Department of Classics and Archaeology

Embodied Assessment

A smartphone app to help with visual diagnostic

This joint research project between the Classics department (Dr Katharina Lorenz), the Learning Science Research Institute in the School of Education (Professor Shaaron Ainsworth) and the Horizon Digital Economy Research Institute (Dr Michael Brown, Dr Tim Coughlan, Angeles Munoz) explores ways in which formal assessment in disciplines dealing with visual artefacts can be better allied with the skills needed to analyse and interpret these artefacts within their display context, whether that is a gallery or an archaeological site.

The team is developing a smartphone app which prompts students to complete different stages of description and interpretation, to familiarise them with the standard protocols of visual diagnostics and help them apply these when engaging with visual artefacts “in the wild”, and to offer a means of comparing their approach and interpretations with others. In turn, the data stored in the app helps teachers to assess whether a student can approach an artefact showing sensitivity to a variety of themes, and explain what the components represent and how they might be interpreted.

This task is very relevant to professional activities in visual disciplines and potentially for students future employment.  The project uses some of the technology developed in the ArtMaps project, a collaboration of Horizon and the Tate, and the aim is to design an assessment app that could form an alternative to the written exams or essay writing normally used for evaluating these disciplines.  The app under development has been tested in two different collections: Chatsworth House in Derbyshire, one of the most important collections of Roman portraiture in the UK, and in the Treasures of Nemi exhibition at the Nottingham Castle Museums and Galleries.

Posted on Tuesday 27th August 2013

Department of Classics and Archaeology

University of Nottingham
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Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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