Week 8: Assessing Multimedia Projects

So I wasn’t sure if we had a specific topic we needed to post about this week, however, assessing multimedia is a topic I often debate with my colleagues.  I enjoy technology and encourage my students to use it.  I often have been working toward getting them to use more multimedia tools in the classroom and as a way for them to share their knowledge with me.  The debate with colleagues, however, becomes what are you assessing?  Are you assessing the content of the multimedia or the development of the multimedia?  For myself, when I create a project I try really hard to hammer out what specific outcomes I need them to meet from the curriculum.  I then break them into summative vs formative tasks.  The summative portion of their mark usually aligns with the knowledge objectives from the curriculum and the formative portion usually address the actual process of developing the multimedia.

This really became clear to me last year when my colleagues and I created a project called Becoming a Chemistry Movie Star.  The students needed to create short videos which addressed 8 specific topics.  Some of these kids took it to the next level, they used props, added music, and used editing software.  Other students basically just used their cell phone to make a quick, and pretty drab, video.  The trick as a teacher was focussing on the content rather than the “pretty”.

Here are two examples:


From a multimedia perspective, the first video is much better.  However, both videos scored 100% on the summative portion of the assessment because they both included all of the necessary knowledge outcomes.  So like Keith said in his post for week 8;  “You need to assess and evaluate based on the criteria and outcomes for learning, and not the coolness of the technology, unless you are teaching a course on the use of multimedia tools or there is some kind of cross-curriculum technology component to the project.”


Webster, K.S. (2014).  Week 8: Assessing Multimedia Projects from http://courses.olblogs.tru.ca/eddl5131-jan18/week-8-assessing-multimedia-projects/


1 thought on “Week 8: Assessing Multimedia Projects

  1. Hi Abbi,

    It’s nice to see an example of this that can be so quickly grasped. I think this distinction should be discussed/argued now and over the next several years as I would argue it’s a key component of what will be new in 21st century education to reflect what it means to be literate in the 21st century.

    At Royal Roads University we have a number of graduate programs that expect students to create ‘good’ media as key components of their course work. In several of these programs it’s also recognized that many graduates will produce ‘good enough’ media for use in the real world (particularly in the communications and education field), as the fast-paced nature of social media (and also budgets) preclude relying on professional media producers.

    That said the question is now: how do we integrate this technical and aesthetic education into already packed graduate programs? And is this the responsibility of faculty (some of whom are from a generation that predates digital media) or technical and media support staff? This could be my big project of the next 8 to 12 months as we look at common supports for student media proficiency instead of ad-hoc tutorials.

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