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Category: Peer reviewed

Filter. Remix. Make.: Cultivating Adaptability Through Multimodality


Dusenberry, L., Hutter, L., and Robinson, J. (2015). Filter. Remix. Make: Cultivating Adaptability Through Multimodality. Journal of Technical Writing and Communication, 45(3), 299-322.


This article establishes traits of adaptable communicators in the 21st century, explains why adaptability should be a goal of technical communication educators, and shows how multimodal pedagogy supports adaptability. Three examples of scalable, multimodal assignments (infographics, research interviews, and software demonstrations) that evidence this philosophy are discussed in detail. Asking students to communicate multimodally drives them to effectively filter information, remix modes, and remake practices that are core characteristics of adaptable communicators. Beyond teaching students how to teach themselves as an essential part of living in an information society, contending with new and unfamiliar tools also prepares students for their roles as empathic mediators in the workplace.

Supplementary materials

State of the Field: Teaching with Digital Tools in Writing and Communication


Robinson, J., Dusenberry, L., Hutter, L, Lawrence, L., Frazee, A. and Burnett, R. (forthcoming Sept. 2019). State of the Field: Teaching with Digital Tools in Writing and Communication, Computers and Composition.


Recent rapid technological change has influenced the ways writing and communication teachers and students use digital tools in their classrooms. We surveyed 328 writing and communication teachers about their use of digital resources in the classroom, in planning, and in course management. Our study finds that over one-third of teachers either teach themselves or use their existing knowledge to support digital pedagogy; learning management systems are used overwhelmingly to distribute materials; teachers perform a range of teaching tasks with both digital and non-digital tools; and teachers often depend on familiar, commonly available resources to perform teacher and learner actions. We recommend that the field should offer more targeted training for writing and communication teachers about the use of digital resources, support development of a repository of crowdsourced best practices, advocate for teachers to become stakeholders in the development and selection of digital resources to encourage more deliberate and targeted use of digital tools, and systematically collect information about digital resource use in the field.

Supplementary Materials

  • Proof copy