Assessment Summary Fall 2007-Spring 2008
What are the student learning outcomes in your unit?
The fine arts program is dedicated to help students learn to formulate and articulate visual concepts through the manipulation of forms and materials. It provides an environment wherein students are encouraged to discover and expand their abilities to the highest level of their creative and expressive potential. In addition, by studying the major art movements within the historical period that produced them, students develop an awareness and appreciation of visual expression within the humanist tradition.
Which outcome did you assess this academic year?
Art by nature is subjective, interpretive, and theoretical. Throughout the entirety of a student’s academic career, the fine arts department fosters this approach to learning, which is based on open forums, discussion, and communication. The final culmination of the undergraduate BA degree in studio arts is the senior show. For the capstone or thesis exhibition, each student must present and install a unique body of recent work completed at IU Northwest as well as explain that work within the broader context of art history. In this way, they form both a visual and intellectual construct, and are able to explain and understand their work and its relationship to contemporary art. These critiques allow the student the tools to develop their own unique way of thinking, and prepare them for either graduate school or studio practices.
How did you assess their skills before, during and / or at the end of the semester / academic year?
In order to graduate, the student must first pass a preliminary review held in the late fall to be eligible for the thesis exhibition. For the thesis exhibition, students are expected to explain their artworks and answer questions regarding their artwork in a clear and lucid manner. Our goal as a department has been to maintain a high standard for graduating with a fine arts degree, and to be certain that each student has developed visual competency and originality within their chosen artistic discipline.
Please summarize the data you have collected this semester / academic year.
We keep track of students primarily through exhibitions. The IU Northwest Gallery sponsors “one person” shows of former students, as well as alumni exhibitions. In addition, returning alumni often give us suggestions regarding improvements we can add to our program, based on their employment experiences. We are also beginning the process to add a BFA degree to our curriculum. Other recent improvements to our program include an Art Education degree as well as a joint degree with CIS.
In the context of continued improvement for student learning, we are aggressively seeking to expand our antiquated facilities. In this way, we can build a department for the future that is already anchored by a strong gallery program and excellent faculty.
Please describe any programmatic changes you have made or are planning to make based on the data you have collected.
We collected the data that will allow us to move forward with proposing a BFA degree. We formed a committee that is principally directed towards the planning of a new Performing, Visual & Cultural Arts building. In addition, an assessment questionnaire is being finalized that will be given to all graduating seniors upon completion of their thesis exhibition.
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