What did you do well?
I think I continued to excel at one-on-one formative assessment; forming trust between myself and the students and learning specific learning needs.
I also think I did well in observing and learning about different critique methods, which could be useful and applicable to my classes. I enjoyed seeing the way the different ways creative writers and visual artists approach critiques.
What could have been improved?
I could have done better with the implementation of critiques into my courses. Unfortunately by the time I had scheduled suitable times to observe the critiques in my peer’s classes I had little time to plan and implement critiques into my own classes. The informal critiques I did introduce to my classes were only somewhat successful and I think I needed to better prepare the students for how the critiques would be held and what my expectations of them would be.
What did you learn?
I learnt that one-on-one formative assessments are still one of the most important ways of finding the unique learning needs of individual students.
I learnt that critiques can’t be sprung on the class; students need to know what the procedure will be and what expectations of them will be in terms of how to offer feedback to their classmates. Class critiques also need to be skilfully moderated by the lecturer in order to be successful, at least until the students are familiar enough with the process that they can self-manage the critique sessions.
Were there any surprises?
I was surprised to find that the creative writers continue to feel intimidated by the visual arts students and feel embarrassed about sharing their work with the class. This makes it difficult to encourage them to share their work with the class for critiques.
How can you implement your findings in the future?
In the future I will explore ways to implement formal critiques into my comics classes. It may take the form of the class reading the comic, or perhaps choosing students to read the dialogue aloud, followed by a discussion of the work. I will moderate the critique sessions and provide questions which will lead the students into observing and discussing the work.
I will continue with one-on-one formative assessments; sitting with students individually and reading and discussing their work to understand their learning needs.
I will further explore ways that I can deliver my feedback to students, encouraging them to learn to critically analyse, self-assess and strengthen their work.
How will this influence your teaching in the future?
My project has shown me that there is still a lot to explore in terms of how best to implement formative assessment in the classroom. I will consciously work to further my knowledge on this subject and work towards using formative assessment more effectively in the future.