Carnegie Mellon University

Eberly Center

Teaching Excellence & Educational Innovation

Instructors: Multiple instructors
51-201 Basic Typography Communication Design,
51-711/712 Graduate Design Studio, and other studio-based courses,
School of Design, College of Fine Arts
Forms for Evaluating Student Projects
Graduate Design Studio

Beginning Typography


Many students in studio-based design courses believe that design choices are subjective and therefore cannot be evaluated using objective forms of assessment. These forms were created to provide students with objective, clearly articulated criteria for the variety of dimensions in which studio-based projects are assessed and graded.


Faculty developed evaluation forms for the studio-based design courses that they were teaching. Then they shared these forms with each other so that the evaluation forms remained consistent for each course. The criteria on the forms appear in the course syllabi so that students are aware of them from the beginning of the course, and the forms are used to evaluate student work at mid-semester and the end of the semester.


Students have more realistic expectations of how their projects will be graded. There are fewer instances of students contesting the final grades on their projects.


Although students are aware of the criteria that will be used to assess their work, they do not always pay attention to these criteria for each assignment. It is not always easy to clearly communicate to the students that these are the criteria that will be used to evaluate their work.

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