Publication Date

Summer 2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Bradley Smith, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Christopher T. White, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Kerri Morris, Ph.D.


As the paradigm of communication shifts into the digital realm, it seems only logical that instructors’ pedagogical approaches to teaching writing should shift as well. Though there is still much merit to teaching tradition approaches to composition, are there more modern methods that could be employed to teach communication in a contemporary setting? This thesis shall examine the role that new media can play in a multimodal composition course, as new media seems to be the most effective way to teach rhetorical communication skills in a modern setting. By looking at new media elements, such as podcasts, wikis, and images, this thesis shall attempt to understand how these media come into rhetorical meaning, and examine how instructors can effectively integrate new media into their curriculum for their composition courses. The research of this thesis suggest that while implementing multimodal approaches can be an effective way to teach communication strategies, instructors must careful craft their pedagogies to ensure that these multimodal approaches are fully understood by students.