Practice Makes Practitioner: The Role of Peer and Self Evaluations in Design Education

By Michael W. Seymour.

Published by The Design Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper explores the benefits and limitations of peer and self assessments in design education through presentation of the results of a department wide survey of landscape architecture students at Mississippi State University. A variety of peer and self evaluation techniques have been employed in the Department of Landscape Architecture over the past four years. These evaluations have been both written and verbal, used open-ended as well as Likert-scaled questions, and have been administered to students ranging from freshmen to master’s degree candidates. For this reason, the student survey was able to examine the benefits and limitations of these two forms of evaluation with students thoroughly familiar with their use. The use of peer and self assessments was brought about by a perceived need for alternative or supplementary forms of design feedback. Prior research in other fields has indicated that a combination of assessment formats can assist students in becoming more conscientious and insightful. Because the design professions require a high degree of autonomy, peer and self evaluations would seem to be especially useful in educating future practitioners. This paper is intended to guide design faculty in the appropriate use of these tools and proposes best practices for their use in design courses.

Keywords: Design Education, Peer Assessment, Self Assessment, Critique

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 4, Issue 5, pp.43-52. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 680.877KB).

Michael W. Seymour

Assistant Professor, Department of Landscape Architecture, Mississippi State University, Starkville, MS, USA

Michael W. Seymour is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture at Mississippi State University, where he teaches landscape graphics, history of landscape architecture and design studios. He has an undergraduate degree in fine art from Centenary College of Louisiana and a Master’s degree in Landscape Architecture from Louisiana State University. His research interests include design education and landscape history.


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