Grading efficiency in design

Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education: Design Education for Future Wellbeing, EPDE 2012, 2012, pp. 275 - 280
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The academic world is constantly under pressure to deliver maximum output for a minimum of (public) costs. For Design education this is important, because doing Design cannot be learned from a book. As teaching costs are mainly driven by the costs of supervisors, the amount of time invested in organizing a meaningful teaching experience determines the efficiency. Grading design is complex, because design assignments are open ended, and design tasks have no 'right' solution that can be easily validated. An efficient grading method therefore has to provide insight in both design result and design process in a short period of supervising time. In 2009 we set up the multidisciplinary course human-product relations as a part of the second year of the bachelor. The design work in this course is graded in an interactive session where the students present their results in a combined poster/sketch/model-presentation of approximately five minutes, following five minutes of question and answer. We call this the "Design Fair". In 2010 we also introduced a design course on aesthetics and meaning. In this course the students have to hand in their results in the form of a visual essay of maximum 50 slides. Both ways of grading suit particularly well with the intended learning experience, and experience showed that they provide insight in the students' results in an efficient way. A short quantitative evaluation of the visual essay method also showed that the objectivity of the grading method was sufficient.
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