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Investigating Differences in Formative Critiquing between Instructors and Students in Graphic Design

posted on 15.05.2019, 18:48 by Liwei Zhang

Critique is an essential skill of professional designers to communicate success and failure of a design with others. For graphic design educators, including critique in their pedagogical approaches enables students to improve both their design capability and critique skills. Adaptive Comparative Judgment (ACJ) is an innovative approach of assessment where students and instructors make comparisons between two designs and choose the better of the two. The purpose of this study was to investigate the differences between instructors’ and students’ critiquing practices. The data was collected through think-aloud protocol methods while both groups critiqued the same design projects.

The results indicate that it took students longer to finish the same amount of critiques as those completed by instructors. Students spent more time describing their personal feelings, evaluating each individual design, and looking for the right phrases to precisely express their thoughts on a design. Instructors, with more teaching experience, were able to complete the critique more quickly and justify their critique decisions more succinctly with efficient use of terminology and a reliance on their instincts.


Degree Type

Master of Science


Technology Leadership and Innovation

Campus location

West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Dr. Scott Bartholomew

Additional Committee Member 2

Dr. Greg Strimel

Additional Committee Member 3

Dr. Esteban Garcia-Bravo