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​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Multimedia are useful in both summative and form​ative assessments of learning. What is key is to first ensure that your use of multimedia in assessments aligns with the ​​learning outcomes of your course. For example, General Education learning community courses have a learning outcome focused on students' demonstration of communication fluency using multiple modes of expression. The resources highlighted on this page can support students' demonstration of progress on these and other learning outcomes. ​​

​In Summative A​ssessments of Lea​rning​

Digital Por​tfo​lio

alignment of learning outcomes assessments and activities

​​​​A d​igital portfolio is a great way to incorporate multimedia in assessments of learning near the end of the semester or at the end of a unit. Queens digital portfolio platform Portfolium is available to all students and faculty. Students can demonstrate their progress on your learning outcomes by submitting images, videos, presentations, 3D models, audio, URLs (links), text documents, pdfs, and spreadsheets. Students can submit more than one file or link. For more details, review Portfolium's current list of supported content and file submissions​

U​​niversal Design for Learning

​While you might be​ accustomed to asking all students to submit their work in the same format or medium, consider how you can use Portfolium or other technologies highlighted on this page to give students choice in how they demonstrate their understanding and ability to use concepts and skills developed in your course. Allowing students to express their understanding and skill in more than one mode of expression is consistent with universal design for learning and can help create inclusive learning spaces.​

Rubric​​s for Mu​ltimed​ia Assessments of Learning 

When developing​ rubrics for these assessments, make sure you are focusing on your course's learning outcomes rather than aspects of the media that are not central to your course and to your instruction. For example, if you did not provide​​ instruction on video editing and your course is not about video editing, that would not be a major criterion in the rubric.

Adobe Spark for Creating Webpage​s, Video Stories, Presentations, and Graphics 

New! Use the "Log in with School Account"​ button at and enter your Queens credentials (faculty or student) to use this tool for free. Adobe Spark offers eas​y-to-use, web-based tools for creating video stories, stand-alone webpages, presentations, and graphics. Templates and intuitive features in the web-based interface help students focus on expressing their ideas and understanding of course concepts, rather than getting bogged down in complex software. Moreover, because these tools are intuitive to use, you can offer students choices in what tool or media they use to demonstrate their understanding of course concepts and development of skills that are central to your course and its learning outcomes. Adobe Spark Apps​ are available for use on mobile devices.

Adobe Spark Vid​​eos ​
​Adobe Spark Pages

Adobe Spark Posts​

Timeline Creators and Location-Based Presentations

Other multimedia tools may also be suitable, especially if your assessments and learning outcomes pertain to events occurring over time or in different locations. This guide to timeline creators highlights a range of tools that students can use to create interactive, multi-media presentations, narratives, or tours through time and space: 


If you are asking students not just to submit their work as multimedia, but to view and comment on each others' work, support students in creating submissions that are accessible to other students. Common issues and ways of addressing them, such as providing videos with captions, are covered in Providing Accessible Materials​. ​

In Formative Assessment of Learning

Quizzes with Feedback​

​When you use multimedia instructional materials, such as videos or recorded presentations, you can easily incorporate short quizzes with closed or open-ended questions. These can serve as knowledge checks with immediate response to the learner as formative assessment of learning. Some resources you can use for this are:​

​​Canvas and Canvas Studio​​

In Canvas, you can incorporate other media, such as video, audio, or an image, in the question field when creating a quiz question. For example, you can paste the link to a short YouTube video that illustrates a course concept or include an image that you want students to analyze.

With Canvas Studio, you can insert quiz questions at specific timepoints during a video. You can use this technique to pose questions during a recorded lecturette so you and students can check their understanding and receive feedback:

Another application is posing questions to students about a simulation, demonstration, or example. Questions can ask them to analyze what is occurring at a certain point in the example, determine what technique to apply at a certain point in the simulation, or evaluate the techniques being demonstrated.  

If you previously used EdPuzzle, Canvas Studio Video Quizzes have similar functionality and integrate with the Canvas Gradebook.

​When selecting or creating multimedia for this purpose, consider how you are makin​g the content accessible to those with disabilities. Common issues and ways of addressing them, such as using videos with captions, are covered in Providing Accessible Materials​. ​

Microsoft Stream + Quiz​

​​If your audience is Queens community members that extend beyond a class, you can use Microsoft Stream and Forms or Quizzes. As you can see in this example, when you upload a video to Stream, you can also insert a Microsoft Quiz at a specific point in the video. Dots on the timeline signal the location of a Microsoft Form and a Microsft Quiz. With a Microsoft Quiz, you can provide the learner immediate ​feedb​ack after submitting th​​eir ​​responses. With a Microsoft Form, you cannot.   ​


This method is good for promptly showing the learner what they have understood and what they have not. This is not a method of assigning points for correct responses and integrating such points with Canvas. ​


Available to faculty through the Digital Studio or a perpetual license can be purchased​. Offers advanced editing, multilayered audio and video tracks, and interactive quizzes. You can also set up instructional sequences tailored to what a learner has understo​od and has not yet understood.

Consider how the information in the materials you author in Camtasia is accessible to those with disabilities. Common issues and ways of addressing them are covered in Providing Accessible Materials​. ​


Multimedia-Based Discussions​​

​You can incorporate multimedia in discussions that you use as opportunities to provide formative feedback on students' learning. For example, you can incorporate a video in the prompt you use to begin a discussion. Alternatively, you can ask students to respond to a question by using multimedia, such as posting a video response, or posting a video that illustrates a course concept and a prose explanation of how it illustrates the course concept. ​Some resources you can use for this are:

In Discussions in Canvas

In Canvas, when you set up a Discussion, you can incorporate an image​, video, and/or audio in the opening description or prompt box of an entire Discussion by using the Rich Content Editor: 

In addition, students and you can insert an image, video, and/or audio in a reply by using the Rich Content Editor or by using Canvas Studio media.   

To help students:

If asking students to incorporate media, include a link to the appropriate student tutorial to help them, as media can be incorporated in many different ways.

Consider how the information in images, video, and audio is accessible to those with disabilities. Common issues and ways of addressing them are covered in Providing Accessible Materials​. Modeling providing accessible materials, such as videos with captions, will help students do the same in their replies.


​Flipgrid is a video-based, asynchronous online discussion platform. ​Along with video replies, students can include links to other online resources. Students' cover images are shown in a display that helps to create a sense of community. You can always check out Flipgrid's great new features, including optio​ns for recording audio only with Mic Only mode. When you're ready to use it, you can incorporate Flipgrid into Canvas - add it as an external app​

For an introduction, see:

Use Flipgrid's short tutorials to access--and help your students access--the most current and accurate guidance:

Tip: Enable autogenerated captions when setting up your grid/​group to help mak​​​e information in video posts and replies accessible to all learners. ​

flipgrid video based discussion

In a P​hysical Classroom​

Consider how the information in images, video, and audio is accessible to those with disabilities. Common issues and ways of addressing them are covered in Providing Accessible Materials​. 


Laura Lohman, PhD, SHRM-SCP, CAAP, PMP

Director, Center for the Advancement of Faculty Excellence

Professor of Music

(704) 337-2547