Using the Tool
Evaluating Student Videos
Graphic Novelist
Court of History
Curriculum & Resource Guides: Videomaker: Rating Student Cases

Suggestions for Evaluating Student Projects Created Using the Tools on the Young American Heroes Web Site

The goal of the tools – in fact, the goal of the whole Young American Heroes project – is to involve students in creating so that they learn in an exciting, active, constructivist way. Educators can guide that excitement by evaluating student creations using “measuring sticks” that students have already been exposed to in class. In this way, students, with their teacher or mentor’s guidance, can view their story in light of criteria that are applied to anyone creating a story or argument, whether in a classroom or outside. 
The suggestions below offer ways to evaluate student projects created using VideoMaker. They can be especially useful if they are discussed in terms of the elements of a good story. As with all of the material on this site, we welcome your reactions, suggestions, and additions.
Some factors to consider when evaluating students' VideoMaker projects:
  • The character's choice: The hero’s decision in the story should be in response to the dilemma presented that establishes the character’s need to make a choice.
  • Reasons for the character’s choice: Do the scenes, through dialogue or action, indicate the character's reasons for making the decision he/she makes?
  • Coherence: Can a reader make sense of what happens from scene to scene in the student’s story? Is there a flow to the scenes that carries the viewer naturally from one moment to the next?
  • Dramatic interest: Does the “story arc” grab the reader? Does the sequence of events in the video lead to a satisfying conclusion? The ending does not necessarily have to be a “happy” one but simply one that is supported by the preceding story line.
  • Integration of different elements: Does the video include a combination of moving images, still images, and sound (including music) that work together to move the story forward?
  • Believability: Is the story believable and consistent with what we know of the character’s life and the history of the times?

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