Dr Craig Staff, Reader in Fine Art, and Robert Farmer, Learning Technology Manager, have published an article in the latest edition of Art, Design and Communication in Higher Education, a special edition on the theme of democratizing knowledge in art and design education. According to the journal’s editor, Professor Susan Orr, Dean of Learning/Teaching & Enhancement at University of the Arts London “The authors make a strong argument that the patchwork text approach works well within a creative education context, where experimentation and risk-taking are valued.”

The article itself presents the findings from a four-year project designed to gather undergraduate Fine Art students’ perceptions of replacing an essay with a Patchwork Text Assessment (PTA), a form of assessment in which a series of self-contained, thematically related patches are written at regular intervals over a series of weeks or months and are then stitched together with a final meta-patch exploring the unity and interrelatedness of the individual patches.

On completion of the PTA, students were asked a series of questions about their experiences, and analysis of their responses showed that they had found completing the PTA more difficult, more enjoyable and more rewarding than writing an essay. Importantly, there were no suggestions that the PTA had dumbed down assessment practices, nor was there an increase in the workload of the academic staff supporting and assessing the PTA.

The full article can be viewed and downloaded here: https://doi.org/10.1386/adch_00003_1

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