Multi Modal Texts

Your students might have to create a multi-modal ‘text’ of some kind.

These might include a poster, an info-graphic or a video.

We will be developing resources to help you do these with your students.

But first let us look at the five key requirements for these. All of these forms of multi-modal text should:

  1. Answer a question.
  2. Involve research of some kind (to answer the question).
  3. Include collecting and collating data or evidence (to answer the question).
  4. Have a beginning, a middle and an end; in short tell a story, or deliver a message (to answer the question).
  5. Combine images, data and text.
  6. Reach a conclusion (to answer the question).

Obviously, a good question is quite important.

Posters and Infographics

Most people, when they think about posters, have the event or product poster in mind as this is the one they see most.

There are different kinds of posters, though. These vary from straightforward event and product posters which are more image than text-based on balance, to information posters which will have more text than the event or product posters, to academic conference type posters which will be much more text heavy. This spectrum can be seen in the image below.

The spectrum of posters and infographics

Infographics are digital posters as it were and tend towards the information/academic poster side of the spectrum, combining text and images to communicate a data heavy message.

In the Latvian Higher level curriculum though, the requirement is to submit a poster which is on the academic side of this spectrum.

Academic Posters

Let’s look at the issues around academic posters.

Academic posters can be used in two ways and need to designed so they can be used in these ways.

Standalone: the poster must make sense to the viewer on its own. It must be self-contained and contain all the necessary information.

With a presenter: at times the poster creator will be standing with their poster and can interact with the viewer. In this case the presenter will welcome the viewer, introduce their poster, let the viewer red the poster and answer questions.

The Poster Creation Process

  • Choose the topic
  • Define the research question
  • Collect/Analyse data etc
  • Draft the poster
  • Get Feedback
  • Create version 1
  • get more feedback
  • Create version 2, the final version?

    Design Considerations

    A poster should attract attention, be memorable, have an interesting design and a clearly structured message.

    Titles

    Titles should accurately reflect the contents, be a maximum of 2 lines, be at least 48 point font and use bold lettering.

    The Text

    The text should be about a maximum of 800 words and should be divided into clearly labeled sections. These sections will be your narrative, for example:

    • Objectives
    • Procedures¬†
    • Results¬†
    • Conclusions

    Images

    You should use high quality images (350 dpi or more), large enough to be viewable from about 1.5 metres away.

    White Space

    White, or coloured blank space is very important in poster design. This gives room for the poster elements to ‘breathe’, to divided up the poster elements and for the eye to rest. You should be aiming for these rough proportions:

    • 30% white or blank space
    • 40% title and text
    • 30% graphics/images

    Flow

    The flow of a poster is very important. Some basic flow patterns are shown below.

    Let’s look at the flow of two sample posters.

    Original : https://i.pinimg.com/originals/38/ac/0a/38ac0a64e6933ab660a77f4179ea933a.png

    This poster flows naturally and is a model of clarity.

    Original: https://urc.ucdavis.edu/sites/g/files/dgvnsk3561/files/styles/sf_gallery_full/public/gallery-2019-02/Jessica%20Balland%20Janeet%20Dhauna%20URC%20Poster%20Final%20Draft.jpg?itok=19f-ZTGj

    This poster is not logically organized as you can see from the numbering sequence above, or the flow arrows below.

    Original: https://urc.ucdavis.edu/sites/g/files/dgvnsk3561/files/styles/sf_gallery_full/public/gallery-2019-02/Jessica%20Balland%20Janeet%20Dhauna%20URC%20Poster%20Final%20Draft.jpg?itok=19f-ZTGj

    Some Basic Poster Design Rules

    • Size A2 +
    • Border: 2.5 cms plus
    • White/empty space 30%
    • Fonts: 2
    • Colours: 3
    • Images 350 dpi + label + source
    • Figures + label + source
    • Headings

    Notes on Student Created Videos

    When you think about video style, you should be thinking about documentaries. The video should be problem or issue based, and you should aim for 5 mins, maximum of ten minutes. The most important thing is that you are telling a story.

    Resources

    You will need:

    • Pens and paper
    • Camera/phone
    • Computer
    • Lots of Time

    Process

    • Choose topic
    • Define question
    • Collect/analyse data
    • Prepare storyboard and script
    • Get Feedback
    • Shoot film
    • Do a Rough edit
    • Reshoot?
    • Get Feedback
    • Reshoot?
    • Re-edit?
    • Final version?