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Multimodal Literacy in the Contemporary Workplace

Research status


Overview of Study

Contemporary organisations increasingly require their staff to work with a wide range of internal and external forms of communication – brochures, manuals, flowcharts, online management systems, PowerPoint presentations, newsletters, websites, videos, and more. To do so effectively, staff members must be able to use, or at least to understand and evaluate, a wide range of modes of communication – spoken and written language, layout, still and moving images, colour, typography, and other aspects of design. In short, they must be multimodally literate. However, this form of literacy is currently not taught in schools. And although children are now digitally literate from a young age, this does not necessarily include a command of the multimodal communication skills required in contemporary work places.

Focusing on work places from three sectors, the health sector, technology and management consultancies and small hospitality businesses, the project will seek to:

  • provide a systematic overview of the forms of communication regularly produced or commissioned and overseen, by staff working in these sectors
  • collect, analyse and evaluate representative samples of these forms of communication
  • interview the relevant staff members to understand how this work fits in their overall work profile, and how it is managed and evaluated.


Australian Catholic University

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