Evaluating Digital Products: Raising the Bar for Exemplar Communication


Urgent! Human beings needed with effective communication skills in order to translate inert, raw information into valuable knowledge useful and beneficial to others. No paper allowed!

Eval_Digital_cover.jpgNew forms of communication beyond words are calling for new literacies with each medium having its own grammar and fluency. Using any of the dynamic media tools enabling new forms of communication will also require coaching new literacies that master the grammar of reading/writing of images and sound as well as crafting information for impact. With words and images “flying”, “dissolving”, or “crawling” onto the screens, objects spinning or flashing accompanied by varied fonts, backgrounds, transitions and sounds, teachers are left in a quandary about how to assess content grades to student work that goes beyond the traditional form of text. The BIG question is not whether students are using technology but rather to ask about purpose and audience and keeping the digital product focused on what deep understandings and communication skills are being demonstrated. The new communication needs are less about mastering technical skills of technology than about being able to design information by artfully using sound, images, transitions and special effects in ways that dance ideas together into illuminated understandings. Participants will experience coding student digital work for TYPES of communication; scoring practice of digital products for content; and assessing practices while using indicators for craftsmanship of communication.

Driving Questions

  • What is the power of multimedia for creating “sticking power" of facts and understandings?
  • How can content be ensured to score as exemplar communication demonstrating rigor and relevance?
  • How can "powerpointlessness" be avoided for all technology mediums?
  • What are sixteen (16+) TYPES of communication that will focus purpose for digital products?
  • How do rubrics and scoring guides differ?
  • What are the nine (9) traits for scoring digital products?
  • How can collegial "reflective" practice be used for calibrating effective assessment processes?
  • What content-building steps would guide students to develop rigor in their narratives?
  • What media-making steps would guide students to create effective craftsmanship?


Agenda AM Topics - Content of Communication

  • Opening ~ Five Types of Purposes
  • Topic: All Assignments are NOT Equal – Assignment Hierarchies
  • Topic: Artifacts are Instructional Stories
  • Topic: Using Student Work as a Body of Evidence
  • Process: Scoring ONE Student Digital Product
  • Topic: Role of Critical Friend
  • Process: First Plunge GalleryWalk for Evaluation of Digital Products
  • Process: Debriefing GalleryWalking / PMI Charts / Narrative Comments
  • Topic: Types of Communication
  • Process: Coding Practice for Types of Communication
  • Topic: Beyond PowerPoint

Agenda PM Topics - Craftsmanship of Communication

  • Topic: Seven Steps for Exemplar Communication - Content FIRST!
  • Topic: Non-negotiable ~ Copyright Friendly Products / Citations
  • Process: Scoring Guides Online
  • Topic: The Medium is the Message a la McLuhan
  • Topic: Every Medium has a Grammar and Fluency for Impact
  • Process: Scoring Practice for Image Communication
  • Process: Scoring Practice for Voices/Music/Sound Communication
  • Closing: Taking Key Concepts Back Home


Group Learning Resources and Links



  • Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds