Literacy 7-12

Systems Change
Literacy 7-12 > Strategies > Multimodal Instruction

Multimodal Instruction


Instruction in multiple formats allows students to activate different cognitive skills and Background Knowledge that are necessary to remember procedural and content information. Instruction can be given using text, visuals, gestures, audio, and digital formats to facilitate retention in Short- and Long-term Memory.

Use It in the Classroom

Watch how these teachers provide multimodal instruction by using visuals in addition to verbal communication. By referring to visual aids, such as written text on the whiteboard or gestures, they convey the same information in multiple formats to support memory retention.

  • During periods of direct instruction, teachers can employ a variety of techniques to ensure student understanding of directions for activities and to reinforce content knowledge. For example, teachers can reference visuals, posters, and text on boards, or through digital tools, to reinforce important aspects of their speech.
  • Design It into Your Product

    Videos are chosen as examples of strategies in action. These choices are not endorsements of the products or evidence of use of research to develop the feature.

    Learn how Learning Management Systems, like Canvas, provide multimodal features for teachers to embed in their lessons and for students to display their work. Through video, images, diagrams, and audio, students are able to access content in a variety of formats.

  • Products can readily and thoughtfully leverage color, graphics, animation, and sound for instructions to draw Attention to salient pieces of information and support both and Short- and Long-term Memory. Additionally, developers could provide a variety of content area visuals for specific lessons to support teachers during the planning phase.
  • Factors Supported by this Strategy