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This essay presents a case study of the modes used in training employees at a munitions plant in Ohio between 1940 and 1945. Theories of multimodal discourse and learning advanced by The New London Group (1996), Gunther Kress and Theo Van Leeuwen (2001) and Richard Mayer (2001) inform this analysis. With an unskilled labor force and many workers coming from oral literate traditions, the War Manpower Commission developed the Training Within Industry program, emphasizing visual and experiential literacies. This analysis can inform programs that use multimodal forms of instruction by acknowledging positive and negative implications of such literacy sponsorship.



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