What are they?
Multimodal assessments allow students choice in the type of media they use to demonstrate learning. For example, instead of requiring all students to write an essay, allow them more options, such as creating a video, an audio recording, or a presentation. For those that still decide to write an essay, that’s okay!
The goal is for students to use their strengths when expressing what they’ve learned. We teach in a multimodal way (Zoom lectures with visual slideshow, videos, audio clips, written text, infographics, forum discussions, etc.), so why limit students to only one media choice for assessments?
Multimodal assessments may not be suitable for all courses; some learning outcomes can only be demonstrated using a specific form of media; however, if your learning outcomes are broad enough, providing students with this kind of choice usually creates higher quality work AND makes marking a lot more interesting for you. It’s a win-win!
Get started with these 3 easy tips:
Evaluate your current assessments and learning outcomes to see if a multimodal assessment would work for your course.
Don’t stress about mastering all tech. If your students decide to use a particular type of media, chances are they know how to use it or can learn it on their own. (e.g. you don’t need to know how to edit videos; you just need to see the final product).
Modify your marking criteria to eliminate any media-specific expectations outside of the course learning outcomes (e.g. a spelling/grammar criteria can be changed to Coherence of Thought or Organization of Ideas). This will likely be your biggest challenge. Essentially, your marking criteria should be general enough to consider many forms of media, but specific in terms of learning outcomes.