Digital Writing Assessment & Evaluation

Eds. Heidi A. McKee and Dànielle Nicole DeVoss

Digital Writing Assessment and Evaluation

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Writing has changed due to the affordances of digital technologies, and writing assessment has changed as well. As writing programs integrate more digital writing work, students, teachers, and administrators face the rewards and challenges of assessing and evaluating multimodal and networked writing projects. Whether classroom-based or program-level; whether in first-year writing, technical communication, or writing-across-the-curriculum; whether formative or summative; and whether for purposes of placement, grading, self-study, or external reporting, digital writing complicates the processes and practices of assessment.

The chapters in Digital Writing Assessment & Evaluation place emphasis on assessment of digital writing—the methodological, technological, and ethical approaches for and issues involved with assessing multimodal, networked texts (and the student learning they represent). Authors address questions such as:

  • How do different approaches to assessing traditional writing (8 1/2 x 11 word-centric texts) port—or not—to the assessment of digital writing? What challenges and opportunities for assessment do multimodal, networked texts present to teachers, program administrators, state-wide organizations, etc.?
  • What material and technological resources are needed when assessing digital writing and/or how might existing resources need to be modified?
  • How are processes and products of selection, collection, and reflection different (or not) with the multimodal affordances of digital technologies?
  • How do guidelines and outcomes of groups such as CCCC, NCTE, WPA, AAC&U, impact approaches to assessment? How might these guidelines and outcomes need to be revised to better address digital writing assessment?
  • How might the multimodal, networked affordances of digital writing affect issues of equity and access? How might groups often disenfranchised by more traditional assessment be impacted by digital writing assessment?
  • How might eportfolios be designed for showcasing the collaborative composing processes of multimodal and/or networked writing?
  • By what criteria should program administrators and instructors assess and select course-management and/or eportfolio systems?

The fourteen chapters are organized into four sections, addressing equity and assessment, classroom evaluation and assessment, multimodal evaluation and assessment, and program revisioning and program assessment. Andrea Lunsford provides the foreword to the book; Edward White is the author of the afterword.


"From elementary schools to high schools to community colleges to research universities, it seems that everyone these days is integrating multimodal digital assignments into their writing classes and struggling with the question how to assess those assignments. Multimodal writing teachers at all levels will find help in the articles collected in Digital Writing Assessment and Evaluation whether their interests are in multimodal project assessment, classroom assessment, or program assessment. The essays are uniformly strong and compelling and make particularly good use of multimodal examples. You will find yourself moving fluidly back and forth between argument and multimodal examples as you read in a way that feels totally natural and appropriate. Digital Writing Assessment and Evaluation is the first book-length online project I have reviewed in which its born-digital nature feels essential to its argument."

-- Jim Kalmbach

"I found this collection of essays so provocative that I’ll admit to reading it straight through, and then to picking and choosing essays and parts of essays to re-read, and re-read again. Engaging with the voices in this volume was like taking my own special seminar in digital writing assessment. The authors and editors of this text here provide lessons that can be savored slowly—or used as a crash course for thinking through a pressing assessment issue; in short, they have given an enormously rich and useful gift to those of us grappling with logistical, pedagogical, and ethical issues of assessing digital writing."

-- Andrea Lunsford (from the foreword)


How to cite this book

McKee, H. A., & DeVoss, D. N. (Eds.). (2013). Digital writing assessment & evaluation. Logan, UT: Computers and Composition Digital Press/Utah State University Press. Retrieved from

McKee, Heidi A., and Dànielle Nicole DeVoss DeVoss, Eds. Digital Writing Assessment & Evaluation. Logan, UT: Computers and Composition Digital Press/Utah State University Press, 2013. Web.