Publication Date


Document Type



Master of Education (MEd)

MA Concentration

Educational Technology, Innovative Learning


Common Core curriculum, English learner, English language development (ELD), academic language proficiency, Project Based Learning (PBL), Digital Multimedia Project Based Learning (DMPBL), scaffolding, instructional design, adolescent, digital multimedia


Roger Pence, Pamela A. Redmond, Jim O'Connor


The rigor of Common Core curricula, the physiological challenges in cognition encountered by older language learners, and the social/emotional pressures in the American immigrant experience may dispirit all but the most determined adolescent English learner (EL). If these students are to possess the engagement, fortitude and motivation necessary to access Common Core curricula, educators must develop instructional approaches that take advantage of every available resource. Digital Multimedia Project Based Learning (DMPBL) combines best practices indicated in learning theory and pedagogical literature for the instruction of adolescent EL students: the tools of digital technology, the cognitive potential tapped through accessing multiple intelligences, multiple modalities of communication, deep levels of learning through creative expression, along with varied opportunities for social learning. In order to support academic and language development to the fullest extent, DMPBL experiences must be structured and scaffolded so that English language learners can build meaning in increasingly complex ways, according to their individual learning needs. This project developed a framework for DMPBL instructional design, integrating best practices for adolescent EL students, grounded in learning theory and pedagogical literature. Readily accessible digital tools for scaffolding EL students in developing academic language proficiency and accessing complex concepts were identified and organized in a website format, according to their function in the DMPBL framework, allowing open access by teachers and students. Implications and future work include the adaptation of evolving digital tools to instructional strategies indicated by pedagogical literature, in order to meet the cognitive, academic, social and emotional needs of each learner.

Kelly, Sherrill Poster.pdf (556 kB)