Scaffolding peer assessment

I spent a day in an art department last week (a departmental review) which was really interesting and it was good to spend time with committed teachers. It was intriguing to note, and reflect on, the (school policy) opportunities for self and peer review built into lesson plans. In some cases in practice this did not really get much further than expressing simple preferences. I recall that in the last HMI subject review ‘Making a Mark HMI report‘ there is some questioning of the superficial application of such whole school policies.

“The implementation of whole-school approaches to assessment also had a similarly negative effect: too often, poorly managed self- and peer- assessment activities had minimal impact in helping pupils to develop their ideas, refine their skills and deepen their understanding.”

I must emphasize that this was not the case here but in discussing the issue with a teacher we reflected upon the need to help students in their evaluation by narrowing the focus and probably asking more specific questions, including”Why?”. But I was reminded of the work of Rod Taylor and Drumcroon because Rod’s ‘Form, Content, Process, Mood‘ formula provides an excellent scaffold for peer assessment. It was after all developed to support children to talk about art – which can obviously include their own. Basically it is a simple approach which suggests that it is helpful when considering a work of art to look at it from four distinct perspectives (today they would probably be called ‘lens’). If you have not heard of it click here Reading Pictures for a very short paper which explains it. (or click here for a rather self conscious online talk I did as a course backup some time ago).

Form, Content, Process, Mood works well for peer and self assessment because it directs attention and discussion to four specific aspects of a work and provides the basis for clear and distinct questions.

And as I have been doing a course on animation here is the extra homework.

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About Dan

Senior Advisor, Art Inspector, Member of the Expert Advisory Group for Art, Consultant working with NSEAD, IOE, QCA, UCE, UOG. Currently lecturer at UCL working on a project in Kazakhstan to develop text books for a new art curriculum.
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