Digital Writing Assessment and Evaluation
by Heidi McKee and Dànielle DeVoss:
A Review


Part 1 covers issues of equity and assessment starting with “Making Digital Writing Assessment Fair for Diverse Writers” by Mya Poe.  She begins by stressing that she is looking at “large-scale digital writing assessment of diverse student populations through the framework of fairness.”   She gets this framework from the Fairness Guidelines from the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing. Using these guidelines, Poe shows her readers how fairness in assessment and accessibility are mutually inclusive when evaluating digital writing. She also shows the importance of data collection to understand who is using technology and how to help better create a fair assessment and avoid perpetuating social equalities. 

Within the realm of accessibility, Angela Crow in “Managing Datacloud Decisions and “Big Data”: Understanding Privacy Choices in Terms of Surveillant Assemblages” focuses less on accessibility for the students and more on who else a digital writing course is accessible to.  She looks at popular CMS packages used by universities and how they use the information. Within the new guidelines of FERPA, Crow points out important considerations when using and choosing CMS packages and other online formats for data storage. She looks at both immediate and long term privacy challenges that occur within these programs.

Both works in this section are aimed more at administrators as they consider the use of technology for assessment and documentation. There is helpful information for instructors as well, but for many, these decisions are made at a higher level. What is clear from both chapters in Part 1 is that more research is necessary as digital and multimodal assignments continue to grow in popularity to ensure the protection of our students.