"Strategies for Assessing Multimodal Projects" presented by Kristin Arola, Jennifer Sheppard, and Cheryl E. Ball

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Kristin Arola


Jennifer Sheppard


Cheryl E. Ball


Teachers of writing are conscientious evaluators of their students' written work, and the strategies for creating those grades vary widely, from providing formative or summative feedback and using heuristics or rubrics, among other methods. These assessment strategies can happen in many media, such as handwritten comments, typed summative and in-line comments, oral feedback (including audio recordings), and even screencast talk-throughs of student papers. But we are often asked, how does grading change when teachers are evaluating more than just the written content? With the spreading use of multimodal assignments in writing classes, this webinar will offer participants multiple perspectives and strategies for responding to multimodal student work, based in current writing studies research and combined-decades of experience teaching multimodal texts.


Kristin L. Arola is an Associate Professor of Rhetoric, Composition, and Technology at Washington State University, where she directs the Digital Technology and Culture program. Her work brings together composition theory, digital rhetoric, and American Indian rhetorics so as to understand digital composing practices within larger social and cultural contexts. Her most recent book, Composing (Media) = Composing (Embodiment) [with Anne Frances Wysocki, Utah State UP, 2012] is an edited collection that explores how the media we produce and consume embody us in a two-way process. She is also the co-editor of the third edition of CrossTalk in Comp Theory: A Reader [with Victor Villanueva, NCTE, 2011]. Her work has appeared in Computers and Composition, Harlot: A Revealing Look at the Arts of Persuasion, and the Journal of Literacy and Technology. She resides in Pullman, WA, with her amazing husband and charming dog.

Jennifer Sheppard is an Associate Professor of Rhetoric and Professional Communication at New Mexico State University, where she directs the Design Center, a space supporting students’ hands-on development of communication projects for clients. She regularly teaches courses in document design, multimedia theory and production, technical and professional communication, and online pedagogy. Her research interests include new media, information design, professional communication and pedagogy for face-to-face and online instruction. She has published on these issues in Computers and Composition, the Journal of Literacy and Technology, and several edited collections, including Designing Texts: Teaching Visual Communication and RAW: Reading and Writing New Media. She lives in Las Cruces, NM with her partner and their very busy toddler, Eli.

Cheryl E Ball is an Associate Professor of Digital Publishing Studies in the English Department at West Virginia University. Her areas of specialization include multimodal composition and editing practices, digital media scholarship, and digital publishing. Since 2006, Ball has been editor of the online, peer-reviewed, open-access journal Kairos: Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy, which exclusively publishes digital media scholarship and is read in 180 countries. She has published articles in a range of rhetoric/composition, technical communication, and media studies journals including Computers and Composition, C&C Online, Fibreculture, Convergence, Programmatic Perspectives, and Technical Communication Quarterly. Her recent books include a scholarly multimedia collection The New Work of Composing (co-edited with Debra Journet and Ryan Trauman, C&C Digital Press) and the print-based RAW: Reading and Writing New Media (co-edited with Jim Kalmbach, Hampton Press).