In this webtext, we have tried to show how composition instructors can use a traditional writing rubric—one used primarily to assess alphabetic texts—to also assess multimodal projects. We acknowledge that using a traditional writing rubric to assess multimodal projects is not the only way these unique compositions can be assessed. As we discovered in our survey results, many composition instructors use a different rubric--one that is self-created--to assess student multimodal projects than they do to assess traditional alphabetic essays.
However, using a new, self-created rubric to assess multimodal compositions is not a possibility for writing instructors, like us, teaching in a writing program that requires the use of a traditional writing rubric for all assignments—regardless of if they are multimodal or not. It is for this particular audience of writing instructors that we hope most to assist here through our examination of how the rhetorical elements in a traditional writing rubric can easily cross over to the assessment of multimodal projects. Additionally, our research can be useful to those that are in need of a method for assessing their students multimodal compositions. We also hope to inspire composition instructors who have been hesitant to incorporate multimodal projects into their classrooms for fear that they do not have the training to adequately assess them and provide their students with appropriate feedback. Our personal belief is that these composition instructors can continue to use their traditional writing rubric as they have done with previous alphabetic texts. As researchers and composition instructors our goal is to make it clear that, although there are multiple ways to assess multimodal compositions, there is no need to construct an entirely new rubric separate from those used for a traditional alphabetic text.
In the end, we hope that this webtext encourages composition instructors to continue to add to the growing and fruitful discussions about the future possibilities of assessing multimodal projects through a variety of evaluative techniques and methods.