grading rubric [generic] + thoughts

Three categories are considered when grading: composition (form + concept), craft (commitment to materials + methods), collaboration (commitment to cohorts + critical collaboration). Further as we are not currently a socialist country, but capitalist, grades are ascribed accordingly. For many, you will be working with materials and/or design problems for the very first time, so there is nothing inherently negative about achieving a B.

General speaking:

A  =  WOW! OMG! 
B  =  Good Freaking Job
C  =  OK – Got the Job Done – Basic Solution
D  =  Appears Lacking 🙁
F  =  Incomplete and/or Utter Disregard for Project Parameters

Interestingly, a weak concept may be masked in magnificent of crafting of materials and an excellent idea may be lost in poor craftsmanship and presentation. Art is weird and a beast to grade. Craftsmanship, presentation and the artist’s presence matters and influences how a work is experienced.

COMPOSITION :: form + concept

A – WOW :: Interesting and/or novel conceptual solution to design problem. Formal components strengthen concept.

B – Good Job :: Concept is evident or formal eye candy is so pleasing the concept momentarily seems irrelevant. Formal components do not distract from concept.

C – OK – Basic Solution :: Got the job done. Concept not fully resolved. Relationship between concept and formal components needs substantial adjustments.

D – Appears Lacking :: Appears to be little visual evidence of conveying a concept in the piece. Forms conflict and/or distract from concept.

F – Incomplete :: No evidence of concept. Incomplete project.

CRAFT :: commitment to methods + materials 

A – WOW :: Utilized, understood, and mastered all techniques required. Use of materials fully supports formal and conceptual ideas.

B – Good Job :: Fits parameters of assignment. Utilized all techniques required for project. Use of materials supports formal and conceptual ideas with minimal distractions.

C – OK – Basic Solution :: Met project parameters. General understanding of techniques required although substantial problems exits in execution. Use of materials distracts from concept or overall composition.

D – Appears Lacking :: Met most project parameters. Little to no understanding or application of techniques. Problems in execution. Use of materials significantly distracts from composition.

F – Incomplete :: Project parameter issues. Apparent failure of understanding of techniques. Apparent lack of effort. Material usage is most significant feature of the work. Apparent disregard for project parameters.

CRITICAL COLLABORATION + commitment to cohorts/course

A – WOW :: Actively participates in team and class discussions. Excellent participation in group critiques. Excellent prep for class. Attention to presentation of projects. Arrives with all assignments completed. Ready with tools and materials at 8 am.

B – Good Job :: Shows interest and is well prepared for class. Arrives with all required assignments completed and necessary materials at 8 am.

C – OK – Basic Solution :: Occasional participation in class discussions. Not ready with materials or assignments. Occasionally late.

D – Appears Lacking :: Rarely participates in class discussion. Not prepared with correct supplies. Arrives with assignments partially completed. Late arrival/early departure. Absences problematic.

F – Incomplete :: Does not appear to participate in class discussions. Is not prepared for class. Doe not have assignments completed upon arrival. Late arrival/early departure. Absenteeism.

Keep all returned grading rubrics in your sketchbook. If you would like to discuss the feedback or grade, I will need the rubric and to see the work. I may dyslexically drop the wrong grade into the spreadsheet and you would like it corrected (if it is in your favor, don’t show me).

General thoughts on grading :: Often the first time one hears a new song, it is disliked! Two weeks later you are singing it everyday. It is your new fav despite originally hating it! Regardless of the songs structure or lyrics, the musician persona/behavior/disposition may effect your perception of their work. Art is weird! Sometimes we need time with it and cannot separate the work from the context in which we experience it. Grading your work will be much like hearing a song for the first time within the context of getting to know the musician. The ascription of a grade becomes difficult because I am unable to spend weeks mulling over it or fully separate it from my knowledge of its making. I, like you, function under our personal aesthetic preferences, yet even a work that is not to one’s tastes, may be respected based on material usage and spatial arrangement. When a work is counter to my personal taste, I spend more time with it considering the use of materials, how it meets the design problem parameters, etc. I may not like a work or your behavior but that does not bar it from an A grade. Can I deny grading under all these influence of personal taste, disposition and context? Nope, but I do my darnedest.

No late work accepted. Late work is the most easy to grade = F. Work being submitted for grades is not accepted late (but maybe turned in early or sent with a peer, if sick). It is that way in the art world as well. Exhibition opening night is set months even a year or two in advance, late is not an option. Design, likewise, has fixed timelines. The New York Times is not going to hold the press because your ad for Lady Gaga’s concert is late.

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