The critique is an essential and enduring art and design signature pedagogy and assessment. The pervasive crit, occurring in a myriad of forms, has been recognized as a powerful authentic learning tool. It has also been criticized as a subjective and stressful format for arts learning and assessment. Unlike many other theories of learning and assessment, comparatively little educational research or literature exists on the critique. In a time when many teaching strategies are being reconsidered and redesigned for increasing student diversity, the critique is a potentially rich yet contended area to reconsider with possible transfer value to other disciplines.
Although the concept of critique may initially seem foreign to Liberal Arts faculty, it shares many of the same features that LAS faculty use for input and assessment. The visual nature of studio work makes the public nature of critique much easier, and in Liberal Studies classes the evaluation of student work is usually in written form taking place privately without the student present. However there are shared characteristics—both are conducted in language, oftentimes faculty share these results in one-on-one conferences, faculty comment on early drafts as well as final drafts, students present their work to the class, students present their paper proposals to the class for comment, students dialogue about work with faculty and tutors, peer reviews of papers, panel presentations, etc. “Given that instructor feedback has been statistically identified as one of the most significant factors in learning (Hattie and Timperley 2007), any improvements that we can make in this area will pay rich dividends.”