A comparative study exploring the impact of assessment criteria on eliciting graphical capability

Seery, N., Lane, D. and Canty, D. (2012) A comparative study exploring the impact of assessment criteria on eliciting graphical capability. [Conference Proceedings]


Much of formal educational provision correctly focuses on developing critical numeracy and literacy skills. Contemporary living in a digital image culture supports education now developing what Fish1 describes as our visualizing instinct. At second level the national graphics curriculum in - has moved from Technical Drawing (TD) to Design and Communication Graphics (DCG). The traditional vocational focus is now replaced with learning graphics through design driven activities, which encourage outcomes of innovation and creativity. While students still develop subject specific content knowledge, drafting skills and communication skills, the approach to learning is concerned with the design process as a vehicle for transferable learning. Capturing the process of learning and not the product can be a challenge for conventional assessment methods. This paper explores the impact of determinist and non-determinist approaches to assessment on the nature and outcomes of the learning activity. The method employed an off-set cohort analysis type study to explore the performance and output of two homogenous groups of initial teacher education students (stratified sample n=40). Group one were given defined assessment criteria, while the second group were expected to define the criteria based on their definition of graphical capability. The paper highlights the variance between groups in selecting, applying and executing appropriate graphical principles and medium, while solving an identical design brief. The paper concludes by highlighting the importance of understanding the impact of assessment criteria on student performance. Students, who constructed not only their own meaning, but also the rationale for their meaning, demonstrated a higher level of graphical capability. © 2012 American Society for Engineering Education.

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