Digital Artifacts

Student Options for Demonstrating Mastery

Digital Artifacts for Creative Communications

One size definitely does not fit all in a digital age classroom. Varying devices, platforms, skills, and goals create a very unique opportunity for personalizing the learning. To truly embrace digital age learning, teachers must relinquish some of their control and allow creativity and exploration. This shift of the paradigm empowers learning in a digital age classroom.

As you move through this section, consider giving students choice about platform, process, and product:

  • Allow students variety in choosing their platform  to complete the assignment (tools, apps, programs);
  • Give students options as to the process of completing work;
  • Expect variety in products  to demonstrate competency. Digital artifacts come in many forms. 

Consider how you can incorporate the elements of a digital age assignment:

  • Student Choice - Students should be given options for ways in which they will demonstrate mastery. Options go beyond presentations to include infographics, animation, videos, web design, and more.  
  • Content - Artifacts or assignments must be Competency/Standards Based.  Assess the student based on their ability to answer questions about content, or address standards or competencies. 
  • Creativity - Creativity is artful design without too much emphasis on the bells and whistles. Creativity shouldn't overshadow Content.
  • Skills & Abilities - A digital artifact must be an accurate display of EFFORT on the students' part. 

Let's think about how this might work in your own classroom with the following steps below. 


1. How might you allow students to get creative to meet the learning objectives?

Let's begin by visiting Thing 17 - Creative Communications in the 21things4students.  Think about which method or tool might work for your next lesson, unit, or assignment.

2. What online programs/apps/tools can be used to meet lesson objectives? 

Visit Quest 1 to locate the Analysis of Digital Artifacts chart.  Review how these are used in a digital classroom. 

3.  What are the advantages and disadvantages of each type of media? 

Check out the "21t4s Advantages and Disadvantages of Different Media Table" along with free tools, programs, and apps for classroom implementation.  Consider this thoughtful critique as it applies to your own digital classroom. 

4.  Do students need a checklist or a master planning document?

Explore the Project Proposal template.  Consider how this template can be used for your own digital classroom.

5. How are digital artifacts assessed?

The assessment of a digital artifact should critique elements of student choice (did they choose the right tool), content (did they meet the minimum requirements of what message should be conveyed), creativity (were they creative in their representation of the content), and skills/abilities (was the digital artifact an accurate representation of their skills and abilities). 

Visit the T3PD Model's "Performance" section for free rubric creators including Rubistar, iRubric, Rubric, Maker, and more.  Think about the assessment elements needed in your own digital assignments. 

After completing the Steps, move on to the Final Assignment






Addressing the ISTE Standards For Educators

1c. Stay current with research that supports improve student learning outcomes, including findings from the learning sciences.

2b. Advocate for equitable access to educational technology, digital content and learning opportunities to meet the diverse needs of all students.
2c. Model for colleagues the identification, exploration, 
evaluation, curation and adoption of 
new digital resources and tools for learning.

3b. Establish a learning culture that promotes curiosity and 
critical examination of online resources and fosters digital literacy and media fluency.

5a. Use technology to create, adapt and personalize learning experiences that foster independent learning and accommodate learner differences and needs.
5b. Design authentic learning activities that align with content area standards and use digital tools and resources to maximize active, deep learning.
5c. Explore and apply instructional design principles to create innovative digital learning environments that engage and support learning.

6a. Foster a culture where students take ownership of their learning goals and outcomes in both independent and group settings.
6b. Manage the use of technology and student learning strategies in digital platforms, virtual environments, hands-on makerspaces or in the field.
6c. Create learning opportunities that challenge students to use a design process and computational thinking to innovate and solve problems.
6d. Model and nurture creativity and creative expression to communicate ideas, knowledge or connections.

7a. Provide alternative ways for students to demonstrate competency and reflect on their learning using technology.
7b. Use technology to design and implement a variety of formative and summative assessments that accommodate learner needs, provide timely feedback to students and inform instruction.
7c. Use assessment data to guide progress and communicate with students, parents and education stakeholders to build student self-direction.