Asee peer logo

A comparative study exploring the impact of assessment criteria on eliciting graphical capability

Download Paper |


2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Assessment in Graphics Education

Tagged Division

Engineering Design Graphics

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.29.1 - 25.29.11



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Niall Seery University of Limerick Orcid 16x16

author page

Diarmaid Lane University of Limerick


Donal Canty University of Limerick

visit author page

Donal Canty is a lecturer at the University of Limerick, Ireland. His subject domain specialism is pedagogy and assessment in design based technical education.

visit author page

Download Paper |


A comparative study exploring the impact of assessment criteria on eliciting graphical capabilityMuch of formal educational provision correctly centres on developing critical numeracy andliteracy skills. Contemporary living in a digital image culture supports education nowdeveloping what Fish (1990) describes as the visualising instinct. Efforts have begun toinitiate a dialogue on developing graphicacy (Norman and Seery, 2011) as a broaderconception of what is critical education. Graphicacy, best described as the intellectualprocess of acquiring and communicating meaning from visual images and forms, requireseducation to question the definition of current graphics based courses. What is it we teachwhen we teach graphics?Capturing the process of learning and not the product can be a challenge for conventionalassessment methods. Research in Art and Design Education (Davies, 1996) and Design andTechnology Education (Baynes 2010) highlight that the focus of assessment tends to be onthe artefact/product and not on the process of learning, resulting in students being preventedfrom developing learning heuristics. This paper explores the impact to using explicit andnon-explicit assessment criteria on the nature and outcomes of the learning activity ingraphical education.The method employed an off-set cohort analysis type study to explore the performance andoutput of two homogenous groups of initial teacher education students (n=247). Group onewere given defined assessment criteria, while the second group were allowed to define thecriteria based on their definition of graphical capability. The paper reports on the variancebetween groups in selecting, applying and executing appropriate graphical principles andmedium, while solving an identical design brief.The paper concludes by highlighting the importance of understanding the impact ofassessment criteria on student performance. Supporting the double looped system ofeducation Arygris (1974), this paper illustrates how students who constructed not only theirown meaning, but also the rationale for meaning, performed significantly better in thegraphics based design task.

Seery, N., & Lane, D., & Canty, D. (2012, June), A comparative study exploring the impact of assessment criteria on eliciting graphical capability Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--20789

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2012 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015