What is an Effective Critique?

An effective critique is one that will show both the student and professor the extent of what was learned by the student who did the work. It is assignment-specific, focuses on the criteria for excellence outlined for the project, and contains justifications for opinions that are put forth.

Crits themselves are forums for learning new things, and an effective one will leave all concerned feeling like they gained new insight into the creative process. Additionally, a useful critique will point the student in new directions, suggest new paths for exploration, and give the teacher important feedback about the relative success or failure of the assignment itself.

Finally, an effective critique is one in which there is clear respect shown by all participants. Students and faculty will leave such a review feeling energized, focused, and excited, instead of exhausted, confused, and depressed.

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This entry was posted in Critique, Evaluating Student Work and tagged , , , by Jane Alden Stevens. Bookmark the permalink.

About Jane Alden Stevens

Jane Alden Stevens is a photographer and educator who is Professor Emeritus of Fine Arts at the University of Cincinnati. An active artist, Stevens has exhibited and published her work extensively both in the US and abroad. She is the author of “Tears of Stone: World War I Remembered” (2004). In the course of her teaching career, Stevens taught courses in film, photography, and professional practices for fine artists. Her interest in teaching practices was deepened when she started teaching the "Graduate Teaching Workshop", a required graduate level course for fine artists and art historians that prepares them to teach the courses they will later be assigned. She was also involved in the Preparing Future Faculty program at the University of Cincinnati, which prepares masters and doctoral students across all programs for teaching at the university level. She has conducted pedagogy workshops for a variety of universities, as well as participated in academic practicum panels at educational conferences. The recipient of numerous teaching awards, Stevens was honored with the all-university Cohen Award for Excellence in University Teaching at the University of Cincinnati in 2002 and Professor of the Year honors in her college in 2011.

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