Assessment of Student Learning



Art History Discipline

SPRING, 2000

Phase I.

Unit Mission/Goal(s)

Please state your unit’s mission/goal(s):

The purposes of the art history discipline are to develop students’ understanding of some of the historical traditions in the visual arts, to teach students methods of analysis and interpretation of works of art, help them to learn to evaluate the quality of works of art, provide a sound basis for graduate study to teach or to do museum work, to serve community art organizations, and initiate a lifelong involvement with the visual arts.

Please describe how your unit mission/goal(s) relate to the institutional mission

Because of its historical, cultural, and interdisciplinary nature, Art History serves the mission of UMM as a liberal arts study. The visual arts exemplify excellence, necessitate study and research to understand, and through communication with visual media create community.

 

Student Learning Objectives/Expected Outcomes

Learning Objective 1.

To understand some of the historical traditions in the visual arts and be able to meaningfully relate works of art within those traditions.

Expected Outcome 1.

To develop a visual memory capable of identifying and knowing works of art, acquiring a knowledge of basic historic data, learn and appropriately use terminology of the field, and comprehend historic continuities.

Learning Objective 2.

To acquire and use methods of analysis and interpretation of works of art.

Expected Outcome 2.

To demonstrate the ability to use methods of analysis and interpretation through clearly written essays and research papers and in verbal discussion.

Learning Objective 3.

To learn how to evaluate works of art.

 

Expected Outcome 3.

To develop a critical approach to levels of performance in the visual arts based upon a broad basis of comparison and substantiated by articulate standards of judgment.

 

Assessment Methods & Tools

Method(s), Measure(s), and Instrument(s) for Expected Outcome 1.

Successfully complete examinations that include identification of works of art, definition or identification of people, places, things, and broadly based essay questions that require relating various aspects of the visual arts and historic period and/or culture. Also the above to be evident in classroom discussions of works of art and theory.

Outcome 1

Starting Date for the Implementation:

In Progress

Anticipated Date for the First Results:

In Progress

 

 

 

Method(s), Measure(s), and Instrument(s) for Expected Outcome 2.

Written demonstration of command of analytical and interpretive methods on exams and in research papers. Same expected in classroom discussions.

Outcome 2

Starting Date for the Implementation:

In Progress

Anticipated Date for the First Results:

In Progress

 

   

 

Method(s), Measure(s), and Instrument(s) for Expected Outcome 3.

More difficult to assess, it is evident in the sensitivity and quality of appreciation and enthusiasm students bring to the field or develop in study. Cannot be quantified or easily measured.

Outcome 3

Starting Date for the Implementation:

In Progress

Anticipated Date for the First Results:

In Progress

 

 

 

Phase II.

Use of Observed Outcomes and Possible Actions

Please comment on the possible use of the findings of your assessment plan.

(In responding to this question you may want to consider the following issues; how would the results of the assessment be communicated to faculty in you own and other disciplines? how could the results be used to improve the student learning and programs? how could the results produce input to other related processes (e.g., academic and nonacademic planning, curriculum review)? how could the results of the assessment change your unit’s mission/goal(s)? with which other units would you like to share the results of your assessment?)

The art history faculty have developed methods of assessing student learning. These methods are as follows:

  1. Criteria used to assess student learning in art history are complex and should be applied with some flexibility because student goals in the discipline vary. Some students major or minor in the field to supplement a major in studio arts, others obtain an art history major because they plan to pursue graduate work in the field to prepare themselves to teach on the college level, enter museum curatorial careers, train as a professional restoration expert, or to establish a commercial art gallery.
  2. Despite the complex and variable way in which criteria for assessment are implemented, faculty are able to discuss the progress of individual students on a continuous basis because of the relatively small number of majors in the discipline (from 8-12) staffed by three faculty. Further , the faculty of both art history and studio art meet once a week. Frequently, the progress of individual students in art history and/or studio are is discussed. Although no written reports of these discussions are made, they provide a broad based means of assessing student learning in the discipline from first year students to graduating seniors.
  3. Faculty in art history are also able to assess student learning in the discipline by working directly with individuals in the Academic Partner program, directed study projects, and the HFA Gallery internship program. These programs almost always involve senior students, furnishing a way to assess their learning during the last year of the major.
  4. Beginning this semester, art history faculty will request permission of graduating majors to obtain xerox copies of research papers and/or essay examinations written for upper division art history courses or papers and projects that are the result of the other programs noted in #3.
  5. Recognition, based on individual assessment of learning, is given to students who the discipline awards an annual Art History Book Award, nominates for Scholar of the College, or gives a small stipend as an Art History scholarshi

6. Post baccalaureate contacts inform art history faculty of the success and set-backs of students studying at graduate school, working in internship programs, or employed in an art-related position in business, museums, or educational institutions. The discipline has kept a file of such information for at least eight years