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Interpreting and Using Subject Benchmarks in Art & Design

Abstract:The paper begins with an overview of the changing remit and constituency of the Art & Design Benchmark Statement and its strengths and weaknesses in this regard.
The appropriateness of the Statement is evaluated through a mapping exercise for a mainstream subject area within art & design - graphic communication. Since the generalised, flexible approach of the Art and Design Benchmark makes the mapping exercises uncontentious, this section is brief, serving mainly as an endorsement of the appropriateness and acceptability of the Statement.
The paper then considers the more complex proposed function of the Benchmark as a ‘prompt for self-critical reflection and further development’ (Jackson, 2001). This section is informed by a series of interviews with full-time and part-time academic staff on a Graphic Communication degree programme.
The conclusion briefly considers ways in which engagement with and usage of the Benchmark Statement might be encouraged within the traditionally autonomous sector of art and design.
The focus throughout has been on the Art & Design Benchmark Statement.

Author Information: Ruth Dineen in Course Director at Cardiff School of Art & Design, University of Wales. She is also a member of the BA Graphic Communication course team and the ILT She has taught at HE level for 18 years and had overall responsibility for the design and initial implementation of the current BA degree course, and a previous one-year top-up BA in Graphic Communication.

Date: February 2003

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