores the potential of multimodal mapping as an intermediary tool that mediates between talk and writing in the creation and development of ideas collaboratively. Mapping is employed to provide a structure for making first thoughts more visible as well as providing opportunities for revision and refinement before writing takes place. This small-scale, illuminative case study explores the use of ICT-based mapping in developing effective learning dialogues to generate concepts and ideas that will transfer into writing. The sample is a group of 22 students aged 10-11 years old within a large urban primary school in the United Kingdom. The students have a wide range of academic attainment and social backgrounds. The intention is to use digital multimodal mapping as a tool to make ideation in group discussions more effective for planning for writing by reducing social and cognitive constraints to developing coherent ideas. Data for this study is collected from transcribed discussions of groups of students engaged in concept mapping tasks using ICT-based multimodal mapping and individually written texts. Four methods of data analysis are used: a dialogical framework for the social modes of thinking; a framework for thinking skills based on Bloom?ǨѢs Taxonomy; a study of the complexity of the concept map, and tracking the transfer of lexical concepts and propositions from discussions into concept maps and texts. The findings from this study suggests that using ICT-based multimodal mapping increases the transfer of lexical concepts from talk into writing and suggests that learning dialogues develop higher-order thinking during the compositional phase in expository writing tasks. The study concludes that using ICT-based multimodal mapping has positive effects in developing transfer of ideation from learning dialogues to writing in expository writing tasks.

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Editor-in-Chief: Prof Norbert Pachler
UCL Institute of Education, University College London
ISSN 1746-9082