Visualizing the Interior Design Curriculum

Room 118 in Carpenter Hall in the School of Design and Construction contains tables stacked with syllabi and assignment prompts. Every wall is covered with design presentation boards and other student work. The room holds course materials from every required course in the Interior Design curriculum along with samples of student products from all courses for about 20% of their students.

This spring, peer evaluators from the Interior Design professional accrediting organization, the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA), visited campus and this room served the important function of demonstrating to the evaluators how the curriculum meets CIDA’s nearly 100 criteria for student skills and knowledge.

This display of student work serves more than a compliance function for accreditation, however. Beyond meeting accreditation needs, faculty have been using this collection of materials on a regular basis for a year. They created a reflective assessment process in which each faculty member verbally presents the work from his or her students and courses, explaining the intended outcomes and how the assignments are designed to teach those outcomes. Then, other faculty give feedback.

In this way, the display provides a space and a process to share ideas and represents the important role of critique in the field of Interior Design. Matthew Melcher, program head for Interior Design, explains, “The culture of invited critique is a vehicle for providing feedback to students—at the same time, it’s a way for faculty to better understand the whole curriculum and to learn new teaching methods from one another.”

Read full post at Office of Assessment of Teaching and Learning.