On Multimodal Composing

Postscript 1: Our Processes

This project began, about five weeks into our fall semester graduate seminar, by mistake—as an off-the-cuff and almost-forgotten comment about depicting our composing processes that we couldn't leave alone. After an off-hand comment made in class about seeing multimodal composing processes, the idea continued to percolate. It emerged through informal conversations: at coffee shops and homes, in our classroom and virtual spaces, with partners and peers. Our thoughts and discussions continued—through research on multimodality and digital writing, through the individual perspectives we each brought to the classroom—until it became inevitable that we carry out this project.

In translating these thoughts and discussions into writing, we identified, misidentified, and differently identified with aspects of our individual multimodal artifacts as well as of the overall webtext. These processes aided in our abilities to brainstorm into existence projects for videos that would encapsulate both the actual and felt senses of our individual writing processes.

Ongoing collaborations moved us beyond the classroom (indeed, as we describe above, were already happening beyond the classroom) and into digital spaces: Google Drive and email became central hubs of communication and drafting. We used the former for everything from putting together calendars and schedules, posting drafts of videos, and leaving comments and feedback directly on each other's work. Our (extensive) email threads contained more meta-level discussion about process, feedback on the project as a whole, and responses to the webtext architecture. Shuttling among these practices allowed us to not only generate critical reflexivity about our shared interests but to delegate specific tasks, such as editing and project management, based on our particular strengths and insights.

Our process of conceiving, drafting, and finalizing the project, then, was marked by multiple modes of meaning, communication, collaboration, and production. In this sense, the final product reflects the practices that led to its conception.