Assessment Formats: Student Preferences and Perceptions

By Michael W. Seymour and Shannon Chance.

Published by The Learner Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper provides a student perspective on the variety of forms of design critique available to educators. In architecture and landscape architecture, the design jury remains the dominant format for providing feedback to students. In recent years this format has come under scrutiny and its effectiveness called into question. However, little research has been done into the variety of alternative or supplemental formats available to educators. This paper explores an array of techniques that the authors have employed in design studio courses (which include techniques suggested by students in Webster’s 2007 article in the Journal of Architectural Education). These include written and verbal forms of feedback, peer and self evaluations, feedback provided during the design process and variations in the jury format. The benefits and limitations of each of the techniques are explored through presentation of the results of two web-based surveys of students.
The student surveys were conducted department-wide at the Mississippi State University Department of Landscape Architecture and the Hampton University Department of Architecture. The surveys consisted of a series of Likert-scaled and open ended questions focused on the students’ perceptions of the educational and motivational value of each technique. Students were also asked to rank the various techniques in order of preference and explain why they found the techniques helpful or not.
Responses demonstrated a clear preference for one-on-one forms of evaluation. This result has raised a number of questions relative to students’ preparation for professional practice and the role of educators in fostering student independence. This paper explores these issues as well as the benefits and limitations of each technique in an effort to assist educators in making informed use of the various assessment formats.

Keywords: Critique, Design Education, Communication, Evaluation, Assessment

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 17, Issue 10, pp.137-154. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 736.926KB).

Michael W. Seymour

Assistant Professor, Department of Landscape Architecture, Mississippi State University, Starkville, MS, USA

Michael W. Seymour is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture at Mississippi State University, where he teaches landscape graphics, history of landscape architecture and design studios. He has an undergraduate degree in fine art from Centenary College of Louisiana and a Master's degree in Landscape Architecture from Louisiana State University. His research interests include design education and landscape history.

Shannon Chance

Associate Professor of Architecture, Department of Architecture, Hampton University, Hampton, VA, USA

Shannon Chance is a tenured Associate Professor of Architecture at Hampton University. She is a registered architect and LEED Accredited Professional. Shannon earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Architecture from Virginia Tech and a Ph.D. in Educational Policy, Planning and Leadership from the College of William and Mary. Shannon teaches architecture and urban design studios, architectural ecology, urban theory, and study abroad.


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