Assessment in the Creative Arts

Throughout my academic career I have researched creative arts education and assessment in higher education. Like no other discipline, the creative arts enables students to think, feel and be in the problematic and creative liminal spaces of life, community, self and the academy; of theory and practice; of ideals and realities. It is one of the few assessment traditions where interpretations are made in an oral, public nature, and so I continue to find a wealth of opportunity for how conflicts within interpretation is an educational opportunity.

I continue exploring the significance of ‘situating the author’ in adult education, particularly in the creative arts in post-conflict and postcolonial contexts, as this is where the creativity and criticality of image-makers are most vulnerable to the power of education to enable or constrain the ways in which they negotiate their inheritance of legacy issues, ideologies and beliefs. I am interested in how commemoration and memorialization functions on campuses in post-conflict contexts, and to facilitate such creative projects. I continue to work with Analogue Eye, an artist-led curatorial project for African fine art video artists, and hope to enable future projects in campus contexts.

Please see my publications for more.

It was both because of my own experiential learning in this domain, and my research about potential of practice for creativity and criticality in the creative arts, that has created a tangible awareness of the place of practice in higher education. The projects below attempt to expand on and further such enquiry.Vessel Cirlce 3PROJECT TITLE: Exploring the relationships between practice-based learning, teaching and research in various disciplinary and higher education contexts

ROLE: Lead researcher

Emerging from my previous research, in a practice-based discipline, has been a realisation that the relationship between practice-based learning, teaching and research is often unexplored, particularly from the perspective of those teaching. This project explores where and how they intersect, to better inform these interactions, within and beyond each of the disciplines I consider, particularly as inquiry based research (in all its variations) is increasingly being recognised as of value for epistemological access. Data has been generated from three practice-based areas within disciplines which in particular have a studio learning/ pedagogy focus (such as fine art, music), in addition to those which use the laboratory or observational contexts (including field work, laboratories, therapy observations etc). To date, participants have been drawn from chemistry; botany; clinical psychology; physics; fine art; and law. Whilst these teaching contexts vary dramatically, all are designed to give students access to practice-based research and to various extents form their identities, in those fields. They have in common that their traditions were originally based on master-apprentice dynamics, albeit that these may have been challenged and shifted over time.Vessel Cirlce 2The significance of the experiential learning of ICTs in a staff development course for critical pedagogic practice

I aim to both chart and measure the significance of experiential learning of digital technology on the critical understanding and professional practice of participants of my teaching, with their active participation. I mention both ‘chart’ and ‘measure’ as ideally the methods should be of formative benefit to participants learning processes, as they think about what works/ doesn’t and why; and of summative use for curriculum evaluation processes, to inform institutional cultures and structures; and larger research. So the ‘subject’ of this Project is the participants’ thinking and practice before, during and after their engagement with the course processes, and not focused solely on their perceptions or aspirations.

I hope to elicit insights into:

  • Both understandings of technological innovations, and the ways in which they are implemented in practice, as a result of experiential knowledge.
  •  Comparative agential influence on institutional culture(s) and communities in higher education contexts.

I hope such insights will be of benefit to individual participants, to particular institutional, curriculum evaluation processes (in terms of un/intended learning outcomes) and research, in a bid to ensure sustainability while developing critical digital citizenry and scholarship.Vessel Cirlce 4