Assessment challenge: Chai Duncan teaches sculpture in VIU’s visual arts program. With the shift to online learning, Chai wondered how he was going to meaningfully assess student sculptures since he would be unable to touch artifacts, view them from different angles, get up close with them, or handle them in any way. Since assessment, for him, has always been analogue, he wondered: “How can I meaningfully evaluate student artwork when I cannot touch it, handle it, view it from all angles?”
Solution: A lesson in documentation
To address this challenge, Chai decided he would ask students to document their progress comprehensively, in such a way that would give him the best opportunity to view the development of their work as well as the end product itself. This documentation became a teachable moment, where Chai could stress the importance and the process of documenting one’s work. Now more than ever, students have to engage in the process of visual documentation, a process important to many artistic pursuits.
Although Chai had always addressed documentation in face to face classes, he had an even more pressing and authentic rationale now to help students understand the importance of this method of displaying their work. What Chai has found in teaching this process, and asking students to submit the evolution of their work in a visual way, is some incredible creativity. Some students have created videos with music to document and showcase their work.