Assessing multimedia projects, or any projects using new technologies, is a challenge because it is hard to look past what is involved in creating the project and the “coolness” of the technology. You need to avoid what Jason Ohler calls the “”A” for anything that moves syndrome.” You need to assess and evaluate based on the criteria and outcomes for learning, and not the coolness of the technology, unless you are teaching a course on the use of multimedia tools or there is some kind of cross-curriculum technology component to the project. There is no doubt that technology provides some new, creative, and valuable ways for demonstrating learning, but the technology tools are only there to support delivery.
Jason Ohler, on his digital storytelling site, provides his thoughts on assessing student work involving “new media” and specifically digital stories. One suggestion for teachers who are feeling uncomfortable with assessing multimedia projects is to first get in there and do it yourself. This will provide you with a better insight into what is involved. A second suggestion is to not to forget to assess the whole project, including processes such as the planning, the writing, and how components are put together while keeping in mind the academic outcomes the students are supposed to be addressing. If the use of technology is included in the defined outcomes, then that component is assessed too.