How Faculty Fellow Josh Grosek Demonstrates Multi-Modal Instruction

The Teaching Spotlight series regularly highlights exemplary reflections written by our faculty fellows in the Reflective Teaching Fellowship. Each week, fellows develop self-reflections as members of an online community of practice, selecting Tags from across four Themes that are best aligned with the evidence they include in their weekly reflections. Exemplary reflections demonstrate use of evidence-based instructional practices (also known as Tags). Fellows featured in this series have chosen to make their reflections public. 

A Multi-Modal Exemplar

  • Fellow: Josh Grosek

  • When: Fall 2018

  • Class: Pre-Calculus

  • Modality: Face to Face

  • College: College of Southern Maryland

Multi-Modal Instruction as an Evidence-Based Instructional Practice

The Multi-Modal Tag encourages instructors to present the same type of information using a variety of modes, such as visual, oral, aural, experiential and hands-on.

To help Josh’s students understand an inverse trigonometry function in multiple ways, he used verbal explanations, visual problem modeling, visual graphs of the concept and classroom discussion, among other things. “After modeling a problem and explaining it in detail, I asked my students to walk me through it to show they understood the process,” said Grosek, associate professor and CSM’s 2017 recipient of an innovative teaching award. 

For one class in particular, one mode stood out among the rest. Josh illustrated multiple problems by drawing pictures of each individual problem. “While I've done this in the past, I've never done it to the scope that I did for this class,” said Grosek. “Every single problem in this form was solved this way, and I could tell that it helped the students out.” 

Because Josh plans to utilize this method more prominently in his classroom, he added it to his “idea drawer,” which is a key feature on the Faculty Guild platform that allows fellows to store, tag, track and share their best ideas for student success. 

Josh demonstrated multi-modal instruction by using various methods to solve one problem:

  1. He used verbal explanations, visual problem modeling, visual graphs of the concepts, classroom discussion, individual study, etc. 

  2.  He noticed one of the modes resonated more strongly than the others and resulted in more positive engagement and outcomes.

  3.  He used this information/method with other classes and added it to his “idea drawer” on the Faculty Guild platform. 

“That particular class was one of my favorites because the students were more engaged and asked a lot of good questions,” remembers Grosek. “I answered a number of great questions in that class that day [especially about the illustrations] so I knew my students were learning the concepts.” 

Consider: What methods can I employ to solve and/or illustrate one problem/topic? What methods do I use in my own classroom to demonstrate multi-modal instruction? Tweet your response and make sure to tag us @FacultyGuild and include the hashtag #teachingsuccessmovement.