Thinkering Studio - Critique Session


General Process
  • If just starting, describe the critiquing process and motive. Help students to understand that the overall short term objective of a critique is improvement of the work and over time the students' habits of mind.
  • Student(s) present their work process and product AND/OR classmates are given time to observe/read/interact with the project
    • What was their challenge/question/problem?
    • How did they go about the project?
    • What was successful for them, what didn't work as well, and why?
    • What decisions were made throughout the project? How did they affect the project? Were they successful or not? Why? How would the project have been affected if different decisions were made?
    • How will they modify what they are doing? Or, what would they do differently next time?
  • Classmates and teacher ask questions about the process/product
    • Clarifying questions (see Commenting page) - Do not stay confused; ask for clarification. Do not read between the lines; ask for clarification.
    • Probing Questions (see Commenting page)
    • I wonder ... questions
    • See Reflection Prompts
  • Classmates and teacher comment on the process/product
    • Students should be sincere and helpful
    • See Commenting
    • See Rubric
    • What was successful, what was not, and why you think that. (For both process and product.) Or, what strengths did you observe that they can build on?
    • Did the student step out of their typical habits/comfort zone?
    • What could be taken away (what is extraneous)? What might help if added?
    • What Habits of Mind were exemplified? Which could be worked on? What way of being are they developing?
    • "Ask if the project is: Beautiful, Thoughtful, Personally meaningful, Sophisticated, Shareable with a respect for the audience, Moving, Enduring." Martinez & Stager
    • Talk to each other, not just the person who's project is being critiqued
  • Student closes the session (summarizing what they heard, things they learned about themselves or their project, or ideas for moving forward)

Questions/Comments
  • Should critiques be used primarily for formative feedback? What if it is summative for the current project if the project was just finished, though that feedback might prove formative for future projects?
  • How formal or informal should the critiques be? How often should they happen? At what point do they diminish the time students need to "make" too much compared to what positive they offer? Will they get faster over time?
  • If using multiple critiques, individual sessions could focus on process or product or particular aspects of either. Narrowing the focus can help students provide more specific feedback
  • Are some students more comfortable with online critiques or face-to-face critiques? Should we strive to make them comfortable with both? Is either a better starting place? Could the methods be combined at the same time, to create a record of the comments and questions? Sometimes it is hard for the person presenting to take in what is being offered.
  • How often should these be conducted? How long should they last? Should they be done whole class or in smaller groups (advisory groups or support triads)? What about one on one sessions with the teacher?
  • In classes that continue with different grade levels each year, could this process be sequenced?
  • Should the session(s) be led by the students, by the teacher, or ...?
  • What about integrating the Six Thinking Hats?
  • Teacher can model the process of reflecting on projects or questioning
  • Critiquing multiple projects together can help students compare and contrast with others' processes and products

Resources