I could not attend my class this evening, as I was seconded to conduct a ‘Taster Day’ session; this actually provided a good reflective point of assessment strategies. The purpose of a taster session, is to allow potential learners an opportunity to experience the quality and style of teaching offered from an education provider. The numbers were low for both the photography and the graphic design class, so the two groups were merged into one; this was workable due to the crossover between the two disciplines. Along with a colleague, we set them the challenge of producing minimalist movie posters; this allowed the learners to respond using either stock photographs, that could be reworked, or to create their own graphics. To start, we presented an assortment of examples and asked them to guess the movie, there were a few successful guesses; the purpose of this exercise, was to convey the use of symbology and signs that hint towards either key characters, components or narratives from the target movie. Overall, the group responded well; they conducted some visual research for inspiration and produced some interesting designs and ideas; for the plenary, we displayed each learners’ design via the projector for the group to guess and assess. We summarised, by conveying the power of symbology and that although both disciplines have their strengths, that are both part of the wider study of visual language.
To conclude, this taster session was a good example of an ‘assessment for learning’ event; throughout the lesson, it became clear, which learners were more capable, not just with the design software, but also the interpretation of the objective. There was one learner in particular, who exhibited advanced skills, when compared to their peers; however, this was only one observable session, which could not be used to accurately measure their prior learning. It does evidence though, the contrast of learners and how that a differentiated teaching style is still paramount for stretching, developing and ensuring equality.
Just for a bit of fun, I decided to create my own minimalist movie poster…