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


While Part 1 is aimed more towards administrators, Part 2 is for the teachers.  Part 2 focuses on Classroom Evaluation and Assessment. Part 2 consists of chapters 3-6 and give a wide range of helpful options for evaluating multimodal assignments in the writing classroom.  These chapters are also multimodal providing links, audio reflections, and images to illustrate assessment options.  In Chapter 3, Chapter 4 and Chapter 6, Charles Moran and Anne Herrington, Colleen Reilly and Anthony Atkins, and Susan H. Delagrange, Ben McCorkle, and Catherine C. Braun, respectively provide sample assignments and rubrics as well helpful links in different genres of writing assignments. They also provide some general guidelines that apply to any type of multimodal assignment. These chapters help instructors who want to incorporate more multimodal assignments into their classroom visualize how building and assessing these assignments would work. Chapter 3 gives more examples, and Chapter 4 shares trial and error and ways in which to create a more successful assignment that fulfills the necessary objectives. The collaborative nature of these chapters enhances the information giving the reader multiple viewpoints and approaches to multimodal assignments. The formatting of Chapter 6 is however a bit problematic. While the chapters in this book work as single pages, it is structured as its own web page with multiple tabs which interrupts the flow of information.

In Chapter 5, Emilly Wierszewski quantifies multimodal assessment.  In “Something Old, Something New”: Evaluative Criteria in Teacher Responses to Student Multimodal Texts,” Wierszewski conducted a study tracking teacher feedback on multimodal work in their classroom and categorized the feedback to see what was new or unique to multimodal texts and what feedback was normally used in strictly alphabetic texts as defined by Connors and Lunsford.  She then discusses the new types of feedback in an embedded video which helps explain her results more clearly than charts and T-unit’s alone. In her conclusion she succinctly encompasses the main ideas set forth in Part 2.

"Finally, while this study demonstrates that teachers often borrow from print paradigms, it also indicates that teachers are actively generating concepts and criteria foreign to print essays as they respond to multimodal texts. Among these new kinds of comments are concepts like creativity and interaction between the modes, which reflect the goals of multimodal pedagogy outlined by theorists and suggest teachers find multimodal relationships and thinking outside of the box to be important to the success of a multimodal text."