An evaluation of the effects of the criterion-based assessment process on design outcomes and student outcomes

Year: 1994

Author: Hodgman, Judy

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Design assessment criteria which reflect the educational objectives (learning outcomes) of units and programs are important tools for teaching the subject. The criteria are used to assess and therefore reflect learning outcomes and are made available to the student at the beginning of each project.

The aim of the research was to test the hypothesis that assessment criteria have the capacity to direct the design decision-making and problem-solving process, and directly influence design outcomes. The research investigated the extent to which the students used assessment criteria and the effect that this had on the development of formative and summative evaluation skills.

The project outcomes of students that had and those that had not been given assessment criteria were compared. The results showed that students who had no access to assessment criteria achieved a higher result overall for design and problem-solving and they demonstrated a greater use of formative and summative evaluation skills. The research concluded that the criterion-based assessment process limits the development of essential design evaluation skills and that the national evaluation process has doubtful validity in terms of defining design education objectives.