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Fail again, fail better: The case for formative assessment in first year undergraduate creative practice-based modules

Naray-Davey, S and Hurley, UK 2013, 'Fail again, fail better: The case for formative assessment in first year undergraduate creative practice-based modules' , The International Journal of the Arts in Society . (Submitted)

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Abstract

This article identifies an intrinsic paradox in creative practice-based degree programmes that use outcome-led curricula and summative assessment in their first year undergraduate practical modules. Offering a personal reflection by two teachers-practitioners, this article is not a comprehensive study of current practices but rather informed by specific teaching experiences in UK higher education setting. It will argue that it is detrimental to have specific learning outcomes at such an early stage of students' development where trial and error should be part of an organic and experiential learning process. It will also question more broadly the usefulness of summative assessment in process-led subjects such as acting and creative writing, and suggest that this kind of assessment may be in tension with the methodologies of these disciplines. It will develop the argument by using an experiential descriptive case study to propose an example of an alternative, “utopian blueprint”, practical, process-led first year acting module. This utopian module proposes pedagogical principles which are interchangeable with other practice-led subjects such as creative writing. This blueprint design favours the process-led curriculum, and thus lends itself to formative assessment. Not only does formative assessment thereby offer a better fit with first year students’ learning experiences, but it also mirrors professional relationships such as actor-director/writer-editor associations in the creative industries, thus preparing students for life outside the academy. Finally, the article foregrounds the importance of utilising the benefits of the 'practice as research' methodology for practitioner–lecturers in Higher Education.

Item Type: Article
Themes: Media, Digital Technology and the Creative Economy
Schools: Schools > School of Humanities, Languages & Social Sciences > Centre for English Literature and Language
Schools > School of Humanities, Languages & Social Sciences
Journal or Publication Title: The International Journal of the Arts in Society
Publisher: Common Gound Publishing
Refereed: No
ISSN: 1833-1866
Funders: University of Salford
Depositing User: S Naray-Davey
Date Deposited: 20 May 2013 11:09
Last Modified: 01 Nov 2013 13:45
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/29197

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