Digital Writing Assessment & Evaluation

Editors Heidi A. McKee and Dànielle Nicole DeVoss; Review by Bonnie L. Martin

Computers and Composition Digital Press/Utah State University Press, 2013. ISBN: 978-0-87421-949-4.

http://ccdigitalpress.org/dwae

Overview

Digital Writing Assessment & Evaluation (2013) from editors Heidi A. McKee and Dànielle Nicole DeVoss offered educators fourteen essays from experts in digital rhetoric to provide a wealth of digital assessment and evaluation guidance. Whether the reader is a graduate student in education, a tenured professor at a university, or a K-12 teacher seeking to enhance digital curriculum, these curated essays provide something of value. Digital Writing Assessment & Evaluation proves to be a content-rich read for anyone seeking to better their digital classroom practices as a teacher. McKee, an associate professor at Miami University, and DeVoss, a professor at Michigan State University, elucidated 1) why a digital practitioner ought to look at digital writing assessment, 2) what that means in the larger context of teacher assessment practices, 3) what projects students may be engaging within this multimodal landscape, and 4) finally, how to assess these projects by demonstrating exemplars, ranging from simple feedback to elaborate rubrics. McKee and DeVoss were able to both offer assessment practices at a high program-level, including discussions of equity and programmatic material, as well as demonstrate tangible methods for the educator to incorporate assessment in their own projects and classrooms, such as ePortfolios. I found that this book deeply influenced my creation of this webtext for the book review. As demonstrated in the following site pages, I intentionally sat in the discomfort of trying a new-to-me technological skill (coding) when evaluating this book. Additionally, I used ideas from this text, like evaluative rubrics, to display information for the readers of this review, such as the audience usefulness table I created.

Digital Writing Assessment & Evaluation does not simply cover assessment as a tool, but rather urges educators to take action and make changes in their current assessing practices. As the narrative and pedagogy surrounding education and its use of digital means continues to change with evolving media and Gen Z students, teachers must adapt to continue to provide meaningful, relevant feedback to their students, and this book can serve as the field guide for this important endeavor.

In sum, Digital Writing Assessment & Evaluation from McKee and DeVoss is incredibly valuable for anyone in the classroom or in education, but especially for teachers of digital rhetoric. It is not enough to simply assign multimodal or digital writing projects McKee and DeVoss argued through their selections—one must also be well-equipped to assess and evaluate said work, in a context that is different, multifaceted, and richer than assessing a traditional student essay, paper, or project. Other design elements are important, such as audience, technological mastery, and creativity. Digital Writing Assessment & Evaluation provides a plethora of ideas as well as a toolbox for educators to begin with and in order to better understand their work and that of others.

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References

Acker, Stephen. (2005). Overcoming obstacles to authentic ePortfolio assessment. Retrieved January 15, 2019, from https://campustechnology.com/articles/2005/03/overcoming-obstacles-to-authentic-eportfolio-assessment.aspx

Ball, Cheryl. (2012). Assessing scholarly multimedia: A rhetorical genre studies approach. Technical Communication Quarterly, 21(1), 61–77. https://doi.org/10.1080/10572252.2012.626390

Batson, Trent. (2010). ePortfolios, finally!. Retrieved January 23, 2019, from https://campustechnology.com/articles/2010/04/07/eportfolios-finally.aspx

McKee, Heidi A., & DeVoss, Dànielle Nicole. (Eds.). (2013). Digital writing assessment & evaluation. Logan, UT: Computers and Composition Digital Press/Utah State University Press. Retrieved June 1, 2018, from http://ccdigitalpress.org/dwae

O’Neill, Peggy. (2011). Reframing reliability for writing assessment. Journal of Writing Assessment, 4(1). Retrieved December 29, 2018, from http://journalofwritingassessment.org/article.php?article=54

Yu, Han. (2011). Intercultural competence in technical communication: A working definition and review of assessment methods. Technical Communication Quarterly, 21(2).https://doi.org/10.1080/10572252.2012.643443