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Presentations and Reports from Symposium

Photos by Paul Postle and Jenny Embleton

Presentations at A Space for Assessment Symposium - in order of delivery

Thursday, 27 May 2010


Keynote Presentation (12.15 - 13.00)

Orr presentation slide 1

The role of professional judgement in assessment:  a journey from accuracy to zing

Professor Susan Orr
Deputy Dean, Faculty of Arts, York St John University

Professor Susan Orr explored and shared her assessment research journey. Over the years Susan’s research interests have moved from a focus on transparency to a focus on the messiness of assessment practice as lived and experienced by its key actors, namely lecturers and students. Susan's research focuses on the non-documented, dialogue based, ephemera of assessment practice in art and design. Working from a socio-constructivist position Susan's research explores the tensions that exist between viewing assessment as concerned chiefly with carrying out of a range of valid and reliable processes with a view of assessment that is closer to the idea of connoisseurship (Orr 2007).   Susan's research draws on Bourdieu to identify the ways that subjectivity and objectivity are enmeshed (Orr 2009).   Through an exploration of the roles of subjectivity, objectivity and inter-subjectivity Susan unpacked and analysed the artful practice of assessment.   


Parallel Sessions (opens on another page)



Presentation (16.00 - 16.45)

Blair presentation 1st page

Perception, interpretation and impact of formative assessment on students

Dr Bernadette Blair
Academic Director & Reader in Studio-Based L&T, Faculty of Art, Design & Architecture, Kingston University

Formative verbal feedback is an important and integral part of all practice-based disciplines.  Within studio-based pedagogy, feedback is regarded as an ongoing developmental part of ipsative assessment and dialogue to assist students in developing self-critical evaluation skills and the ability to articulate their thoughts and concepts to an audience in preparation for the professional context of work.  Traditionally, this feedback may be received by students both formally in seminars, tutorials and critiques and also informally through studio one-to-one discussions with tutors or in conversations between student peers.  But how effective are these processes? This presentation evidences findings that this feedback can be both instrumental and detrimental in influencing students' interpretation of the information received.


Keynote Presentation (16.45 - 17.30)

Kleiman presentation 1st page

Chaos and crystals: negotiating assessment

Dr Paul Kleiman
Deputy Director, PALATINE   

In the performing and visual arts the actual and relational spaces in which assessment occurs are often fluid, complex, and multi-faceted. In this presentation Paul Kleiman explored some of the challenges that confront those who learn, teach, assess and are assessed within those spaces. He argued that the supremacy of positivist, quantitative, determinist paradigms in higher education do not well serve the causes of creativity and deep learning in our subject areas and he explored some alternative approaches to assessment.


Friday, 28 May 2010

Keynote Presentation (10.00 - 10.30)


Vaughan presentation slide 1

“I can’t believe it’s not better”: The Paradox of NSS scores for Art & Design 

Professor David Vaughan

This was a presentation about the report by David Vaughan and Mantz Yorke, which, although focussing on the NSS and art and design identifies findings that are equally applicable to other subject areas across the creative arts.  Many of the institutions surveyed deliver courses in art and design, media and multi-media, digital media and the performing arts, so the information gathered and analysis of the NSS scores covers a spectrum of creative arts subjects, providing a range of relevant food for thought.

The main findings of the report were highlighted with questions for further consideration.  There was an opportunity for delegates to explore these and add others of their own through a workshop session.


Discussion Groups - reports (opens on another page)


Keynote Presentation (12.15 - 13.00)

Pirie presentation slide 1

Edinburgh College of Art Assessment Scheme

Professor Ian Pirie
Assistant Principal, Edinburgh College of Art

In 2006 Edinburgh College of Art embarked upon the journey to completely re-design and implement a constructively aligned assessment scheme. The scheme is now fully implemented across the Schools of Architecture, Art and Design and students now receive letter-based grade profiles directly aligned to learning outcomes. Four years on a bespoke designed online learning environment will 'go live' in September 2010 to directly support the assessment regime and will move all project briefs, learning resources, crits, tutorial reports, self-evaluation, formative and summative assessment online.  The keynote explored the journey so far and highlighted the approaches taken to development and implementation.

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Photographs on banner by Paul Postle, Kingston University, and Jenny Embleton, ADM-HEA.