Assessing Student Media Work
The process for assessing student work in media should not differ from the process of assessment in any other area of the curriculum. The links within this process will take you to items from the Greater Essex County District School Board that I have helped to develop to clarify some of this terminology.
Firstly, you will identify the curriculum expectations that you are going to focus on, preferably clustering these with expectations from other curriculum areas to create a cross-curricular approach.
Once the curriculum expectations have been selected and clustered, the teacher will develop a “Learning Goal” for the class, which is essentially a statement in student-friendly terms of what the learning during this course or unit will be.
From the “Learning Goal”, the teacher will work with the students to co-construct “Success Criteria“. The success criteria are the things that the student will do that will show they have reached the learning goal. Some teachers work with students to co-create rubrics to reflect what success in each of these criteria will look like.
Next comes the assessment. Once students have started to work on the tasks that are derived from the learning goal and success criteria, the teacher will start to assess and give “Descriptive Feedback“. This assessment and feedback is related only to the learning goals and success criteria for the lesson.
So why is it important to stress this process? The temptation for teachers when creating or engaging in media projects is to give students assessments and feedback based on their use of a specific tool or resource. For example, a class using Glogster may have the teacher assess and provide feedback on the number of features the student used in the resource, rather than on whether the content they created met the criteria established for success. We are never assessing the students proficiency with a technology tool, rather their ability to meet curriculum expectations using that tool.
With all of this said and understood, there are still a variety of creative ways that student work can be assessed when it comes to media expectations. Ideally, the class would see a mixture of self-, peer- and teacher led assessments throughout the course of the work. One benefit to assessing media products is that they are often published online and the world can be engaged in the assessment and critique.Various tools could be employed such as online survey tools, CPS or Clicker units, comments sections of blogs, wikis or YouTube channels, or by the creation of products within globally published platforms such as Prezi, Glogster and Popplet.
Regardless of the vehicle used by the student to create the work, or the tool employed to assess the work, it can and must only be judged against curriculum expectations shared with the student at the outset of the project. We must resist the temptation to assess the glitz and glamour of the work and focus on the content and conventions employed.