Negotiating Assessment Criteria for Multimodal Texts

By Anna-Lena Godhe.

Published by The International Journal of Assessment and Evaluation

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Creating multimodal texts, such as digital stories or short films, is an emerging practice which is facilitated by the use of digital technologies. As digital technologies are becoming increasingly common in classrooms it is possible, and relatively easy, for students to create multimodal texts as a classroom activity. Creating and assessing texts consisting of several modes, such as images and sound, can be seen as an expansion of the concept of literacy, which traditionally mainly has been related to written and spoken language. In this article, negotiations between students and the teacher about what assessing multimodal texts mean and imply in a classroom setting is in focus. Interactions during lessons and interviews with the students are analyzed in order to illuminate how the students, through negotiations come to interpret and relate to the assessment of multimodal text. Since the task of creating a multimodal text and the assessment of it is relatively new in a school setting, neither students nor the teacher are used to creating, or assessing, texts which incorporates images and sounds. The analysis of negotiations in classrooms concerning the assessment of multimodal texts illuminate that what unfolds in the classroom is a manifestation of both local and systemic levels of activities. The assessment criteria given to the students can be seen as an object intended to link processes at different timescales, and belong to a middle level between the local and the systemic. However, if what the criteria mean when creating a multimodal texts in an educational setting is not explained and negotiated in context, the criteria does not appear to affect the situated practice at the local level to any great extent.

Keywords: Multimodal Text, Assessment, Activity Theory, Timescales

International Journal of Assessment and Evaluation, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp.31-43. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 419.487KB).

Anna-Lena Godhe

PhD Student, Department of Applied Information Technology, IT-faculty, Gothenburg University, Göteborg, Sweden

Anna-Lena Godhe has worked as an upper-secondary school teacher in languages for several years and is currently doing her PhD at the Department of Applied Information Technology at the University of Gothenburg. In her PhD-project she explores what creating and assessing multimodal texts entails in the institutional context of education. Though the analysis are based on interactions between students and teachers, what is done in the classroom is also related to structural factors, such as sociocultural practices in classrooms, and how rules, like the curricula and assessment practices are reflected in activities taking place in the classroom. She has a general interest in the introduction of technologies in schools and in what way these tools may alter practices within educational institutions.