+ Values & Criteria Analysis

This assignment moves us between the values you hold for digital media texts that you like (and don’t like) and the values that digital writing studies holds for the digital media genre(s) of “scholarly multimedia” that we’ll be producing in class. Based on your work on this assignment, we’ll be creating evaluation criteria for your final projects (which we’ll discuss more in class on Sept. 21.)

Due date: Wednesday, September 28.


  • to learn about the values that the field of digital writing studies (as a primary audience for our final projects) has for scholarly multimedia texts
  • to transfer our own values of digital media to other kinds of texts, examining what transfers and what doesn’t and why
  • to begin culling down the available evaluation criteria for scholarly multimedia into a “short list”
  • to practice analytical writing as a hybrid of school and public genres that are useful in more and less formal writing practices like “reading responses” and “blog posts”


  1. Pick a webtext from one of the scholarly multimedia journals we’re studying and apply the three sets of criteria (yours + 2 that I assigned as reading) to determine which/whether they are valuable/useful tools to read and evaluate that text.
  2. Decide which of the concepts/terms/questions from the criteria seem most relevant to your chosen webtext. Are there any still missing that you think should be included?
  3. Comment on this page, describing your criteria choices (including any you added) and justify why you think those choices are the most relevant ones to scholarly multimedia.

Things to consider:

  • Be sure to link to the example in your response.
  • This assignment is similar to an analytical/response essay in that you need to make sure I can understand your point (e.g., which criteria you’re justifying and why) by defining/summarizing the criteria you’re using, describing the textual examples through writing or screenshots, and making it clear to me through references to the texts and the criteria why these things make sense together while others didn’t make sense to include. You’re creating your own grading criteria for this class, so make sure you’re as clear as you’d want your peers to evaluate your work with.

8 thoughts on “+ Values & Criteria Analysis

  1. Jenna Salak

    Chris and I used the Watkin’s video to analyze as our webtext. After watching the video, some of the criteria we came up with in order to determine whether or not a media is useful, informative, etc… are as follows:

    -Does the text combine different medias in order to get the point across? Or is the user limiting him/herself to a singular medium in order to get their argument delivered to the audience? Because multi modality is such a new way of teaching, it’s important to showcase as many different types of media (as long as it’s not distracting) in the argument/presentation as possible in order to get students excited about the prospect of creating something similar.

    -identify, assess, evaluate: these three criteria were mentioned within Watkin’s video and I think that they are great criteria that can be applied in any evaluation. Is the audience able to identify the issue, stance, focal point of the argument, or information being presented? What is it that they, on a personal level take away from the information/media? What is influencing their interpretation? Finally, how do they evaluate the information’s accessibility, the message, and delivery of the subject as a whole? What worked, what didn’t? How can the medium be improved?

    Other important criteria to consider from our readings
    -readership: is the text geared toward a certain culture or is it explained so those who aren’t necessarily in the “know” understand what is going on? Is the text of the time/relevant to what is going on right now?

    -research component: does the author provide substantial information backed by sources? Is the information given an example of extensive scholarly research? Does the author attempt look at the information/situation from more then one point of view?

    -My “wow”
    -is the media a new way of getting information to the reader? Is it innovative, something that hasn’t been done before? If it has been done before, is it done in an excellent manner?

    -Chris’ “wow”
    -does the information/presentation invite the reader to explore more in depth? How accessible is the information and is it easy to find more if the reader should want to investigate the topic further?

  2. Kasha Henricks

    Kasha Henricks & Casey Kilroy

    • Content
    o Establish clear goals?
    o Establish a formal tone?
    o Method acceptable in the field?
    o Deliberate?
    o Controlled?
    o Defensible?
    • Web-based allowances
    o Does it move beyond print based forms?
    o Exemplify content?
    o Does it add multi linear navigation?
    o Incorporates multimedia?
    o Accessible?
    • Emerging conventions
    o Incorporate effective rhetoric?
    o Provide rationale for the formal design of the text?
    • Readership
    o Relevant/timely?
    o Bring something new (an idea)?
    o Creative?
    o Entertaining/engaging?
    • Form
    o Does it have an argument?
    o Argument is clear?
    • Media
    o Appropriate?
    o Justified?
    o Does it have a purpose?
    • Response
    o Provocative?
    o Does it lead to important research questions in the future?
    o Does it appeal to an appropriate audience?
    • Conceptual Core
    o Is the project’s controlling idea apparent?
    • Research component
    o Evidence of substantive research and thoughtful engagement with its subject matter?
    o Variety of credible sources?

  3. Chris Monforton

    – Does the piece combine different types of mediums?

    By combining mediums this allows us as viewers to get more out of the presentation. Gives us a better perspective with more to base what we learn off of. The Watkins video goes over how this sort of combination could be good for these types of media presentations.

    -Does the chosen medium make sense in terms of the piece’s argument?

    The piece we chose to review had a medium that made perfect sense when it comes to the argument at hand. Its saying to combine different mediums to enhance what exactly the viewer gets out of it. The video itself has punk rock music in the background the whole time (relating to the argument he had started with in the beginning of the presentation). This combined with the images and clips shown in the video is an example in itself of the combination of different mediums.

    -The project must approach the subject in a creative or innovative manner.

    The video had a creative way to go about bring us to his main point. The content he had was very interesting, especially how he started off with comparing the message he is trying to get across with the revolution of punk rock. That alone is creative. But the use of captions put in throughout the video along with his voice over gives the presentation as a whole a creative feel, especially because the point of the presentation is how we should become more aware and embrace the fact that certain types of mediums being used to portray messages through media.

    -Does the text incorporate multi-media to enhance or present the content?

    In my opinion the text does incorporate multi-media to present the content. The combination of different mediums is evident in the presentation, like I said before.

  4. Beth Keller, Aaron Lankster

    Beth’s and Aaron’s criteria for looking at Watkin’s “The words are the ultimate abstractive.”

    Conceptual Core- is it an argument worth hearing? A piece that calls to action- reference to punk rock music. He says we need to change the limits we put toward academic projects (text means more than just words- means words, graphics, images)

    Research Components- important because it solidifies his argument- he used references that thought outside the box= Scott McCloud/ Refused’s lyrics

    Form and content- reinforcing the message. He talks about using different media to prove an argument so it makes sense for him to use these different media to prove his point. Thus, his form does reinforce the content

    Web-based allowances- he used everything at this disposal such as motion video, audio, music, moving still frame, linear text. Using audio didn’t work as well when he had a black screen, didn’t have the same effect

    Emerging conventions-very simple navigation- read text then push play…simple

    Creative realization- it was an innovated project for a reason. Punk rock was innovated for the time period so it was a great Segway into his argument. It was a great model to use. Also, creative to use music in the opening scene to get the audiences attention.

    Readership- younger audience, familiar with music genre, we are the ones that need to make the change happen, or enforce it, brought the audience to his level/ made them understand

    “Wow” concept- blending the creativity with the scholarly- helps to keep it from being dry. He presents a very good argument about how we should see images, videos as more as entertainment and more as a learning tool. Images, graphics should be looked at as semiotic elements.

  5. Bridget Clemens

    Bridget Clemens & Jess Krist

    Jess & Bridget’s Peer Review Criteria

    • The project’s intentions are clear to the audience (The audience shouldn’t be left wondering what the point is)
    • The project should have a realistic goal in mind

    • The project should fulfill its audiences expectations in regards to the topic and its relevance
    • The project should be respectful of possible differing opinions or viewpoints
    • The project should encourage the audience to acknowledge differing viewpoints or opinions

    • The project should create a compelling argument
    • The project should be well thought-out and show evidence of credible research
    • If the project is meant to inspire action from the audience, it should supply valuable/crucial information that the audience would need to know

    • The project should incorporate multimedia in a manner consistent/supportive of its purpose
    • Modes of multimedia used within the project should enhance the final product (and not distract or confuse the audience)

    • The project should display thoughtfulness, creativity, and care in both the planning and composing stages
    • The project should achieve something that could not be achieved on paper

    • Navigation used within the project should be clear to the audience and easy to follow
    • The project allows the audience to see or pursue (relevant) additional information by clicking on alternate nodes (The audience has the option of accessing more information if they desire)

  6. Chris Krueger

    Engaged with a primary issue
    Goals are apparent
    Readership is considered

    Uses multiple sources to make the point
    Makes multiple sides of the argument apparent
    Makes sources interact with each other

    Media Content:
    Appropriate use of technologies
    Media used is original (unless writer has allowances)
    Creative realization
    Navigation through text is appropriate

    Content of text:
    Formality is appropriate for the concept
    Conclusion or call to action is compelling
    Introductions to new ideas are well explained

    I used Watkins piece to develop these criteria for making a “wow” text. I think he found a good concept to approach and he did it in a way that made sense. It took me awhile (a reader with no prior background) to understand what to concept was about but I started to pick it up as it went along. I could tell that research was done through this text because he referenced many other detailed texts to reinforce his idea. They were relevant to his topic and tied in with other sources. He needed to use a video in the project otherwise it wouldn’t have made the point so apparent. (I learned something from a video therefore videos can be used to teach.) His conclusion in the video was the part that made most sense to me which s why I decided to include it in the criteria. He was able to tie all his research and concepts into one sound conclusion. One thing I didn’t like as much was his introduction into different sources. I wish they were further explained so I could start each section with some prior knowledge.

  7. Erin Lentz

    We looked at Watkin’s video and this was some of the criteria we looked at :
    – clear idea and topic
    – uses effective media use to get point across
    – many examples to back the point up
    – explained where they got different examples
    Content of text
    – content relevant to topic
    – text only when necessary
    Media content
    – multimodal
    – video, sound, text used effectively
    – kept audience interested
    – allowed audience to see examples not just read them
    – engaging the audience
    – video flows
    – organized

    Based on the criteria listed above I believe Watkin fit all of them. He used the video wisely to communicate his main point and kept it interesting.

  8. Brian Sorenson

    Content: The content of Robert Watkins’ piece is entirely appropriate given the message being conveyed. The goals this particular piece of digital media are clear and the point being made is well articulated and emphasized through the use of multimedia. The author uses Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics to illustrate how different forms of media can be used to convey thoughts. Essentially, both the media and the book it references questions the “old guard” of more traditional, conservative ways of representing thoughts and expounding on ideas.

    Web-based allowances: As the text is actually conveyed through video, it is evolved from print-based forms of presentation. The video visually guides the viewer through the author’s argument using pictures, text, and sound embedded within the video. As the video combines a multitude of different forms of media, and the author’s message makes specific reference to the benefit of using a mix of multimedia to prove certain points, the form exemplifies the content.

    Institute for Multimedia Literacy’s Project Parameters represent a set of characteristics a work of multimedia should adhere to in order to be accepted for publication. Watkins’ webtext strongly adheres to these parameters. The Conceptual Core’s parameters are followed in Watkins’ work because the primary issue he’s addressing is affectively engaged in the video. The video also emphasizes the research Watkins did on the subject because his understanding is apparent through how well he explains what he means. Nothing in the video is unclear to the viewer, because he uses multiple examples to illustrate a point; oftentimes, points are literally illustrated which serves to show help emphasize them.

    My “Wow” Criteria:
    “Words are the Ultimate Abstraction,” says much that could never be said using plain text alone. The video is flashy without being garish and distracting. This is consistent with how I favorably rated the two works of digital media reviewed on the blog last week.

    Chris S’ “Wow” Criteria:
    Chris’ “wow” criteria given for the previous two webtexts he’s reviewed match up with this webtext. In both cases, the webtext combines the gamut of potential means of conveying information—pictures, video, text, music, dialogue, etc.—to convey a single unified thought.


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