Jody Shipka. Negotiating Rhetorical, Material, Methodological, and Technological Difference: Evaluating Multimodal Designs. College Composition and Communication 2005

What do teachers of multimodal composition want? To establish frameworks for responding to student work that take into account the complexities of new media. Or so says Jody Shipka. This is one of many articles I’ve recently read dealing with the creation of heuristics for evaluating multimodal scholarship. Shipka observes:  “That we need to begin articulating and sharing with others our strategies for responding to the “differently shaped products” (Takayoshi 136) students are increasingly invited to produce is evidenced in the dearth of scholarship devoted to the assessment of multimodal and new media texts. (346).

“If we are committed to providing students with opportunities to forge new connections, to work in new ways, to produce new kinds of texts, and to become increasingly cognizant of the ways texts provide shape for and take shape from the contexts in which they are produced, circulated, valued, and responded to, I think it is crucial that we take care not to limit the texts, tools, and composing strategies students might employ and alter in compelling ways.” (348)

In the article, she also describes her own heuristic, which involves asking students to assume responsibility for describing and evaluating the goals and purposes of their work.