CritMoves would allow faculty to create a set of specific prompts that would be randomly assigned to students via student cell phones
Jenny Kowalski Assistant Professor Lehigh University
Abby Guido Associate Professor Temple University
Peer critique is a tool for formative and summative assessment in art and design classrooms (Motley, 2016). Although some forms of critiques are dominated by the instructor (Barrett, 2000), a framework encouraging peer discussion establishes a collaborative environment and fosters meta-cognitive skills (Topping, 1998).
Two graphic design professors are proposing a tool called CritMoves to enhance participation in classroom critiques. Based on the concept of conversational moves (Nichols, 2019), CritMoves would allow faculty to create a set of specific prompts that would be randomly assigned to students via student cell phones. Students could “execute” prompts during the critique, gamifying the critique experience and encouraging peer communication.
Prompts such as “agree with what was just said and add additional feedback” or “disagree with what was just said and share an opposing view” encourage students to engage in a full discussion. Other prompts such as “discuss the color contrast in this piece” direct students to focus on specific details that can be connected to pedagogical goals. Our intention is that the structure of the curated prompts will lead to more positive feelings towards peer critique and a greater sense of belonging in the classroom.
This presentation will discuss the early stages of this research and the development of a prototype through an interdisciplinary collaboration of students in Computer Science and Graphic and Interactive Design programs. We are interested in engaging in a conversation about how best to utilize technology to foster human interaction and connection in art and design classrooms.
This presentation will discuss tactics and strategies for critique within the design school classroom that go beyond the archetypal “group crit,” and into innovative and unexpected ways of engaging students in critical dialog.
Mitch Goldstein Assistant Professor School of Design Rochester Institute of Technology
Educating designers is a complex and layered process — a chaotic mixture of facts and opinions disseminated primarily through critical discourse. This presentation will discuss tactics and strategies for critique within the design school classroom that go beyond the archetypal “group crit,” and into innovative and unexpected ways of engaging students in critical dialog.
The AIGA “Designer of 2025” suggests that students need to learn a number of emerging competencies while attending design school, including working with complexity, understanding accountability for their design decisions, and embracing new forms of sense-making and dialog within their work. In addition to teaching the formal and methodological elements of design, educators need to make sure students have a clear understanding of why and how their design decisions resulted in work that accomplished its goal or missed the mark. This understanding primarily comes from critique.
Educators place a high value on critique, for many of us, it is how we spend the majority of our class time. Traditionally, critique has happened in a large group setting, with all members of the class and the instructor discussing each project one by one and offering feedback as a group. This method has value but is too often about social baggage and performance art, with the same handful of outgoing students doing most of the talking, drowning out students who are quieter or more anxious in large groups. This presentation asks a simple question: what are the most useful, most effective ways to give and receive feedback in the classroom? We have all had students we know are excellent thinkers but never speak in a large group critique — it may be time to move past the traditional models of feedback into other ways of helping students better understand what is happening within their work.