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A grid for evaluating student media

November 11, 2015

video-imageMany faculty members know a great deal about writing. They feel confident giving students detailed grammar and composition feedback on an essay or other text-based activity. But what about media? How would you feel if you had to evaluate a video?

It’s easy to tell that an episode of “Breaking Bad” is more polished than a homemade YouTube video. Most people, however, can’t list many reasons why one is technically better than the other.

The grid below is designed to help inexperienced evaluators recognize and describe good media production technique, so that they will feel more confident giving students feedback on the technical aspects of a media-based activity.

The grid is intended be the starting point for a checklist, holistic rubric, or other evaluation tool. You can add more sophisticated criteria, but I deliberately stuck to factors an average person can understand. You are also free to go the other direction and ignore criteria.

The grid only covers technical factors related to what media makers call production value. It does not get into content concerns such as thoroughness, accuracy, clarity, or audience. Nor does it cover process elements like timeliness, collaboration, or planning.

I’d love to hear suggestions for improving the grid. Please share your comments!

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