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Making marks: the artful practice of assessment in fine art

Orr, Susan Kathleen; (2007) Making marks: the artful practice of assessment in fine art. Institute of Education, University of London

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Working from the perspective that assessment is a social practice, this thesis argues that assessment practices are grounded in local contexts but are also influenced by broader socio/cultural/political concerns. My central research question was as follows: Can fine art assessment be based on connoisseurship and still be rigorous? I carried out twelve in-depth interviews with fine art lecturers working in HE art and design departments. In these interviews respondents were asked a range of questions about their approaches to the assessment of student artwork in the studio. The interviews also focused on the individual assessor’s position within their course team and university and their working relations with their external examiners. In my analysis I explore the respondents’ assessment practices with a particularfocus on connoisseurship; team-based approaches to assessment; narratives of subjectivity and objectivity; the culturally-based uses of the percentile mark range and the ways that successful and failing students’ identities are discursively constructed through assessment. I critique techno-rationalist approaches to researching assessment in this study and build a case for understanding assessment as a complex social practice rather than a technology. Throughout this thesis popular understandings of transparency in assessment are contested by focusing on the role of language in assessment and by understanding language as meaning-making and co-constructive.

Type: Other
Title: Making marks: the artful practice of assessment in fine art
Language: English
Keywords: connoisseurship
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10000041
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