Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

George Pullman

Second Advisor

Baotong Gu

Third Advisor

Ashley Holmes



This study is about the role assignment design plays in implementing multimodal composing practices and how that course artifact can extend content delivery beyond the classroom. Findings suggest that the assignment is a significant component of instruction, and that it can impact increased student proficiency with multimodality as a twenty-first century style of communication. The analysis instrument created in this study resulted in a newly developed teaching methodology named Assignment Driven Learning.

A strategic communication audit system designed for non-profit initiatives was adapted to analyze multimodal composing assignments. The analysis concluded that multimodal composing instruction augmented by systematic assignment design offers students greater opportunity for autonomous proficiency when assignments include three phases of the educational journey - instruction, student production, and application of course work to career. Best practices in assignment design published by ten centers for teaching and learning were adapted to strategic communication methods to create an assignment analysis template. Twenty-five multimodal composing assignments were then compared to that template to identify articulations that align with the analysis matrix criteria. The findings illustrate how strategic multimodal assignment design extends learning beyond the classroom. I conclude systematic and chronological assignment design that covers the entire learning process, and its future applications, serves as a heuristic for multimodal composing.


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Available for download on Tuesday, April 21, 2026