Reading and viewing

How does a reader read and navigate digital and multimodal texts?

Written text:

  • reading is linear in nature
  • reader has control over how much is read
  • reader must follow the linear structure to get meaning
  • choice to keep reading or put down

Visual text: – poster, picture book:

  • meaning is made by interpretation of visuals and written text
  • not necessarily linear in nature
  • different reading paths.
  • reader/viewer has a choice as to where they focus their attention on image or written text.

Website or ebook:

  • reader or viewer needs to be competent in skimming and scanning. Text often in pieces or snippets
  • not necessarily linear in nature.– autonomous navigation
  • reader or viewer has the choice and responsibility to navigate to the correct page.
  • sound can be an option or standard
  • reader or viewer may have to process information from three modes


  • video clip linear in nature, although it may be cut into shorter clips and jump between scenes
  • viewer needs to understand conventions and techniques that show progression of time and place
  • viewer has choice to stop and start and replay when appropriate.

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