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Dr Lorraine Lim

Dr Lorraine Lim is Co- Programme Director for the Foundation Degree in Arts and Media Management. One of the modules that she teaches is called Arts and Media: Organisational Structures and Management Practices. In this, Dr Lim makes extensive use of formative assessment and group work.

Formative Assessments

Dr Lim uses formative assessments as a way of linking the reading to the class discussions. She suggests that it may be easier to experiment with formative assessments because there is not the administrative requirement that is incurred with changing summative assessments. Also, marking creative assignments can be very challenging and it is often easier when work is being assessed formatively.

  • One example of a formative assessment helping learners to understand the literature is an exercise focussing on the creative process within teams. Students are given a comic with blank speech bubbles. They fill in the bubbles (1) by themselves (2) with someone they know well and (3) with someone they don’t know well. They then receive peer feedback indicating just how funny (or not) their contributions were. This task links to the research literature suggesting that creative work may be better with teams who have little prior experience with each other.
  • A further example of a formative assessment which she uses in a different module, Developing an Arts Project, is an impromptu, 5-minute pitch for an arts project which students are asked to deliver in class. Students can use the feedback on the pitch to help them develop an arts project and presentation which is submitted for summative assessment. Dr Lim suggests that marking a short pitch is much easier and quicker than marking a formal presentation, so is an efficient way to give students feedback.

Peer feedback and group work

Extensive group work and peer feedback is included in the module. Dr Lim places great emphasis on collaborative work, because these skills are extremely important in the arts and media fields. The groups are kept small and have plenty of contact time so are quite comfortable getting feedback from each other. This peer feedback tends to be more effective in the second half of the term, because people are still trying to be polite to each other in the early stages of the module. One example of group work and peer feedback is the speech bubble exercise, described above.

Group work is also used for summative assessment.  In groups of 2-4, students evaluate an arts or media experience/product and compile a 1000/word review for their first assignment. Although the preparation for the assignment is carried out within the group, each student must produce an individual report.

Preparation for summative assessments

Dr Lim runs a workshop on writing and referencing, where she asks learners to describe what makes a good essay and why are there requirements such as word counts, for example. She emphasizes the real world applications of these skills by reminding them of the need for similar approaches to writing funding applications etc. She feels that there is an increasing need to make these links clearer so students can appreciate the transferability of these skills. In another example of her use of group work, Dr Lim also requires groups to discuss what they have found easy or hard about the module. If students report finding the reading challenging, Dr Lim encourages them to discuss their struggles explicitly.

New module: Preparing for Work in the Film, Media and Cultural Industries

Dr Lim is also working on an innovative new module for final year undergraduate and postgraduates called Preparing for Work in the Film, Media and Cultural Industries. Assessment on this module is completely formative, with a series of highly practical and interesting exercises. For more information, please see the curriculum outline