Date of Award

January 2018

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


English and Theatre

First Advisor

Jill Parrott

Department Affiliation

English and Theatre

Second Advisor

Russell Carpenter

Department Affiliation

English and Theatre

Third Advisor

Dominic Ashby

Department Affiliation

English and Theatre


College composition courses have conventionally relied on alphabetic, print writing as the primary method for constructing meaning, but contemporary communication practices are increasingly multimodal and media-based (Palmeri, 2012; Yancey, 2011). While many teachers and scholars advocate that students benefit from engaging in the production of multimodal texts, fewer educators create digital and new media products themselves. Through a meta-analytical approach, this project explores the potentials that the act of design offers teacher-scholars for improving their pedagogy and practice. Utilizing a design thinking framework, the generative analysis of established scholarship, primary research, and authentic experiences provided significant insights into the cognitive, physical, and social processes that make up design, which suggest a need to contemporize language and adapt approaches to suit modern materials and methods for composing. For instructors, the fruitful knowledge gained through design is not limited to a single product or person but should be applied to classroom practices to improve the teaching of multimodal projects. Further, teacher-scholars are encouraged to share their media products through digital platforms to serve as accessible resources for other educators, which might encourage and improve the instruction of design and cultivate change in the culture of the writing classroom by fostering an inclusive and innovative space for composing.