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Identifying Goals for the Critiques

Critiques can accomplish many goals in a classroom. Prioritizing specific goals helps a teacher draft questions and plan critiquing activities that effectively help students master the key concepts.

As you prioritize your goals for a critique, consider the stage of the students' work, the skill, confidence, and academic level of your students, the specific learning outcomes for the course you teach, and the culture of your industry.

Possible goals for students

As a result of participating in critique, students will be able to:

  1. Talk about their work using key concepts and vocabulary relevant to the assignment.
     
  2. Recognize how their work compares to everyone else’s work.
     
  3. Identify in a sensitive, constructive way, successful and unsuccessful elements in their own and in their peers' work.
     
  4. State how a concept someone else has done well or failed to do well applies to their work.
     
  5. Propose solutions to complex art and design problems.
     
  6. Identify strengths and weaknesses of work in progress.
     
  7. Present their work professionally.
     
  8. State specifically how they will incorporate the day's feedback into their next phase of work on a project.
     
  9. Restate main strengths and points for improvement identified in the critique.

Possible goals for the teacher

As a result of the critique, the teacher will:

  1. Have a clear sense of each student's understanding of the key concepts relevant to the assignment.
     
  2. Be able to assign each student a grade for that assignment.

Possible goals for the environment

The critique environment should:

  1. Foster a sense of community and teambuilding.
     
  2. Foster healthy competition.
     
  3. Be professional, where deadlines and procedures are followed and communication is always professional.
     
  4. Celebrate creative solutions to problems.
     
  5. Foster attitudes of honesty and openness to learning from mistakes.