Exit Velocity 2011

The 2011 Exit Velocity event was very interesting and informative. Organised by the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Hull, it sees the collaborative partners come together for the day. Partners from East Coast Media, East Coast School of Art and Design, Doncaster College, Yorkshire Coast College came to listen to keynote speaker, Prof Susan Orr and representatives from each of the partners.

The theme was research, to give inspiration to others as to what to do as a lecturer to develop oneself. Professor Susan Orr from York St John University gave a talk on assessment in art and design. This was a very interesting talk. How to assess work and not allow one’s own views and feelings to enter in to the discussion. Or do we? Should we, even?

She talked about learning outcomes and how the assessment process was about looking holistically. She talked about how tutors will have group discussions about pieces, highly trained experts who will make a subjective decision. When practice and codes and rules tell you to be objective. Orr talked about the wow factor, something talked about by J Gordon. The wow factor, according to Gordon, includes “creativity, originality, inventiveness, inspiration, ingenuity, freshness and vision”.

Orr also spoke about knowing the student being central to assessment and how if there were disagreements overs grades, they would defer to the lecturer who knew the student. Yet, as she points out, anonymous marking is encouraged so as to avoid this and relating the student to the work. Hard to do in small groups and when the tutor knows the piece of work well. Even harder to do in journalism when it comes to radio and video projects.

The research carried out by Orr can be found in a magazine called Networks (Issue 10, Summer 2010) published by The Higher Education Academy. It’s worth a read.

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