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day 2: Digital Spaces for Learning and Assessment in Art and Design

February 9, 2016

lisa hammershaimb

Article Title:
Digital Spaces for Learning and Assessment in Art and Design 
by: Ian Pirie, Stewart Cordiner and Jenny Triggs

Background:
Identifying a need for greater communication and transparency in the art + design critique process, in 2010 Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) created an online digital space to aid feedback and help support engagement in the critique process. They still continue to meet face to face in studio spaces but critique is largely conducted in an online interface.

What they did:
ECA created their own custom LMS where students upload their work in progress and completed work. Along with their image files, students complete a series of reflective questions describing their process journey and rating themselves on a series of skills acquired. Instructors also complete critique using a series of reflective questions and comments and rate the students on skills shown. When both parties have completed their responses, they are shared and an online dialogue begins about the work.

Why it is interesting to me:
A fully face-to-face, traditional design program identifies what I think is a key positive to online art + design learning: the ability to move critique from the often nerve-wracking dog and pony show within a studio to a space where people can reflect and receive comments and feedback and engage in a dialogue on a more personal basis.

When analyzed, data showed that students identified value in feedback that was mutually constructed and dialogical which the online interface easily supported. Instructors too found value in seeing projects progress through various stages and reading the students’ backstory in creating them. That said like any time feedback is given…it varies based on writing ability and overall engagement with the process. Some students were frustrated with lack of communication from the instructor and vice versa.

Overall, it’s an interesting look at how the internet is bleeding into a fully face-to-face art and design program and I’m curious how the program has progressed these past six years.

Reference:
Pirie, I., Cordiner, S., & Triggs, J. (2011). Digital Spaces for Learning and Assessment in Art and Design. future learning spaces, p. 43-67. Retrieved from: http://www2.uef.fi/documents/976466/1020676/Future+Learning+Spaces.pdf/1d6c8b89-1bf0-4512-b646-85f656006c34#page=44

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