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Art & Design Learning Objectives and Assessment

Visual thinking journalsThe department of art & design employs a number of direct measures of student learning. Direct measures include the senior capstone experience, visual thinking journal reviews, sophomore portfolio review, senior portfolio review and the Praxis art content exam. All students pursuing a major in art and design partake in the department's assessment program to satisfy graduation requirements.

Indirect measures utilized by the department of art and design include SAT scores, job placement data, internship supervisor evaluations, retention and transfer studies, and graduation rates.

Direct Measures

Visual Thinking Journals
As part of the art and design experience, students must keep a visual thinking journal. Much like a sketchbook, but more, this journal serves as a bound record of a student's thinking and process. The journal includes notes from classes, lectures and presentations; writings, research, investigations and reflections; critiques and evaluations; ideas (writings, sketches, roughs), perceptions and inspiration; and successes and failures. In short, it should document how a student got from point A to point Z in his or her college career.

The journal is evaluated several times during a student's program of study, giving professors an intimate glimpse of a student's visual thinking and creative process. Ultimately, the journal provides evidence of what a student has investigated, learned and completed.

Sophomore Review Portfolio
All majors with sophomore standing must participate in Sophomore Review during the winter quarter. With the Sophomore Review, the department assesses the progress and dedication of art and design majors. It also is an opportunity for students to evaluate themselves and their career goals. Addressing these issues during this stage in the program allows students to change majors without disrupting their four-year plan to obtain a degree from Ohio Northern.

Minimum requirements for the portfolio include:
• four drawings each from Art 150, 170
• three color works from Art 160 and/or 170 and/or 222
• assignments completed from other classes/studios must be included.

Senior Capstone Experience
All students graduating from the Getty College of Arts & Sciences participate in a senior capstone experience, which allows them to integrate many concepts and theories from their major course of study into a final project or activity. For graduating art & design majors, a final research project, a visual thinking journal, an exit portfolio, three public exhibitions and participation in an on-campus lecture ("Senior Brown Bag Lecture Series") are required.

In addition, each student is required to submit a thesis binder. This includes an artist statement that explains the work, a résumé, slide portfolio, a self assessment and a letter to future seniors.

The senior capstone experience requires students to integrate the principles, theories and methods learned in courses required throughout the major in an applied context. The yearlong structure and content of the capstone experience is linked to the department's mission and learning objectives.

Praxis Exams
The two Praxis II tests ("Subject Assessments" and "Principles of Learning and Teaching") measure knowledge of the art content that PreK-12 educators teach, as well as general and subject-specific teaching skills and knowledge. The Subject Assessments measure general and subject-specific teaching skills and knowledge. They include both multiple-choice and constructed-response test items. These tests are taken prior to student teaching. The Principles of Learning and Teaching tests measure general pedagogical knowledge at four grade levels: early childhood, K-6, 5-9 and 7-12. These tests use a case study approach and feature constructed-response and multiple-choice items.

Indirect Measures

The following measures are used to collect data for the department's annual assessment report. The sources of data, if used alone, are inadequate measures of students learning. However, some of these sources, when used to supplement the direct measures, provide information that may enrich or illuminate aspects of what the direct measures tell the department about student academic achievement.

Job Placement
The Office of Career Services and the department of art & design collect data on student outcomes/performances from placement in the workforce or for advanced studies.

Retention and Graduation Rates
The department of art & design and the admissions office collects data on student enrollment and retention.

Internship Supervisor Evaluations
The department of art & design's internship program collects data that summarizes student performance as evaluated by internship supervisors.

Professor Eddings teachingSix major learning objectives have been derived from the department's mission statement. Students graduating from the department of art and design will be creative, productive, intellectually curious, historically insightful, critical thinkers and technically proficient.

Mission: The visual arts program integrates traditional and contemporary approaches to the creation of art and design. The primary goal is to develop students as creative, productive and intellectually curious artists or designers capable of historical insight, critical thinking and technical proficiency in their areas of emphasis. Our program combines professional training and broad study in the liberal arts so that students majoring in art and design receive as comprehensive an understanding of the discipline as possible; become cognizant of historical and cultural knowledge of the past and present; and develop competence in the use of tools, materials and processes in their profession.


  • Demonstrate the ability to recognize, analyze and synthesize many different approaches to the organization of the form and then effectively use them to manipulate the formal impact of the work

  • Demonstrate understanding of the impact of context and theories of meaning, and effectively uses them to manipulate the impact of the content of the work


  • Generate multiple solutions to assignments and problems

  • Maintain an informational gathering system, such as notebooks/sketchbooks, which demonstrates reflection and consideration of topics that depart from assignments and problems

Intellectually Curious

  • Demonstrate a familiarity with knowledge and information associated with a number of disciplines outside of the visual arts

  • Demonstrate the ability to effectively synthesize concepts learned in other disciplines to impact content and context of the work

  • Clearly demonstrate an awareness of the ethical/potential impact of one's work of the individual, society and environment

Historical Insightful

  • Demonstrate a strong knowledge of symbolism, symbolic systems and ideas from a number of past and present cultures by effective incorporation into the work

Critical Thinkers

  • Clearly identify and communicate the main problem/question at issue, along with a number of subsidiary aspects of the problem, then address their relationships to each other

  • Clearly identify and communicate one's own solution or position, drawing support from experiences and information not available from assigned sources

  • Clearly identify and consider a number of other perspectives and positions drawn from outside information

  • Clearly identify and assess the validity of key assumptions within a solution/position

  • Clearly identify and assess the quality of supporting data/evidence and provide additional information related to the issue

  • Effectively examine the evidence and sources of evidence, and impressively question its accuracy, relevance and completeness

  • Observe cause and effect, and address a number of existing or potential consequences

  • Clearly distinguish between fact and opinion, and acknowledge value judgment

  • Clearly identify and consider the influence of the context on the solution/position

  • Clearly analyze the solution/position with a sense of scope and context

  • Clearly consider a number of other pertinent contexts

  • Clearly identify and assess a number of conclusions, implications and consequences, considering context, assumptions, data and evidence

  • Objectively reflect upon the individual's own solution/position from several perspectives

Technically Proficient

  • Clearly show evidence of practice with materials and tools

  • Expand on the uses of media, techniques and processes with skill, confidence and sensitivity so that clearly chosen intentions are carried out in the work

  • Clearly demonstrate effective relationships between color and other elements and principles of composition

Department of Art & Design

Ann Hood

Wilson Art Building
525 South Main Street
Ada, Ohio 45810
Monday: 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Tuesday: 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Wednesday: 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Thursday: 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Friday: 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: Closed