Multimedia thematic modules (MTM) as literature teaching method

Submitted by: Anna Ślósarz
Abstract: KEY WORDS: literary text, multimedia learning, multimedia thematic modules, MTM, cognitive amalgamates.

BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY: After getting to know the text thoroughly, it is advisable to compare or juxtapose it with deliberately chosen multimedia message, touching the same topic. It may be for example: feature film – not necessarily an adaptation of this literary work, video clip, TV report, theatrical performance, illustrated magazine article etc.).
Such arrangement of text and multimedia is Multimedia Thematic Module (MTM) – a combination of literary and multimedia text on the same subject, supporting the interpretation of the output text. Multimedia become an instrument for embedding the interpretation of the original text in realities of the world in which the student lives and in the current interpretation universe (Eco 1999: 170; Kalaga 2001: 132). Thus MTM defined the theoretical framework and at the same time MTM is teaching method. Preliminary research shows that MTMs facilitate understanding of the literary text as well as heroes and authors as representatives of social groups (Kotarba 2019). Thus, MTM contributes to the deepening of the understanding of the literary text and triggers updated reading (Fish 1989).
MTMs were implemented on an occasional basis by Polish teachers (Ślósarz 1986; Nurczyńska-Fidelska et al. 1993: 125-194; Marzec 1996; Ślósarz 2001; Regiewicz 2006; Fatyga 2010; Konieczna 2011; Bobiński 2016: 219-227; 237-240; Ślósarz 2013, 2018; Kotarba 2019). In 1990, the film analysis was introduced into the national program of teaching the Polish language. In Australia from at least 1995 until today literary texts are systematically discussed during English language lessons as a main parts of MTMs (NSW Educational Standards Authority...). It’s worth mentioning that Australia, according to the “Human Development Reports” elaborated by United Nations Development Programme, is at the forefront of education achievements together with Norway and Switzerland.

RESEARCH QUESTION: How literary text is understood and memorized when it is perceived alone (readed quietly) and how in targeted amalgamation with multimedia? To what extent understanding, memorization and evaluation of literary text can be modified in meta-perceptive context of thematically related multimedia?

THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK: According to the cognitive theory of multimedia learning, learning from words, sound and images is more effective than from words alone (Mayer 2004: 4). But the basis for comparison of literary text and multimedia message should be precised in the purpose to direct attention to the problem, for example: Langue, identity and Culture, Worlds of upheaval, Intersecting world (NSW Education Standards Authority). This is why arise intentionally texts-binding cognitive amalgamates (Fauconier & Turner 1998) associated literature and multimedia. MTM method also refers to discourse analysis drawing attention to points of view of the authors representing different social environments and exposes the differences in the means of expression of both texts (Ślósarz 2013, 2018).

METHODOLOGY: Qualitative research. Methods: observations, analysis of documents, interviews with teacher and students (Creswell 2012: 212-224). Preliminary study: watching lessons in Poland and Australia, implementation MTM to several primary and higher secondary schools in Poland with teachers and students as candidates for teachers – students' achievements were compared with those in control classes working without MTM (Ślósarz 2013: 461-613). Basic research: lessons about the novel "Lalka" ("The Doll", 1890) by Bolesław Prus were conducted. Discussion of the novel was related to the film "Jobs" by Joshua Michael Stern (USA 2013). Students' essays will be analyzed, especially remembering the content of the reading and evaluation of the hero of the novel under the influence of the film. The essays will be compared with the assignments by students from the control class who have not watched the film.

DATA: Lesson plans, students’ assignments, surveys and interviews with students and teachers.

RESULTS: Initial research have shown that comparison as the simplest cognitive operation in the framework of MTM reveals thematic analogies between literature and multimedia. In addition, it introduces the reference of the literary text to contemporary realities. Initial results will be checked in the next study, that has already begun.

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