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  • Term Mode
  • Semester 1Multi-mode
  • Term Mode
  • Semester 1Online Scheduled



Unit rationale, description and aim

Literacy leaders need to be able to understand the historical and contemporary contexts of literacy research and education in Australia and the world more broadly, in order to lead teams to support diverse literacy learners.

The Australian Curriculum: English is underpinned by the use of multimodal texts to teach literacy. Literacy teachers and leaders need an understanding of the range of multimodal texts, the literacy demands these texts place on the reader-viewer and how to apply innovative pedagogy that incorporates a wide range of rich multimodal literature. Literacy teachers and leaders equipped in this way are able to support their colleagues and a diverse range of literacy learners.

In this unit, students will gain an understanding of current and past research and issues in literacy education. Students will be challenged to develop resources to share their understanding with colleagues in order to equip their teams to support diverse literacy learners.

The aim of this unit is to equip literacy teachers and leaders to plan, teach and assess literacy learning using multimodal texts and a multimodal approach in response to contemporary literacy demands and support literacy learning for a diverse range of students including students from EAL/D backgrounds.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

Learning Outcome NumberLearning Outcome DescriptionRelevant Graduate Capabilities
LO1Critically analyse current and historical literacy research (APST Lead 2.5, 6.4)GC1, GC2, GC3, GC7, GC8, GC9
LO2Explain multimodal theory and its relevance to the Australian Curriculum: English (APST HA 2.3, 2.5; APST Lead 3.6)GC1, GC2, GC7, GC9
LO3Apply multimodal theory to the content and pedagogical knowledge teachers need for teaching literacy with multimodal texts to support a diverse range of students. (APST HA 1.3, 2.1, 2.2, 2.5H; APST Lead 3.5, 6.4)GC1, GC2, GC7, GC8, GC9, GC11
LO4Evaluate the effectiveness of resources and practices for a multimodal approach to literacy education. (APST HA 2.2, 2.5, 3.2; APST Lead 1.2, 3.6, 6.4)GC1, GC2, GC7, GC8, GC9
LO5Design and justify school-based responses to literacy issues to support diverse literacy learners (APST HA 1.3, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3; APST Lead 1.2, 2.5, 6.4)GC1, GC2, GC3, GC7, GC8, GC9, GC11


On successful completion of this unit, students should have gained evidence towards the following standards: 

1.3 Students with diverse linguistic, cultural, religious and socioeconomic backgrounds

Support colleagues to develop effective teaching strategies that address the learning strengths and needs of students from diverse linguistic, cultural, religious and socioeconomic backgrounds.

2.1 Content and teaching strategies of the teaching area

Support colleagues using current and comprehensive knowledge of content and teaching strategies to develop and implement engaging learning and teaching programs.

2.2 Content selection and organisation

Exhibit innovative practice in the selection and organisation of content and delivery of learning and teaching programs.

2.3 Curriculum, assessment and reporting

Support colleagues to plan and implement learning and teaching programs using contemporary knowledge and understanding of curriculum, assessment and reporting requirements.

3.2 Plan, structure and sequence learning programs

Work with colleagues to plan, evaluate and modify learning and teaching programs to create productive learning environments that engage all students.


On successful completion of this unit, students should have gained evidence towards the following standards: 

1.2 Understand how students learn

Lead processes to evaluate the effectiveness of teaching programs using research and workplace knowledge about how students learn.

2.5 Literacy and numeracy strategies

Monitor and evaluate the implementation of teaching strategies within the school to improve students’ achievement in literacy and numeracy using research-based knowledge and student data.

3.6 Evaluate and improve teaching programs

Conduct regular reviews of teaching and learning programs using multiple sources of evidence including: student assessment data, curriculum documents, teaching practices and feedback from parents/carers, students and colleagues

6.4 Apply professional learning and improve student learning

Advocate, participate in and lead strategies to support high-quality professional learning opportunities for colleagues that focus on improved student learning.


This unit will comprise three compulsory modules and one elective module. In the elective module, students will use the knowledge of multimodality learnt in the core modules to research, interpret, analyse and synthesise policy and practices specific to a selected context. Across each module, students will consider the role of multimodal texts and a multimodal approach to pedagogy and assessment.

Core Modules

  • Module One:
  • Historical perspectives on teaching and assessing literacy
  • Sociocultural perspectives: autonomous model versus ideological model of literacy.
  • Multimodal theory as an answer to equity concerns.
  • Visual metalanguage and explicit teaching of visual literacy.


  • Module Two:
  • Critique models of reading and viewing.
  • Critique approaches to writing and composing.
  • Image-text interrelationships
  • Multimodal text characteristics, multi-version texts.


  • Module Three:
  • A model of multimodal reading-viewing, multimodal pedagogy and assessment
  • Approaches to teaching literacy across the years and learning areas.
  • Supporting students with diverse needs including EAL/D learners.


Elective modules (select one) 

  • A multimodal approach in primary school contexts
  • A multimodal approach in secondary curriculum contexts
  • A multimodal approach in specific learning areas
  • A multimodal approach in workplace contexts
  • A multimodal approach in TESOL contexts 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit is offered in multi-mode (i.e., delivered online and in on campus contexts) and uses an active and collaborative learning approach. Key concepts are introduced through recorded lectures and seminars, complemented by various modes of discussion (online tutorials/discussion groups, forums, face-to-face tutorials – as relevant). The creation of multimodal texts form part of each week’s learning activities. One such multimodal text serves as formative assessment and helps students to express their understanding and knowledge of multimodal theory. Additionally, a cumulative annotated bibliography forms part of each week’s learning activities.

This is a 10 credit point unit and has been designed to ensure that the time needed to complete the required volume of learning to the requisite standard is approximately 150 hours in total across the teaching period, comprising directed tasks and self-study.

Mode of delivery: This unit will be offered in one or more of modes of delivery described below, chosen with the aim of providing flexible delivery of academic content.

  • On Campus: Most learning activities or classes are delivered at a scheduled time, on campus, to enable in-person interactions. Activities will appear in a student’s timetable.
  • Intensive: In an intensive mode, students require face-to-face attendance on weekends or any block of time determined by the school. Students will have face-to-face interactions with lecturer(s) to further their achievement of the learning outcomes. This unit is structured with required upfront preparation before workshops. The online learning platforms used in this unit provide multiple forms of preparatory and practice opportunities for you students to prepare and revise. 
  • Multi-mode: Learning activities are delivered through a planned mix of online and in-person classes, which may include full-day sessions and/or placements, to enable interaction. Activities that require attendance will appear in a student’s timetable.
  • Online unscheduled: Learning activities are accessible anytime, anywhere. These units are normally delivered fully online and will not appear in a student’s timetable. 
  • Online scheduled: All learning activities are held online, at scheduled times, and will require some attendance to enable online interaction. Activities will appear in a student’s timetable.

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment relates directly to the achievement of the outcomes above. The unit adopts a cumulative approach across the two tasks. The formative task allows students to develop their knowledge, understanding and analytical skills. This task allows students to receive feedback on their understanding and multimodal composition prior to the submission of the assessment task. The assessment task then allows students to express their understandings and consider how they might use this knowledge to meet the diverse needs of cohorts known to them.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning Outcomes

Hurdle Task

Drawing on an annotated bibliography composed through weekly activities, students create a multimodal text (e.g. diagram or mindmap) that demonstrates understanding of theories of multimodality. This will include aspects of Curriculum knowledge, Content knowledge and Pedagogical knowledge necessary for using a multimodal approach to address the needs of diverse learners. 


LO1, LO2

Assessment Task 2

Apply multimodal theories explored in the formative task to create and justify a lesson sequence that uses multi-version or thematically grouped multimodal texts (including a digital or online text) to address the needs of a diverse group of students.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5

Assessment Task 3

Draw on scholarly literature to collate a collection of multimodal resources to help design a school-based response to an issue in literacy education. Multimodal resources should include some or all of the following: curated professional readings, a designed or adapted diagram/model pertinent to the issue, an example of a classroom resource and a curated list of professional organisation resources.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5

Representative texts and references

Asha, J. (2022). The potential of the visual: Teaching literacy with multimodal texts. Primary English Teaching Association Australia.

Callow, J. (2017). “Nobody spoke like I did”. Picture books, critical literacy and global contexts. The Reading Teacher. 71 (2), 231-237.

Christie, F., & Misson, R. (2012). Framing the issues in literacy. Literacy & Schooling. 1-17

Drajati, N.A., Tan, L., Haryati, S., Rochsantiningsih, D., & Zainnuri, H. (2018). Investigating English language teachers in developing TPACK and multimodal literacy. Indonesian journal of applied linguistics, 575-582.

Luke, A. (2018). Critical literacy, schooling and social justice. Routledge.

Serafini, F. (2014). Reading the visual: An introduction to teaching multimodal literacy. Teachers College Press.

Tan, L., Zammit, K., D’warte, J., & Gearside, A. (2020). Assessing multimodal literacies in practice: A critical review of its implementations in educational settings. Taylor & Francis.

Taylor, S.V., & Leung. C.B. (2020). Multimodal literacy and social interaction: Young children’s literacy learning. Early childhood education journal. 48 (1), 1-10.

Unsworth, L., Cope, J., & Nicholls, L. (2019). Multimodal literacy and large-scale literacy tests: Curriculum relevance and responsibility. Australian journal of language and literacy. 42 (2), 128-139.

Van Leeuwen, T. (2017). Multimodal literacy. Metaphor. 17-23.

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