Image and multimedia resources in an academic environment: A qualitative study of students' experiences and literacy practices



The digital environment provides an abundance of images and multimedia and offers a new potential for using resources in multiple modes of representation for teaching and learning. This article reports the findings of a case study that investigated the use of image and multimedia resources in an undergraduate classroom. The study assumed a contextual approach and focused on different class contexts and students' literacy practices. The class, which took place in a resource-rich, multimodal environment, was perceived by students as a positive learning experience. The distribution of resources and their role in teaching and learning varied and depended on the context of use. The findings indicate that images fulfilled important descriptive and mnemonic functions when students were introduced to new concepts, but their role was limited in practices that required students to analyze and synthesize knowledge.