Educational Materials

Evaluation & Assessment

Rubrics are the most common form of assessment for digital stories. A rubric usually includes scales that provide descriptions of different levels of achievement or an understanding for a set of criteria of quality for a given type of performance such as an essay or presentation (Allen & Tanner, 2006). However, it is distinguished from ordinary scoring checklists by its more extensive definition and description of the criteria of quality that characterize each level of accomplishment. When a rubric is given to students prior to a project, it becomes an excellent way to convey expectations. A rubric can be used during the process as a peer evaluation tool. After the project, a rubric gives the teacher a consistent and specific tool to measure many different facets of the digital storytelling process from the script to the audio quality. Students with digital storytelling experience can also be involved in the rubric development and contribute to the categories as well as the criteria.

Many educators, such as Barrett (2006), Ohler (2008), and Teehan (2007-08), have developed rubrics that educators can use to assess digital stories created by students. These rubrics include categories related to the overall quality of the story such as “How well did the story work?” (Ohler, 2008), categories related to image quality such as “Did the images create an atmosphere or tone?” (Teehan, 2007-08) and categories related to audio quality such “Is the voice quality clear and consistently audible throughout the presentation?” (Barrett, 2006).

In a 2012 paper, McNeil and Robin propose an evaluation framework for digital storytelling that has three main categories: evaluation during the design process, evaluation during the development process, and evaluation after the project is completed. Each of these categories is divided into self- evaluation by the creator or group of creators if the project is team-based, peer-evaluation by other students, and educational evaluation by the teacher.

   Assessment Tools Evaluation Tools
Evaluator:   During
the Design Process
the development process
the project is completed
The Creator(s) 
  • Guidelines and specifications about story
  • Checklist of story artifacts
  • Graphics checklist
  • Audio checklist
  • Grammar/spelling checklist
  • Self- evaluation form
Creator’s Peers
  • Story circles (story script)
  • Story Screenings (story draft)
  • Peer evaluation
The Teacher
  • Evidence of planning process (script, storyboards, etc.)
  • Interview with creator about development process
  • Development rubric
  • Checklist of story artifacts
  • Rubric
  • Reflective paper/ video by creator
  • Evaluation of story traits such as engagement, character, and development