Want to get started or revise your approach to critique?
Tips for implementing critique-style assignments in your course:
- Provide case studies of designs relevant to the discipline, or student’s future careers.
- Introduce an example challenge or problem that requires a design, and work with the class to model the design of a solution. Identify the grading criteria, challenges, and implications as the design unfolds.
- Ask students to identify a challenge for which they are interested in designing a solution, and provide the rubric to frame the assignment.
- Provide students with guidelines on how to effectively give feedback during critique.
- Provide in-class opportunities for feedback on their designs in one or all the following formats: one-on-one, small groups or whole-class presentation
- Grade students’ final designs, based on the grading criteria.
More resources for planning critique activities:
- Matthew’s toolkit, Less (Bad) Design, provides a framework for ethical ideation, brainstorming, reflection and iteration.
- Ethical design: re-thinking the traditional brainstorm, Matthew’s talk from CET’s Faculty Showcase of Innovative Teaching Techniques
- CET resources on rubrics: Introduction to Rubrics and Creating a Grading Rubric.
What does the research say?
Holmgren H, Haugnes N, Springborg M. Meaningful Grading : A Guide for Faculty in the Arts. 1st ed. West Virginia University Press; 2018. (USC Libraries link)
Boehnert J, Sinclair M, Dewberry E. Sustainable and Responsible Design Education: Tensions in Transitions. Sustainability (Basel, Switzerland). 2022;14(11):6397-. (USC Libraries link)
Corple DJ, Zoltowski CB, Kenny Feister M, Buzzanell PM. Understanding ethical decision‐making in design. Journal of engineering education (Washington, DC). 2020;109(2):262-280. (USC Libraries link).
Smith JS. Assessing Creativity: Creating a Rubric to Effectively Evaluate Mediated Digital Portfolios. Journalism & mass communication educator. 2017;72(1):24-36. (USC Libraries link).