University of Southern California

Learning Design & Technology

Advancing USC's strategic vision for teaching with technology

Multimedia Scholarship

The Multimedia Scholarship Advisory Committee (MSAC), formerly the Institute of Multimedia Literacy Advisory Committee (IML), was established by Provost Elizabeth Garrett in 2010 and charged to advise her, Dean Elizabeth Daley, and other university leaders on ways to broaden the mission of the IML and ensure that it is deeply connected throughout the university.

In 2012, the Provost’s Office expanded the committee’s charge to engage the campus community in cultivating and sustaining an academic culture that promotes multimedia literacy by:

  • Identifying ways for students to graduate with a high level of skill and facility in understanding and using digital information, communication strategies, and multimedia technologies in their professional endeavors and everyday lives.
  • Identifying ways that the USC community can support faculty across all disciplines to incorporate multimedia into the curriculum, further the understanding of multimedia scholarship, and enhance the application of multimedia tools and processes.
  • Identifying ways to deepen, codify, and implement multimedia literacy research.
  • Providing the IML with ongoing advice and feedback on how to sustain, extend, and expand its academic, research and service programs and outreach.

The committee culminated its work in the MSAC Report  which was submitted to the Office of the Provost in May 2013. It identifies three goals and provides seven recommendations for the Provost’s consideration. The committee also crafted a working definition of multimedia literacy thatserved as a foundation for its work.

The MSAC Multimedia Literacy Definition

Multimedia literacy is the ability to create, critically interpret, and ethically distribute works that combine images, sounds, texts, and sensations in networked and interactive environments. Works may be for formal presentation to wide audiences or for personal and informal communication.

Multimedia literacy is the ability to fluidly create and critically interpret
communications—whether for formal presentation or casual conversation—that
combine images, sounds, texts, and sensations in networked and interactive
environments. These new skills enable the distribution of ideas and opinions to vast audiences, requiring an ethical awareness as never before.