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Assessment & Feedback //// Contemporary Artistic Research


Assessment & Feedback: Your Responsibilities

  • Engage appropriately with assessment tasks.
  • Proactively seek support if unclear on what is required in an assessment.
  • Read, reflect on and act upon the feedback provided.
  • Engage with assessments honestly and fairly, upholding academic integrity.

See: Assessment & Feedback Principles & Priorities (744.6 KB PDF)

Formative Feedback: The Supervision Process

The primary purpose of feedback is facilitate student learning.
This research course aims to increase feedback dialogue between supervisors and students throughout the assessment process by shifting the balance or emphasis of feedback from the end of the assessment (when students cannot change anything) to earlier in the assessment process to allow you to learn from the feedback and improve your performance.
TASKs – are set specifically to allow the time and space for constructive and developmental feedback to be provided, and for you to reflect on and act upon the feedback. Supervision feedback is more developmental where it is formative (feedforward), offering you more opportunity for learning development.
You will receive verbal formative feedback from your Supervisor each time you meet provided you complete your TASKs:

What is a TASK?

This is a research course – that means it is not ‘taught’.  You do your research and you are wholly responsible for managing your own project.

To help you develop as a researcher, you need to recieve useful feedback. Completing the TASKS will help you generate work-in-progress that you can share with your Supervisor. If you turn in work-in-progress it is not simply to ‘report’, or clock-in, it’s to create an open dialogue around what you are doing. It follows from this that, the more tasks you complete, the more you will learn.

You share work-in-progress because you want feedback on it from your Supervisor. If you choose to not share your work-in-progress it will be because you do not want feedback on it. So, it follows that if you do not share your work-in-progress, you will not get any feedback from your Supervisor.

The TASKS, then, are a semi-structured scaffold to enable you to give and recieve useful Supervisor feedback. Tasks do not have grades, they do not certify you with a ‘pass’ if you complete them – they are a “zero scale” (Stommel 2020: 37). The TASKS are not ‘busywork’ (Stommel 2020: 29) that has to be done for the sake of looking productive – you should only do things only if they enable you to learn something. Understanding this, hopefully, this will give you the intrinsic motivation to do the work-in-progress described in each TASK.

What is a Useful feedback?

Useful feedback is formative. It will always focus on what you are doing rather than how well you are doing.

Formative feedback is not graded. Grading is supposed to tell you how well you are doing – your Supervisor wants to focus only on what you are doing. Carefully unpacking  what you are doing will provide you with the support you need to understand and improve what you are doing. What do you need for useful feedback then – you need to have and be a good reader and you need to have and be a good listener.

For more on this, listen to: Ungrading with Susan Blum What’s the Big Idea?

Summative Assignment

Statement of Assessment

Summative Assessment takes place only at the very end of the course. Your submitted work will be blind read by two assessors. Each will write useful feedback related to each learning outcome. They will then meet and agree their written feedback on each of your three learning outcomes. This will determine the single letter grade you will be given for this course.

Remember that the Summative Assessment process exists to provide you with useful feedback on your artistic research. Again, it’s main purpose is to focus on what you have been doing in this course so that you can better understand and improve what you do in future.

Standards and criteria for progression

Standard-setting is the process whereby decisions are made about boundaries or ‘cut-points’ between grades (See Regulation 31.6)

In terms of grading, there are really only four possible outcomes for this course:

  • Fail
  • Pass
  • Pass with a Merit
  • Pass with a Distinction

To Pass this course, you will – at very least – have to successfully complete all of the Project Book work listed below.

Successfully completing the Project Book work means providing clear evidence that demonstrates ‘what you are doing’ to achieve the three learning outcomes.

The three learning outcomes are absolute, they definine minimum levels of competence required to pass.

Standard-setting for Merit Pass and Distinction Pass are norm-referenced against the absolute (a pass). Clearly exceeding the minimum levels of competence will help you build a stronger case for awarding a Pass with a Merit or Distinction for the course as a whole.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this course, you will be able to:
  1. Review, design and justify a range of appropriate research methods that allow you to apply the knowledge, intellectual abilities, ethics and techniques required to conduct artistic research.
  2. Effectively plan, organise, develop and complete a professionally resolved artistic research project that offers insights within a broader context of research.
  3. Understand, interpret, create and communicate appropriately within academic and artistic contexts, carefully and clearly evidencing, analysing, evaluating, synthesising and presenting your research.


You will submit one of the following:

An Artistic Research Project Book. Your Project Book must comprise a i) Portfolio and a ii) Reflective Analysis of no more than 5,000 words in total.


A body of artwriting of no more than 9,000 words in total.

The learning outcomes for both submission options are identical.

Each learning outcome is equally weighted for the purposes of determining the final course grade band.

Submission of Assignment

Mandatory SUBMIT for Summative Assessment

Thursday 17th August 2023 by 3pm (link to LEARN)

Style Guide

Referencing style for Reflective Analysis / body of artwriting

Please use Chicago Author-Date

See sample citations below. For further documentation, consult


Students are responsible for ensuring that all names of artists, scholars and persons to which they refer are spelled correctly throughout. Please pay particular attention to names from cultures and writing conventions to some degree unfamiliar to you.


British English (not American)

Punctuation of quotations

Single quotation marks; double quotation marks for quotes-within-quotes. Final punctuation occurs within marks, although full stops are displaced so as to include parenthetical citations within the sentence. Examples:

  • The novel plays on commonplaces of medieval devotion: ‘Jesus lowered his eyes and said, “Like a mother I give you my breast to suck”’ (Glück 1994, 22).

  • The scene is abruptly focalised through the Vicar, who ‘saw himself twisted and crumpled forwards although he sat immobile,’ in a shift that might seem to change the rules of narrative perspective (Glück 1994, 20).

Oxford comma


Word count

Include the word count on the frontispiece of your Reflective Analysis / body of artwriting

Social media

Much important artistic research is carried out on web adn social-media platforms. It must be cited whenever it contributes meaningfully to your own claims or analysis.


Students are responsible for obtaining permissions by the time their work is ready for submission. There is no fixed number/limit of images allowed.


Default to use the third person plural, “they,” rather than “he or she” when gender identity is unknown.


Use footnotes. Footnotes are not limited and should not be included in your word count.


Return to Main Page of Course Handbook

Professor Neil Mulholland [(c)krs] #été MMXXII Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license 2023


Bloom, Susan. ‘Ungrading with Susan Blum’ What’s the Big Idea?

Stommel, Jesse ‘How to Ungrade‘ in Kohn, Alfie, and Susan D. Blum. Ungrading: Why Rating Students Undermines Learning (and What to Do Instead). First edition. ed., Morgantown: West Virginia University Press, 2020. pp. 23-4.


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