What happens when design feedback moves across the digital divide?

Coralie McCORMACK / Mary-Jane TAYLOR
2008 Conference

Critique in visual communication education is critical to the knowledge construction and learning associated with creative project outcomes.

The spoken studio design critique, is a firmly established practice within the design learning and teaching environments. The critique in the design education setting builds knowledge by focusing on concept clarification, and developing critical discernment and professional dialogue and presentation skills. The design education process to create visual communication outcomes is traditionally supported by the spoken critique as the primary form of feedback.

Recently, it has been suggested that this universal model of the spoken face-to-face design critique has become stuck within historical boundaries. Students and teachers report that spoken design feedback remains a weak component within creative education and a strong dissatisfaction within art, architecture and design education.

What happens if we move out of the traditions of face-to-face spoken design critique and cross the divide to a model of contemporary visual communication education, to digital delivery of spoken feedback? Preliminary findings suggest the advantages of the delivery of feedback via the internet as prerecorded mp3s outweighed the disadvantages and supports the learning preferences of the m-learning generation.

My doctoral thesis research entitled ‘Creative critique in contemporary visual communication education: effective spoken feedback on design projects using emerging interactive mobile technologies’, will investigate the value of this boundary crossing. The presentation will expand on the preliminary findings and research approach, and seek feedback on the value of this boundary crossing.

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About the author

Dr Coralie McCormack is a Senior Lecturer in the Centre for the Enhancement of Learning, Teaching and Scholarship at the University of Canberra, specialising in postgraduate research supervision, mentoring, evaluation of learning and teaching and narrative approaches to teaching and research.


Mary-Jane Taylor is a Senior Lecturer in the Bachelor of Graphic Design course, Faculty of Design and Creative Practice, at the University of Canberra. Mary-Jane teaches both undergraduate and postgraduate students in graphic design and convenes the senior year in graphic design and the Bachelor of Graphic Design course. She is currently enrolled in a PhD Education at the University of Wollongong focusing on digital delivery of spoken feedback, titled ‘Creative critique in contemporary visual communication education: effective spoken feedback on design projects using interactive mobile technologies’.