Fostering Students’ Collaborative Skills and Multimodal Literacy through a Digital Comic Project

Ditulis Oleh Devi Yunitasari, S. Pd


By: Devi Yunitasari, S.Pd.

In this 21st century, the ability to collaborate with others has become one of the essential skills that should be possessed by students. Regarding this, Greenstein (as cited in Indriwati, Susilo, and Hermawan, 2019) stated that collaborative skills enable students to plan, conduct, and complete the task together, thus it will encourage students to reflect on different points of view, take part in a discussion, listen to, and support the other students’ opinion. In line with the significance of collaborative skills for students, the term multimodal literacy has also gained some awareness, especially in the practice of English language teaching in Indonesia. According to Welsh (2010, p. 213) multimodal literacy refers to meaning-making that occurs through the reading, viewing, understanding, responding to, and producing and interacting with multimedia and digital texts. As the use of multimodal texts has gradually become more apparent and influential for the society, the current national curriculum, namely Kurikulum Merdeka has also included multimodal literacy as one of the skills that should be acquired by students to develop their communication skill, particularly in English.

Due to its crucial role in shaping students’ competence, there is a need for teachers to design a learning experience, promoting both collaborative skills and multimodal literacy for their students. However, in practice, some teachers still find it challenging to create and implement a lesson which supports their students to foster their collaborative skills as well as enhance their multimodal literacy. As stated by Le, Janssen, and Wubbels (2017, p. 105), teachers often face difficulties while organizing collaborative activities such as observing students’ on-task behavior, managing group-work time, providing related materials, assigning individual roles, and establishing teamwork beliefs and behaviors.

Reflecting on this matter, conducting a digital comic project, integrating the use of digital tools such as, Bitmoji, Canva, and Vocaroo can be one of the alternatives that teachers can do to aid their students to acquire such skills.

To implement this project, there are several things that teachers have to do before, during and after the project. To begin with, teachers should be able to understand how these three digital tools work in order to help their students meet the learning objectives. Furthermore, teachers’ sufficient understanding about the tools will enable them to provide their students with clear instructions on how they can conduct the project. In this case, teachers can create a guideline consisting of the steps to access, operate, and integrate Bitmoji, Canva, and Vocaroo. The guideline also has to cover the sample of the digital comic, so that students can have a vivid image on how the comic will look like.

After providing their students with clear instructions, the next thing that teachers can do is to ask their students to assign specific roles, such as “The Designer,” “The Manager,” “The Scriber” within their group. By doing so, each student in their group will be more responsible for contributing their effort and ideas during the project. Subsequently, before students work on their project, teachers also need to inform their students about how they are going to be assessed.

During the project, teachers’ main duties are monitoring, observing, and supporting their students to cooperate with each other to complete the project. In practice, teachers can also supervise their students’ progress directly through the Canva links of students’ digital comic.

At the end of the project, teachers have to make sure that every group gets the feedback that they need in order to improve the quality of their digital comic. Teachers can also do a voting session, where students can give their comments on other groups’ digital comic and choose one of their friends’ digital comics as their favorite. This voting session can be conducted on Padlet.

In relation to the previous explanation, it is obvious that students’ collaborative skills will develop as they work with their team-mates to make the digital comic. The use of Canva will enable them to access the comic from different devices and design the comic either collaboratively or digitally. Furthermore, by using Bitmoji, students will be able to create their own avatars which depict the characters that they construct in their comic. In addition, by utilizing Vocaroo, students will be able to complement the digital comic that they have made with the audio that supports the presentation of their digital comic.

To sum up, the digital comic project, integrating the three digital tools without a doubt will foster students’ skill in collaborating with others and in creating a multimodal text which promotes their multimodal literacy.


Indirwati, S.E., Susilo, H., & Hermawan, I.M.S. (2019). Improving students’ motivation and collaborative skills through remap jigsaw learning combined with modelling activities. JPBI (Jurnal Pendidikan Biologi Indonesia), 5(2), 177-184.

Indonesia. Kementerian Pendidikan, Kebudayaan, Riset, dan Teknologi Badan Standar, Kurikulum, dan Asesmen Pendidikan. (2022). Capaian pembelajaran pada pendidikan anak usia dini, jenjang pendidikan dasar, dan jenjang pendidikan menengah pada kurikulum merdeka.

Le, H., Janssen, J., & Wubbels, T. Collaborative learning practices: teacher and student perceived obstacles to effective student collaboration. Cambridge Journal of Education, 48(1), 103-122.

Walsh, M. (2010). Multimodal literacy: what does it mean for classroom practice?. Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, 33(3), 211-239.


Students’ Digital Comics’ Links:


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