Assessing Digital Writing: Looking Closely at Student Work

Curated by Troy Hicks
May 13, 2015

This collection highlights six case studies from the book, Assessing Students’ Digital Writing: Protocols for Looking Closely, edited by Troy Hicks, which contains insights gleaned from an 8-week-long collaborative inquiry group of National Writing Project teachers. The group met weekly on Google Hangouts with the aim of truly looking closely at their students’ digital writing, using a set of protocols to guide their conversations. Their questions included:

  • What do you see/notice about this piece? 
  • What is working well in this piece/composition?
  • What does it make you wonder/what questions does it raise? 

The cases, presented both in this collection and in the book, are centered on evidence the authors uncovered through this process of teacher inquiry. Beginning with a piece of digital writing, each teacher offers an analysis of that student’s work and a reflection on how the collaborative assessment process and descriptive protocols, in turn, affected his or her teaching. 

Additionally, as the authors teach in schools from early elementary to college, this collection provides opportunities for vertical discussions of writing development, as well as grade-level conversations about high-quality digital writing. You will find rich examples of student work here, including elementary students utilizing augmented reality platforms for creative composition and engaging with digital mentor texts; middle schoolers creating video book trailers and public service announcements; high schoolers using online games as part of social justice-oriented teach-ins; and first year university students developing multimodal texts to convey personal beliefs and societal norms. 

We invite you to look closely and take inspiration from these rich examples of student work and teacher discussions.

What's Inside