Assessing Digital L2 Writing: Challenges with New Tools and New Genres
Ana Oskoz [+]
University of Maryland Baltimore County
Idoia Elola [+]
Texas Tech University
Without neglecting the possibilities of automatized grading by computer, this chapter focuses on the linguistic and non-linguistic factors that need to be addressed and assessed to enhance L2 writers’ mastery of digital literacies. Traditional assessment practices that have primarily targeted the L2 writers’ overall linguistic development—accuracy, complexity, fluency, and vocabulary selection—have been challenged with the inclusion of digital genres in L2 writing. We believe that traditional evaluation practices fail to deliver a comprehensive assessment of learners’ writing skills that are developed by the nuances and characteristics of the new digital genres and the new digital tools. Therefore, we emphasize the need to examine the linguistic and non-linguistic components of, for example, collaborative work in wikis, the expected impact on the audience from blogs, the use of hashtags in Twitter, and the integration of sound and images in digital stories that introduce new understanding. Learners’ collaboration with others, engagement with the audience, involvement with the community, and their interrelation of images, sound, and text will demonstrate learners’ mastery of how to convey meaning. The chapter also presents examples of how these genres can be evaluated, and questions for reflection.