Reconsidering Learning-oriented Assessment in Design Education: Challenges and Opportunities

Proceedings of ‏The 10th International Conference on Humanities, Psychology and Social Sciences

Year: 2020


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Reconsidering Learning-oriented Assessment in Design Education: Challenges and Opportunities

Derya Yorgancıoğlu



This study re-contextualizes the debates on the challenges and opportunities of assessment in design education into the broader context of the literature on assessment in higher education by highlighting key issues of particular relevance to the design feedback procedures and studio-based learning. The focus in this paper is on three main problematic issues: (1) the role of ingrained conventions of assessment that informs the design studio tutors’ teaching practices, (2) the role of language and one-to-one communication in design feedbacks, and (3) the difficulty of evaluating the subjective design process objectively. The study is based on a qualitative research and the data collection process covers a systematic and extensive literature survey with a special focus on formative assessment in higher education, and its implications to assessment in design education. The literature survey is followed by an in-depth thematic analysis of publications that is based on identifying the key themes related with the research questions. In this study it is revealed that formative assessment feedback plays a critical role in encouraging the active participation of design students in the learning processes and supporting their development as self-assessors. The study presented a valuable framework for moving the research agenda further into how design studio assessment practices can be improved in order to support studio-based learning in design education and how assessment can be reconsidered in a way to foster learning throughout life.

Keywords: design feedback; design studio assessment; formative assessment; higher education; studio-based learning.