Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Education


This qualitative study investigates the role that visual prompts play in stimulating studentsʼ ideas for writing narrative within the context of large–scale narrative writing assessments such as the National Assessment for Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN). It examines four primary school studentsʼ responses to visual prompts used in past writing assessments in state and national jurisdictions over the last decade. Existing literature relating to the role of visual in communicating meaning is extensive (Callow 2013; Jewitt 2013; Kress 2010; Kress & Van Leeuwen 2006; OʼHalloran & Vin 2014). However, there is limited literature specifically related to the influence of using visual stimuli on student outcomes in large–scale writing assessments. This thesis contributes to filling this gap. It argues that the visual component of writing assessment prompts plays an influential role, impacting the quality and type of story that students generate, and in turn assessment outcomes.