Coordinating change: introducing pluralism in the assessment of a humanities module for improved engagement and attainment of first year architecture students

Carter, Doina (2014) Coordinating change: introducing pluralism in the assessment of a humanities module for improved engagement and attainment of first year architecture students. In: European First Year Experience, 11-13 June 2014, Nottingham Trent University.

Full content URL:

coordinating change.pdf
coordinating change.pdf

Item Type:Conference or Workshop contribution (Paper)
Item Status:Live Archive


This paper reports on the process of diversifying assessment of the ‘History and Theory of Architecture and Design’ module at Level 1 in the undergraduate Architecture course at the University of Lincoln, UK. Replacing essays (the traditional form of assessment for theoretical subjects in our school) with other types of assignments was a strategic response to the mixture of academic ability shown in the last decade by first year students; amongst other things, this variety of knowledge and skills is a reflection of the liberalisation of Higher Education in the UK, which increased the diversity of student backgrounds along with the internationalisation of the course (RIBA 2012:7). In addition, statistically (James 2003), creative courses attract a higher incidence of dyslexia than other subjects. In this context, written assignments represented a deficit model of assessment, the solution being to make assessments less dependent on language and the module more immersive and participatory than traditional theoretical subjects, with assignments becoming episodes of active learning. The change in assessment was also seen as an opportunity to re-orient theoretical submissions to become more relevant to practice in architecture. This paper details the reasons and scope of the modifications, describes methods used, within the constraints currently placed on Higher Education in general and Schools of Architecture in particular, and comments on the consequences of these changes for students and academics, from the author’s point of view, as module coordinator.

Additional Information:This is an account of action research conducted within the 'History and Theory of Architecture and Design' module at Level 1 BArch(Hons) between 2011-2015 by the author as module coordinator. It is one of several papers detailing the context, rationale, methodology and pedagogical approach in developing a progressive and active learning environment within a theoretical subject which forms part of a traditional architectural education. This work exemplifies in practice the University of Lincoln's teaching and learning motto of 'Student as producer'.
Keywords:pluralism in assessment, architectural education, participatory learning, learning communities, student as producer, bmjholiday
Subjects:X Education > X220 Study skills
X Education > X210 Research skills
K Architecture, Building and Planning > K110 Architectural Design Theory
X Education > X342 Academic studies in Higher Education
K Architecture, Building and Planning > K120 Interior Architecture
K Architecture, Building and Planning > K100 Architecture
Divisions:College of Arts > School of Architecture & Design > School of Architecture & Design (Architecture)
ID Code:18543
Deposited On:04 Sep 2015 16:03

Repository Staff Only: item control page