Assessment Report: Studio Art Discipline                                         January, 2004



Who is the person responsible for program assessment, data gathering and analysis in your discipline?


The Discipline Coordinator is responsible for holding any assessment data, but all the Studio Art faculty participate in gathering and analysis.


What are the stated goals of your discipline?


The goal of the studio art curriculum is to introduce liberal arts students to the technical, conceptual, and communication skills necessary to activities in the visual arts and to help them understand the major traditions and the place of visual arts in our culture. Studio courses serve the needs of students planning to pursue graduate studies in art, students interested in exploring their own creative potential as part of their general education, and students preparing for secondary school teaching.



•Introduce students to the technical skills necessary to activities in the visual arts; this includes materials, techniques, the safe use of tools (for example, everything from paint brushes, potters tools, wheels, and kilns, carpentry tools, power tools, to printmaking presses and equipment), the safe disposal of waste.


Introduce students to the concepts necessary to activities in the visual arts; this includes the formal elements of art, as well as, learning to think independently, understanding the historical and contemporary development of art and their place in it, the relationship of art to self, culture, and society, and to question and examine everything with a critical eye.


•Introduce students to verbal/communication skills necessary to activities in the visual arts; this includes the ability to talk clearly and thoughtfully about their own art as well as the art of others.


•Introduce students to the major traditions of art and the place of visual arts in our culture.



How do you assess whether your discipline is achieving its goals?


•Learning in studio classes is measured by assessing the skills and intellectual development of students based on single assignments, single courses, and the program as a whole. They are assessed in the classroom using observation, written tests and assignments, pre and post testing, class presentations, class and individual critiques, portfolio reviews, individual review by the faculty of all junior and senior art students, and all student and senior exhibitions.


The areas we are assessing include; craftspersonship, concepts, presentation, growth, awareness of the historical development of art and their place in it, ability to communicate verbally and through their art, and the ability to think independently.


Aspects of assessment performed by Studio Art.


1. Classroom Observation, Tests and Assignments

•Quizzes, papers and sketchbooks

-Students complete quizzes to evaluate their understanding of terms, processes and safety procedures.

-Sketchbooks are assigned and reviewed for each class to track student's progress in techniques and development of a conceptual direction.


•Work retained for permanent collection (Printmaking and Digital Imaging)

The Printmaking program retains a print from each student for each individual project and the Digital Imaging program makes CD-ROM's of student work.  Images are kept in a collection that can be used to evaluate the progress of the program, and this collection also functions as a teaching archive when the assignment is repeated. This practice works only in an area where multiple images can be made.


•Documentation of Assignments for image archives (Drawing, Painting, Sculpture,

  Ceramics and Photography)

In fields where a unique object/image is made, faculty document various projects in slide form or in a digital format. Images are kept in a collection that can be used to evaluate the progress of the program, and this collection also functions as a teaching archive when the assignment is repeated.


•Class Presentations/Student-Led Discussions

Students are assigned presentations in many studio courses to research processes, techniques or artists that relate to a current assignment.  In Basic Studio Discussion, a one year course for incoming art majors, students in groups must lead the discussion for the assigned reading.  Students are graded on how well they understand the topic and how they engage fellow classmates in a critical dialogue.


•Group Projects/Collaborative Activities

Students in the basic Studio Sequence and upper-division studio courses participate group projects that require the students to pool resources and skill levels to complete a task.  In addition, both Ceramics and Sculpture do annual metal pours and outdoor kiln firings that are dependent on collaborative methods.


•Print exchanges with other Universities.

Since 2000, the Printmaking program has had print exchanges with other printmakers from institutions including: University of Wisconsin-Madison, Xavier University, and University of Arizona-Tucson, California State at Long Beach, and California State University at Northridge.  Students produce a set number of prints to be exchanged with the partner program, and both schools receive a complete set of prints for their print archives.  Students from the other institutions have included undergraduates from all levels as well as graduate students in the printmaking programs.  This has been a valuable tool to evaluate the cumulative skills of UMM's printmakers on both a regional and national level.




2. Pre- and Post-testing

Students enrolled in either Basic Studio Drawing (for majors) or First Year Drawing (for non majors) are asked to do an in-class drawing on the first day on instruction that will be used to compare the student's progress with the final drawing at the end of the semester.  Individual faculty members are responsible for this process when they teach a course in drawing.


3. Critiques and Classroom Discussions

Critiques are a key tool for assessment in Studio Art, students are directly evaluated for craftspersonship, concepts, presentation, growth, awareness of the historical development of art and their place in it, ability to communicate verbally and through their art, and the ability to think independently.  Critiques are scheduled upon the completion of one or more small project, completion of a unit, at midterm, and for a final portfolio grade.   These include:

•Individual critiques

•Group critiques



4. Senior Exhibit All-Student Show Documentation

Since 1997, Studio Art Faculty has documented the annual students exhibits via video and digital photography.  It has been a helpful tool for upcoming senior classes to view previous exhibits in preparation for their shows, to see how the students chose to integrate a variety of mediums and conceptual approaches into a cohesive collection of work. The video and digital images are held with the discipline coordinator.




Assessment of upper level seminar/capstone project or course:


Junior and Senior Reviews

In the fall of 2003, the Studio Art Faculty revised the process for the junior and senior reviews to provide a consistent evaluation structure and clarity for students in the form of a printed review sheet. Students are also asked to provide a written artist statement for each review.  Junior and Senior reviews are made up of a committee of Studio Art and Art History Faculty members, and since faculty serve on a selection of the reviews per semester, this form provides a necessary record of prior evaluation as the student moves from the junior to the senior review.  The form is a consensus of the committee's evaluation of the student‹students are ranked from 1-10 for each category and receive written comments as well.  Copies of the completed form and artist statement are given to the student, the academic advisor and the discipline coordinator.  The discipline has already used the form for the Fall 2003 Senior Reviews, and is pleased with the results.  The junior class of 2004 will be the first group to experience both parts of the new evaluation process, and the discipline will report its findings in 2005.


The evaluation form contains the following areas for review.


I. Formal Concerns:

A. Student demonstrates an understanding of the elements of art and the principles of design.

B. Student's drawings represent a level of skill appropriate to the student's experience.


II. Technical Concerns:

A. Student can identify / describe the materials and technical processes involved in creating their work.

B. Student is completing the quantity of work expected for their level of experience.

C. Student is completing work at the quality expected for their level of technical experience.

D. Student demonstrates an understanding of the importance of presentation & craftsmanship.  This should include at least 3 pieces of their choice (representing more than one media), completed to a level of finish and refinement expected for the student's level of experience.


III. Conceptual & Communication Skills:

A.. Student is able to discuss the conceptual basis of their work and communicate the ideas that they are exploring.

B. Student demonstrates an understanding of how their work relates to a broader context and is able to articulate the relationship, referring to cultural, art historical and / or personal influences.

C. Evaluate student's written statement.  Artist's statement describes the formal, technical and conceptual foundations of the student's work.



5. Development of a capstone senior seminar course

The discipline is currently working on developing a capstone course to combine existing requirements of a senior review and senior exhibit with additional topics of importance.  Students will learn methods to document work for portfolio reviews, techniques for framing and professional display, development of skills for grant writing, and application for graduate studies or fellowships, and further development of communication skills through readings and discussions. The discipline plans to offer this course as an elective within the next three years. 

Discipline Assessment Results Page