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Exploring ideas about multimodal assessment at the 2010 NWP Annual Meeting

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After exploring the dimensions of the problem in our Fall 2010 meeting, we invited members of the NWP community to join us through a session at the 2010 NWP Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida.  In the session, participants looked at a range of multimodal student products in relation to two typical and popular rubrics for writing: the 6+1 Trait Rubric and the Washington State Writing Assessment Rubric. Participants at different tables were given different pieces of student work and asked to think about how the rubrics did or didn't speak to important areas of practice for the kind of writing the student was attempting. The student work covered the ground from Voice Threads to digital stories and short videos to non-digital compositions that leveraged text and image. Some of the work we looked at is linked below, although we also looked at several pieces that were not digital and are not available for linking.

In general, participants noted that the rubrics named areas of writing performance that were still very relevant for multimodal texts, but in each case very important areas of practice were invisible. Also, the language used on the rubrics was 'text specific" and therefore didn't seem to work for kinds of texts closer to film or visual arts. We wondered how we could create a language that cut across areas with different artistic traditions.

At the session we invited participants and others to share their thoughts after the session through the discussion at the left.

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<p>When we use our standard rubrics for assessing writing to look at multimodal texts, we often find some elements that work well, some that just don't fit, and whole areas that are important but not addressed. &nbsp;This was the focus of our discussions at a session at the 2010 NWP Annual Meeting. &nbsp;What have your experiences been in trying to make connections between how we talk about writing more generally in our classrooms and our assessment programs and how we talk about texts that incorporate audio, image, video, gesture and other modes?</p>
<p>Such a timely discussion! Many of the teachers I work with are trying to step beyond the Wow! factor of Web 2.0 tools and start providing students with rubrics that serve as evaluative tools as well as roadmaps into the possibilities of a particular tool or set of tools.</p> <p>Let's take Glogster, for instance.&nbsp; The upside of the being able to seamlessly paste or import text, images, audio and video into a "glog" is also perhaps the downside.&nbsp; In the old days, when our teachers saved piles of magazines (Nat'l Geographic, Time, Newsweek, Saturday Evening Post, etc.) for us to actually cut out (with scissors) and paste (with glue) onto poster board, I almost think there might have been more reflective decision-making than the 2.0 Google-it/copy/paste version. So I was very pleased to be able to pass on <a href="http://www.box.net/shared/m2hgs6c6p3" target="_blank">the rubric</a> K<a href="http://dogtrax.edublogs.org/" target="_blank">evin Hodgson</a> uploaded to <a href="http://voicesonthegulf.net" target="_blank">Voices from the Gulf</a> project. What I especially like about Kevin's rubric is that students need to include where they found their resources and to formulate an opinion - which helps build student voice into a glog.</p> <p>I think the advantage of the NWP community collaborating on rubrics for multimedia texts is that we can offer a Kathy Schrock-like choose your own adventure rubric collection. This morning, I visited the <a href="http://educationnorthwest.org/resource/464" target="_blank">6 Traits +1 collection</a> on the <a href="http://digitalis.nwp.org/resource/1578" target="_blank">Exploring Ideas about Multimedia Assessment</a> post. In looking at the 6-point and 5-point rubics, I have to say that I'll be pushing for some 4-point versions.&nbsp; Well, mainly because I would be hard pressed to justify the difference between, say, on the K-2 rubric under <em>Organization</em>, the difference between a 4 = "Sequencing is sound" vs. a 5 = "Sequencing is purposeful from start to finish," or under <em>Sentence Fluency</em>, for instance, the difference between 4 = "Sentence structure varies; variety in beginnings and length exists" vs. 5 = "Sentences vary in structure, as well as beginnings and length."</p> <p>I volunteer to start crafting some rubrics for student commenting....and welcome any suggestions!</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>