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Exploring ideas about multimodal assessment at the 2010 NWP Annual Meeting

Written by Lanette Jimerson
September 22, 2011

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.