Networked Assessment

There is no reason to proclaim that the YouTube writer writes to a variety of genres (video, webtext, blog feed) nor to recognize that the YouTube writer addresses multiple audiences (casual reader, family members, friends, accidental reader). These are known, or commonplace, assumptions we can already make about a networked student using YouTube. Instead, an assessment of the juxtaposed or remixed space the YouTube writer engages with would have to trace the various items connected or not connected on the site and write an account of their relationships.

(Jeff Rice, “Networked Assessment” 33)

Proponents of networked assessment argue for a process of evaluation in which the links and patterns a student text achieves can be valued as much as the individual success of each discrete assignment. Just as the NWP Multimodal Assessment Project values the interaction between modes, Networked Assessment models appraise moments of connectivity (or disconnectivity) to show how each composition is produced in relation to other events. Furthermore, Networked Assessment challenges instructors to recognize the extent to which more static heuristics determine student production in advance.

Depending on the privacy settings of each user’s Domain, students can also open-up their work to networked respondents beyond the boundaries of the classroom. In other words, assessing the outcome of a multimodal student project may depend on both course heuristics and the quality and quantity of traffic the web project receives. While assessing the layers of connectivity achieved by a student project, digital publications may also be valued according public user feedback or analytics. A digital text is a success if it attracts and maintains users. If users provide feedback about the layout, design, and/or feasibility of the digital project in the comments section of the student publication, students enter into a feedback/revision loop vital to all networked publications.

Public user feedback on student projects is just one method of creative ways to assess multimodal writing. Additionally, assessment of digital work does not require that responding to student work from a rubric be abandoned for grading based solely on Networked Assessment or analytics. Instead, when appraising digital projects, the most equitable grade must determine by a confluence of gauges.

The following offer some further suggestions for ways to incorporate Networked Assessment into the alphanumeric or multimodal classroom:

Jeff Rice, “Networked Assessment

Yellow Dog, “Networks, Assessment

Steven Krause, “On Rice and Gallagher on Assessment Scholarship

Chris Gallagher, “Being There: (Re)Making the Assessment Scene