Assessment Design: Perspectives and Examples Informed by Universal Design for Learning

Section 2.5: Assessment Methods and Examples – Multimedia and E-Portfolio

Multimedia Assessment

With the wide access of smart devices, making videos, audio, and graphics have become much easier for students. Multimedia assignments have become more common in recent years as it provides options and sparks creativity in students’ work. Multimedia assessment could include recording the process of completing a task, recording a video or audio on a given topic, designing a poster or infographics, or even creating an animated video for storytelling.

Adopting multimedia assessment help develop students’ computer and digital literacy. Students could also have the opportunity to practice as many times as they need before submitting their final work. Because they are in a digital format, these assignments are easier to showcase as a part of a student’s portfolio.

Here is a UDL-informed example:

Fei teaches an online course on Governance and Accountability. She has designed a public hearing simulation in which students need to write legal arguments on an issue assigned to them from police misconduct scenarios, but the ultimate goal is to have students debate as if they are in court. Since students are taking this course from different time zones and some are working professionals, Fei has implemented the following design changes to ensure students are supported and engaged:

  • She decides not to force the entire class to attend synchronous online sessions for this assignment. Instead, she asks students to form groups and each group is required to submit a video recording to present their debate.
  • She includes a quick polling on students’ access to smart devices in order to determine whether students can complete this assignment via multimedia.
  • She provides some tips and resources for video recording, and asks students to support each other and address potential technical issues collaboratively.
  • With permission, she provided some video examples for public hearing.
  • She explains to her students that they can be creative in the way they record and edit but she expects the video to be around 10 mins per group.
  • She provides rubrics for evaluation, so students can assess their debate based on the criteria before submitting their final videos.

E-Portfolio Assessment

Similar to Multimedia Assessment, e-portfolio provides students the freedom to curate and create multiple elements they find meaningful during their learning journey. They have the freedom to choose what elements to highlight and what to submit for assessment.

E-portfolios can become especially valuable if the ultimate goal is to complement student growth in career prep or professional development beyond the duration of their studies. A well-developed e-portfolio conveys the student’s skill sets and professional aspiration. It can also help develop a student’s digital identity which is often required by employers nowadays.

Here is a UDL-informed example

Franco is teaching a 3-day course on Conflict Resolution. He has taught the course a number of times. While the course seems to function effectively, he would like to see students engage in a way that helps them understand communication and conflict resolution as a practice, in which students are constantly improving their skills by observing, sharing, and collaborating. He decides that e-portfolios could help.

  • Franco introduces the e-portfolio platform before the class begins so students have time to access the tool and become familiar with the basics. He also shares a few professional e-portfolios from industry experts to illustrate the usefulness and relevance.
  • To get started, he asks students to post a photo that represents a recent conflict and write down the conflict story before the first class. As the course progresses, he sends students reflective questions and asks them to reflect on those questions based on their stories.
  • Franco communicates that he expects the e-portfolio to expand, not just to compile answers for reflective questions, but as a way to research, synthesize, converse, and reflect upon the concepts that are important to them.
  • He explains that students must include a few elements from the course to meet the minimal requirements, and then they can be creative on adding content such as video, audio, case studies, and useful resources. Students can also be creative on the design of their e-portfolios.
  • He includes a rubric that explains how students’ e-portfolios will be evaluated.
  • He leaves half an hour a day for students to ask questions and receive formative feedback on their e-portfolios.


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A Comprehensive Guide to Applying Universal Design for Learning Copyright © 2022 by Dr. Seanna Takacs; Junsong Zhang; Helen Lee; Lynn Truong; and David Smulders is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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