Description of Good Assessment Practice

Title: Dr.
Name: Wilson W.S. Lu
Academic Position: Professorial staff
Name of Institution:
Discipline: Architecture
Course title: Survey Studio II
Course code:
Class size: 1-20
Course Year: 2
Assessment Title: Wilson’s Three Things
Assessment Type: Formative
Time allowed for assessment: 4 weeks continuous assessment
Learning outcomes of the assessment practice: Case Study:
The survey studio is an excellent designed environment which enhances the teaching and learning of Survey - an "old" profession with traditional classroom lecturing mode. Students are organized in small learning groups (4-6 people) and given "real-life" project descriptions in class. Although the majority of learning should take place outside of classroom, students still meet the studio facilitators regularly in classroom. This gives the facilitators the flexibilities to design their course content under the umbrella of Survey Programme and the assessment method accordingly.

Although we have developed some standard assessment guideline for studios, adding some more ingredients can make the learning outcome crispier. In my survey project of "digital technology in construction", my ingredients are "Wilson's Three Things". In each project briefing session, I often highlighted that I (Wilson) like "three things" when making assessment:

(a) Creativity - "You are HKU students. You are top students in Asia. I want to see your creativity. I don't want to see any cliche that has been widely talked about."
(b) "Doing studio on the ground, not on the Internet". - "I know that you are an excellent Internet surfer. But not for this time. I want to see that you go to real-life project sites, talk to people from the shop floor, interview professionals, do experiment, and so on. I will give low marks to those who only do this studio on the Internet."
(c) Presentation of your ideas - "Presentations change your life. A good presentation of your idea is as important as the idea itself. You can present the final results by using any means; you have all the freedom. If you can get a "wow" from me, you can consider that your presentation is successful."

By emphasizing these three criteria, it can be observed that students are apt to "think outside of the box", which is highly desired in today's workplace of surveying works although it sounds like another cliche. Students are encouraged to understand real-life situations rather than relying on hearsay. Students will spend a lot of time to think and present their ideas, i.e., using models, Google Sketch Up videos, animations, newspaper, playing cards, etc. The main trick is to explicate and emphasize an assessor's preference in advance, and hopefully it can change the learning process consequently. These assessing criteria may be applicable to other studio courses which aim to develop students' over business capabilities.

Students will have to spend a greater deal of time to do the studio projects. For example, their computers will run for several days to create a Google sketch up video with their close attendance. This is unaffordable when various courses are competing with limited time.

Students often take some "shortcuts". For example, by conveniently interviewing a colleague in the Department, or by just taking some photos onsite to show that they have done the studio on the ground. To achieve the learning outcomes, students still need to be enduringly powered up and the criteria need to be frequently emphasized.
Key features and principles of the assessment practice:
What are the best things about this assessment method?
What are the challenges in implementing this assessment method?
What do your students think about this assessment method? (Any evaluation?)
Plans for changes/developments in future (if any):
Creation date: 2010-07-26 18:44:24