Steve developed a video product within a realistic situation and articulated his understanding of the affordances and constraints of using SL to produce such a video. Formative assessment of both the video product and the critique can help students engage this understanding in subsequent efforts to create such video products in a workplace setting. As more companies integrate New Media into their operations and as technologies like SL are available for education and workplace uses, students need to develop related critical literacies so they can assess how particular New Media can be used for business purposes and what tools are needed to create products for distribution through New Media. Comments associated with formative assessments of such products that consider elements of design and effect help students understand how to improve upon the quality of a given product by applying rhetorical theory to production. It is possible for technical writing instructors to use their understanding of the rhetorical effects that elements applied in traditional print-linguistic documents have on a given audience to assess new media products such as machinima videos.
Video composition entails not just aiming a camera at a subject and filming, be it in real life or digital environments. It involves attributes identified above and more. For example, students can practice integrating transitions between segments, reinforcing principles of cohesion within composition. Further, students can practice camera positioning to focus on particularly relevant visual information, as well as combining narration with video images to re-enforce or enhance information. Students need to practice and receive feedback on such composing skills in order to develop professional video composition and production skills. Teachers can apply criteria similar to that which they have used for assessing print-based products toward facilitating that feedback and calling attention to the effect particular elements of multimodal compositions have on an audience. While Steve’s video did not integrate print-linguistic text on-screen, one may integrate such textual material; principles associated with page design and placement of information can be used to assess such integration of text: in addition to considering mechanics of such text, one may consider whether the textbox is positioned appropriately so as to avoid obscuring other visual information, and how the textual information enhances the message.