More thoughts about keeping records of student work:
- Check on your school’s policy on copying student work. My school has a policy that when students sign up for class, they agree to their work being used for educational purposes. Yours may not! I have worked at schools that required each student to fill out a permission form.
- When I teach digital photo courses, I make documentation a part of assignments. For instance, I might have students turn in a Lightroom catalog for me so that I can see what they have done, but I will also request they turn in a folder of resized jpgs – small enough and properly formatted for web distribution. This serves several purposes: I develop am ample trove of student work examples that I use in future classes, for course assessment purposes or end of year faculty review, but it also is invaluable for students to learn how to present their work for exhibition applications, juried shows, grad school apps, job apps…. Which almost invariably request work samples in digital form.
- I remind students that “I am the client” when they submit work – it needs to be presented in a professional manner and I teach best practices.
- Be consistent with how you collect work and anticipate the future (ex. 640 px long image was standard 5 years ago, 1000 px is standard now and 1500 px will be standard soon…)
- Make documentation of work a regular class assignment, especially if you work outside of the photographic fields. If you do not offer a portfolio, business of art, or exhibition course where this type of workshop would naturally form part of the coursework, teaching students how to properly document their work should form a part of your curriculum, if only as a workshop for all discipline students.
- Team up with photo students to present workshops on documenting work, although you would be surprised at how many photo students don’t know how to do this well!