Authored by altLAB

The Challenge

Projects that are material-based (such as painting and sculpture)  provide a particular challenge when assessing online – how to assess three-dimensional artefacts in two dimensions. 

This is not purely a visual challenge but also a sensory one, as material design often elicits aesthetic, emotional responses. Therefore, the challenge calls for use of language that goes beyond technical and visual and a call to move into the art of representational communication. How do we design online assessment tasks that gives the assessor the fullest sensory experience of the project design and/or artefact?

Solutions and Advice

At the core of this challenge is the representation of the experience and communication beyond technical and visual language.

One option is to engage the assessors’ memories and imagination. Here, students are required to go beyond displaying their works to now ‘storytell’ and represent the physical context (time, space and place) to which the artefact or design would be situated or set the inspiration to the concept. Students could use sensory language, music and imagery, and turn to directing the filming of their artefact. Such a presentation can then be complemented and enhanced with the student’s technical knowledge of materials and making.

The difference between presenting visual art with and without a soundtrack is presented in the following videos:
Whale call visualisation without soundtrack
Whale call visualisation with soundtrack
NB: For copyright usage for in-class presentations see Copyright at AUT

Another solution to this is the adoption of a Virtual or Extended Reality experience. As an institution we are not currently in the position to offer this widely, but the opportunity to explore these spaces and methods will be available for lecturers soon.