assessment of the department and its programs
St. Ambrose Art Department believes that art is an all inclusive discipline in
which forms, ideas, and times are connected. As educators and artists, we teach
our students how to understand and create art that speaks to this
departmental mission complements that of the university by developing more than
just the eyes of our students. We present them with a holistic experience in
which aspects of their mind, body and spirit are explored, challenged, expressed
Objectives for the major
goals are not limited to specific courses as the departmental philosophy of
interconnectedness means we teach all of these objectives to some extent in each
course. There is, however, an important developmental transition that occurs
between the foundation and advanced levels of art making.
a studentís art is class-directed and takes its cues from the professorís
instructions. Intermediate assignments include more personal choice and place
increased responsibility on the student. Work at the advanced level is
characterized by self-directed art making.
provide students with:
l) real world technical skills
2) a strong art historical sense
3) the ability to see that art is reflective of the individual and
4) to develop the student's ability to synthesize classroom learning with
personal life experience.
5) to strengthen the student's skills to convey ideas in a meaningful
6) to develop the student's ability to be articulate about their own work
and the work of others in the spoken and written word.
7) to foster the student's ability to be competent, ethical and
members of the art community of the world.
for Assessment in the Major
of Assessment and Descriptions
peer and faculty critiques of work
major assessment tool in the art department is the critique. In a critique, the
professor gives the participant immediate feedback on their work. Students are
also asked to comment critically on their own work and that of their peers. The
same methods of critique are used for all studio classes in the art department,
from foundation to senior honors but the terminology, art historical
referencing, depth of analysis and degree of challenge are intensified as time
passes. Written as well as oral responses are generated by critiques. This
process of critique and feedback occurs in most studio classroom sessions.
studio classes work with the development of forms and ideas in present time, art
history classes provide the bridge to the forms and ideas of past times and
other cultures. For the student, the study of art history develops a visual
repertoire of artistic imagery and a grounding in the historical reasons for art
making. The major assessment tools in art history are written analyses of style,
and content area tests. Many studio courses assign written research and/or
analysis of historical art work as well.
artistís portfolio is he/r history and personality in a carrying case. At all
departmental levels, portfolios are invaluable tools that enable students to
grow and learn from their evolving work. The portfolio is the clearest way to
assess progress in the work being produced. It documents growth and experience
while it highlights strengths and weaknesses. In the art field more than in
almost any other discipline, the student's portfolio becomes the key to
written student assessment
addition to group and private critiques, the department assigns written student
self-assessment and peer assessment of ideas and artwork. These typically occur
Junior-Level student interviews by all faculty
have not found the Junior Level Interview idea useful for our purposes. During
our Vision Planning, we decided to set time aside each Fall at mid-semester to
discuss the work, attitudes, accomplishments and goals of all art majors. This
formalizes a process that is ongoing in our daily discourse.
will discuss each student in the department. Foundation-level students will be
discussed in terms of work ethic, dedication to the department etc. Upper-class
students will additionally be discussed relative to the maturation of their work
to this meeting, we will collect a self-assessment from each art major. During
the meeting, a feedback form will be used to collect data on the individual
student. Data from this form will be shared with the student.
the senior year, students prepare for a final exhibit which provides a visual
forum for their work. This show is attended by the public as well as the campus
department will collect an exit portfolio described below from each graduating
student reflective of the experience of 1-6 above. Exit portfolios are kept in
the art department. We have eliminated the requirement that a companion
binder of ten duplicate slides and the student's artistic statement be kept in
the library. This is redundant and costly.
portfolio will consist of:
a) artistís statement or portfolio rationale (Fine Art and Design only)
b) ten original art works recorded on slide, zip disk or other
appropriate medium (Fine Art and Design only)
c) one upper level art historical research paper.
department chair holds the ultimate responsibility for collecting and updating
these portfolios. As students graduate, the portfolio serves as a
repository for undergraduate achievement and a magnet for information on the
graduate's career progress. The continued documentation of the Art
major's professional development is an important facet of our on-going
have found that one, three and five-year assessments, as proposed at our last
review, are not necessary. We hear from our graduates regularly and have a good
sense of their progress. Last year, we sent surveys to all know alums and have
incorporated their feedback into our curriculum review discussions. This year,
we initiated a departmental newsletter and have recently sent out the first
issue. This yearly communication will go to all graduates to solicit and
disseminate significant alumni news as well as important developments and
accomplishments in the department.
Evaluation of Student Teaching for Art Education majors
of the evaluation of an Art Education major is an extensive feedback form
written by each Cooperating Teacher with whom a student studied and taught.
These forms are retained by the Education department.
d-Explanation of choices and applications
chosen a broad selection of evaluative criteria to accommodate the diversity of
expressive forms of art making and appreciating. Despite the individual nature
of the artistic process, communication with peers and society at large is also
needed by the artist. Therefore, the feedback of a variety of audiences is
critiques include all class members. By showing work in Galvin hall cases, the
audience expands to the whole campus. The Senior Show includes the Quad City
community and beyond.
world technical skills are incorporated into each of our Studio
Fundamentals courses. After the student has chosen a major, these skills, tools
and ideas increase in complexity. Our pre-requisites were carefully
re-structured during our last review to promote a smooth transition from
simplicity to complexity.
strong art historical sense is imparted via our requirement of a minimum of
four (4) Art history courses with more available. The ďNamesĒ project-the
introduction of relevant artists and their work into studio classes-brings
historical relevance into the studentís art making. Field trips, along with
museum and gallery visits complete the cycle with immediate interaction with the
physical work of art as opposed to itís two dimensional reproduction.
ability to see that art is reflective of the individual and universal selves
is a complex order. But since art is both made and studied in our curriculum,
many opportunities are made available. People and cultures from around the world
are studied. Their art and artifacts represent what these societies have felt,
thought and believed and are an intrinsic part of art historical study.
this broad background, the ideas, opinions and feelings of the individual artist
are drawn out, clarified and fortified in their writings and visual studies. As
mentioned before, this eventually amounts to a synthesis of classroom
learning with personal life experience. The growth of their portfolio
attests to this synthesis.
the heart of peer and public critique is the goal of strengthening the
student's skills to convey ideas in a meaningful way. Ongoing dialogue with
peers and faculty leads the artist to increasingly articulate discussion of
their own work and the work of others. Naturally, the art work is evolving into
more authentic and sophisticated forms as the student matures.
ability to be competent, ethical and productive members of the art community of
the world is the focus of our program. Their art making is fueled by knowledge
that it can make a difference/contribute to the dialogue with the world at
large. Our students are avid participants in local culture and they support the
local art scene.
and the Senior Show bring the student to the graduate school and professional
job entry level. Of our recent graduates, approximately 90% employed in their
field of choice.
of Student Learning in the Major
accumulated assessment materials are stored in portable files kept and
maintained by the department chair.
of Assessment Information to Improve Education
Art department faculty provides on-going assessment feedback to students as
described in part 4.A.3 above. In addition, the faculty will meet as a group to
review the assessment materials described in regard to departmental learning
objectives in 4.A.2. This review of strengths and weakness will inform
educational program changes and improvements and will typically take place in
the year prior to the program review. The majority of our assessment tools have
a built-in component of verbal or written feedback for the student.
of the Departmental Assessment Plan
to program review, the faculty will review the learning objectives and
assessment methods and change them as deemed necessary. This yearís review
found them to be as important and as relevant as ever.
of Teaching and Learning in the Major
and describe any data which assesses student learning of departmental objectives
quality of the work done by our majors is recorded in the slides, disks and
writing samples of recent graduates. Reviews of our art education majors
continue to be very high.
a) what is revealed about strengths and weaknesses of the educational
programs are new as of the last Zero Based Review. Weíve only had three
graduating classes (1997, 98 and 99) from these new curricula on which to base
our observations. When our assessment data are examined in aggregate, it appears
that within financial and space limitations, we are doing an excellent job
preparing artists, designers and art educators for their future. We have made
adjustments based on feedback from our alumni survey. The employment record of
the graduates of our new programs is outstanding and their job mobility is high.
The invited members of the Design Group had many favorable things to say about
weaknesses of the educational experience, sometimes not evident to the student,
take on a variety of forms which we listed in the Vision Plan (SWOT) which
is not well understood nor appreciated on this campus. A more art-aware
environment campus-wide would encourage artists to create and to share their
creation. The Art-on-Campus proposal would add a handsome, campus wide public
art/collecting agenda for all to share. Like most other programs, this one
requires both funds and staffing. Iíd be glad to send an AOC document to
anyone requesting it. Within reason.
quantitative and qualitative-is a problem. Impeded by a 31 year-old
configuration of studios, there are problems in administering courses. Our new
Design program suffers especially in cramped quarters. .
and drawing are assigned to the same space out of necessity creating problems
for both disciplines. Storage space of support materials for the art history
courses in non-existent. With the Catich Gallery inoperable, we only have the
Galvin hallway for display of art and this is earmarked for student work. We
sincerely hope that the implementation of the Performa plans will help to
alleviate this problem. The experience that local art venues provides our majors
is very limiting.
Graphic Design major is delivered entirely by adjunct faculty and the
programís Mac technology is under-supported on this campus.
need for administrative assistance has long been an identified need within the
department. Coordination of Senior Honors; keeping up with alumni relations; and
the handling of the many community-related requests for our expertise are more
than we can successfully handle. This position could be shared with other Galvin
b) how have these data informed the program changes?
mentioned earlier, our program changes are few and relatively minor this year,
indicative of the success of our last curricular revision. Most of our intended
improvements requiring funding have appeared in planning documents and other
funding requests. Some changes are forthcoming and will be presented to this
committee in time for inclusion in the 2001-2003 catalogue.
of requirements, sequencing and prerequisites
the exceptions noted in section 2, we are satisfied with the changes from our
last review. The new set of prerequisites has proven to be helpful in enhancing
student achievements and linking these achievements in a productive way as
suggested by our learning objectives.
GENERAL EDUCATION ASSESSMENT
Education Assessment of Teaching
ALL courses-gen ed components
(see table I following this page; not available online)
Designated General Education courses
(see table II following this page; not available online)
a) Existing courses
1) Document that the department is teaching Gen Ed courses in accordance
with the Gen Ed mission p. 22
2) Present evidence of teaching to divisional goals in each course
3) Indicate Skills, Attitudes/Values each addresses and provide evidence
b) New courses
two grids included in this report carry a dense load of information. Perhaps
this short narrative can serve as an introduction to that information and help
suggest the larger picture behind it.
of our studio courses concern themselves with the delivery of content. This is
in addition to but, perhaps less obvious than the technical control of tools,
visual organization principles et al. These are vehicles for the transmission of
messages from the artist to an acknowledged audience. The messages themselves
are carefully chosen from the personal experiences, histories and curiosities of
the student artist/gen ed student. The student is encouraged and taught to
present authentic, personal responses to their world and to translate them into
the medium under consideration. Calligraphy, Printmaking, Ceramics, and
Photography courses all feature aspects of their own rich histories and social
gen ed art history courses provide direct connections to societies, geographies,
media and ideologies past and present. Demonstration of the profound usefulness
of art to most societies presents the student with reasons for admiring and
making art themselves.
Names project, introduced about three years ago, attaches a group of
historical art figures to each studio course.
The work and personality of the Names artist are used to deepen
student appreciation for the content of the course and to paint/point the way to
future development and to forge a strong bond between present and past art
art making, peer critique and professorís comments are combined in most studio
classes encouraging an environment of tolerance, camaraderie, open-mindedness
and civilized competition. Students utilize many forms of communication in their
course work and the maturation that accompanies continual self-expression is one
of the major rewards of teaching in the arts. In the critique of others, the
student is taught to be honest and kind simultaneously.
The greatest liberalizing that occurs in our department is the studentís transformation into someone who sees beauty, harmony and meaning in a complex and often mean world. We graduate artists who will not be bored with nor disinterested in their world.
to Departmental Assessment Plans