Students' multimodal knowledge sharing in school: Spatial repertoires and semiotic assemblages

Educ Inf Technol (Dordr). 2022;27(4):5665-5688. doi: 10.1007/s10639-021-10837-0. Epub 2021 Dec 15.


In a world 'flooded' with data, students in school need adequate tools as Visual Analytics (VA), that easily process mass data, give support in drawing advanced conclusions and help to make informed predictions in relation to societal circumstances. Methods for how the students' insights may be reformulated and presented in 'appropriate' modes are required as well. Therefore, the aim in this study is to analyse elementary school students' practices of communicating visual discoveries, their insights, as the final stage in the knowledge-building process with an VA-application for interactive data visualization. A design-based intervention study is conducted in one social science classroom to explore modes for students presentation of insights, constructed from the interactive data visualizations. Video captures are used to document 30 students' multifaceted presentations. The analyses are based on concepts from Pennycook (2018) and Deleuze and Guattari (1987). To account for how different modes interact, when students present their findings, one significant empirical sequence is described in detail. The emerging communicative dimensions (visual-, bodily- and verbal-) are embedded within broad spatial repertoires distributing flexible semiotic assemblages. These assemblages provide an incentive for the possibilities of teachers' assessments of their students' knowledge outcomes.

Keywords: bodily expressions; knowledge sharing; multimodality; school; semiotic assemblage; spatial repertoires; verbal expressions; visual analytics.