Assessment Tool Outline

The assessment tool provides a framework for investigating the common conventions that comprise a representative group of scholarly online texts. The questions are divided into two main categories—print-based conventions (i.e., familiar, traditional conventions that govern effective writing in print) and web-based conventions (i.e., emerging conventions that govern writing in the online medium). This outline of the assessment tool displays the main convention topics and offers readers direct access to the descriptions and discussion of each question (indicated below as Q#).

Print-Based Conventions (Category A)

Assesses the extent to which the webtext incorporates traditional, print-based conventions as well as functions of those conventions.

Q1: Content
a)  Clear goals
b)  Adequate preparation
c)  Appropriate methods

Q2: Arrangement

Q3: Documentation
a) Inclusion of quotation and paraphrase
b) Style: in-text citation
c) Inclusion of references node
d) Style: references

Q4: Tone

Web-Based Conventions (Assessment Category B)

Assesses the extent to which the webtext incorporates allowances of the medium/emerging conventions of web-based writing.

Q5: Structural design 
a) Structural options
b) Type of structural design

Q6: Form/content relationship
a) Form/content fit
b) Rationale for the formal design

Q7: Navigation design
a) Overview
b) Textual or graphical webviews
c) Navigation directions

Q8: Link strategy
a) Type of link contextualization
b) Rhetoric of arrivals and departures
c) Link stability
d) Link reference

Q9: Node strategy
a) Chunked content
b) Self-contained content

Q10: Visual design
a) Typographic style   
b) Background and font color
c) Link feedback

Q11: Multimedia incorporation
a) Webtext composition
b) Semiotic nature