International Journal of Art & Design Education

Current Approaches to the Assessment of Graphic Design in a Higher Education Context (pages 256–268)

Volume 32.2   2013



This article provides an overview of the current trends in assessment practice within the field of graphic design. The demands placed on educators to apply sound assessment practice for Higher Education subjects is as intense in the field of graphic design as in any other. Forcing the assessment of creative visual work into existing assessment methodologies is incongruous and is often, for good reason, met with resistance from lecturers in this field. Practical art and design modules tend to fall outside of the recognised assessment methodologies as the type of skills and thinking that students must evidence are difficult to define. Lecturers, in order to encourage creativity, prefer to leave learning outcomes open ended in order to accommodate the unexpected and unique solutions that students are encouraged to achieve. This and the atypical assessment approaches taken in design subjects make justifying assessment practice to the various role players challenging. In this article current trends that make assessment more transparent, encourage deep learning and give the opportunity to assess not only the final artefact, but the creative process and the development of the student as a design practitioner, are identified. These approaches can provide lecturers with the basis for building sound assessment structures and empower them to clearly justify their assessment practice.