Ewa Berg, Kajsa Lindskog, Helena Malm, Margareta Melin, Gunnel Pettersson, and Bjørn Wangen: Risking Quality Assessments. An Analysis of Assessment Criteria for Arts-Based Assignments

Welcome to a seminar on assessing arts-based examinations. It will be held by a group of researchers from two teaching environments at Malmö University: The School of Arts and Communication (K3), and Culture, Language and Media (KSM) at the Faculty of Education and Society. The teachers holding the seminar are Ewa Berg, Kajsa Lindskog, Helena Malm, Margareta Melin, Gunnel Pettersson, and Bjørn Wangen. Dennis Augustsson and Håkan Magnusson have also participated in the project but will not be present at the presentation. The title of the seminar is:

Risking Quality Assessments. An Analysis of Assessment Criteria for Arts-Based Assignments

It will be held on Wednesday, October 25, at 10.15-12.00 in room NIC 0541 (K3 Open Studio in Niagara).

Below you can find an abstract for the talk;

Conceptions of the aesthetic are multifaceted, associated with taste and the sensual, and elusive beyond words. The aesthetic is often seen as the absolute opposite of scientific facts. And yet, it has found its way into academic institutions, other than art-schools and conservatoires. In tertiary education everything is assessed and assessments are constructed along alignments. In this context, also arts-based courses and modules, which use aesthetics and arts-practices as learning modes, need to align course outcomes with syllabus with assessment criteria. And formulating assessment criteria of arts-based examinations could be difficult. It is in this context this paper is written, based on a two-year research project with the aim of analysing and problematizing arts-based assessment criteria. In this paper we want to present and discuss the main results of the project.

The project Arts-based Assessments, involves eight senior/lecturers from two departments in two faculties (K3 and KSM: Culture, Language and Media). We have all have worked together to analyse assessment criteria (both from home-departments at Malmö University and from Swedish Academies of Art and Crafts) used in courses based on arts-based examinations, and with aesthetics as underlying criteria. Particularly useful have been the cross-analysis, i.e. KSM-staff has analysed K3-courses and vice-versa. This way we have brought into light what is so natural to us in our every-day work.

Theoretically, Taguchi’s (2013) concepts pedagogic documentation and active agents, Biggs’ (2007) notion of knowledge creation through art, and Selander and Kress’ (2010) concept didactic design have been used to frame our discussion.

The empirical part of the paper starts off with the main result of our analysis. We give three examples where we found concepts and/or practices that reveal particular stories of knowledge. The first of these is that of risk-taking, which we discuss both in the sense of assessing how students take risks as a measure of quality in arts-based projects, but also how we as lectures take risks in assessment processes. The example we give is a module at the end of the art-teacher course, where the assignment (an arts-based project) is assessed through criteria students construct themselves.

The second story involves the risk-taking (or lack thereof) of assessing aesthetic qualities. In non-art schools, but where arts and design are taught, there are discussions going on of whether to assess aesthetic qualities or not. This is clearly reflected in our research material. Examples from a Media Studies course is given, where arts-based learning-activites and assessments are used in a traditionally “theoretical” module.

The third example is also touching on risk-taking, as it entails experimenting and playing as way of knowledge making. With examples from a Stage Design course we discuss the im/possibilities of assessing knowledge creation through art, and how pre-school pedagogy can be useful in arts-based university assignments.

The paper concludes with a discussion of the possibilities of assessing aesthetic qualities. We argue that it is indeed not only possible, but also desirable. It is evident that multi-modal/arts-based forms of learning-activities enable multi-faceted knowledge-making beyond the traditional reading-and-writing. But choosing this involves risk-taking for both staff and students. All assessment criteria are however subject to interpretation and it is better to put words on paper than to hide evaluative notions in-between the lines in a pretence objectivity. This suggests the need for transparency in the assessment process, e.g. through peer-reviewing techniques and through letting students construct criteria together with the lecturer. There are words for the elusive, and it is better to put words on paper than to hide evaluative notions in-between the lines in a pretence objectivity.

Magnus Persson och Petra Ragnerstam: Om metodologiska utmaningar inom humaniora

Welcome to a seminar with Magnus Persson, Professor of Comparative Literature, Faculty of Education and Society, and Petra Ragnerstam, Senior Lecturer in English Studies, K3. It will be held at Thursday, October 12, at 15.15-17.00 in Room NIC 0541 (K3 Open Studio) in Niagara. The seminar is organized as a collaboration between K3 and the Post-Graduate Study Program in Swedish and Didactics (SMDI) at the Faculty of Education and Society. The title of the seminar is:

Om metodologiska utmaningar inom humaniora. The seminar will be held in Swedish.

Here follows an introduction to the seminar:

Planen för seminariet är att läsa tre texter ur boken Humanister i Fält, och diskutera problem, utmaningar och fördelar med dessa metodologiska angreppssätt. Deltagare kan naturligtvis även läsa fler texter ur boken. Tanken är också att vi utgår från, och därmed också presenterar, vår egen forskning och diskuterar de metodologiska problem och utmaningar vi stöter på där.

Texter att ha läst ur Humanister i Fält:

Förord (sid 7-9)

Christian Lenemark: Att studera litterära värdeförhandlingar – en litteraturetnografisk ansats (sid 11-22)

Lisbeth Larsson Att promenera Virginia Woolfs författarskap (sid 39-47)

Boken finns att läsa online: http://libris.kb.se/bib/19790554

Peter Parker and Staffan Schmidt: Enabling Urban Commons

Welcome to a seminar with Peter Parker, Senior Lecturer in Urban Studies and Staffan Schmidt, Senior Lecturer in Design in Theory and Practice, both at Malmö University. The title of their seminar is:

Enabling Urban Commons

It will take place on Wednesday, October 4, at 10.15-12.00 in room NIC 0541 (K3 Open Studio) in Niagara.

Below you can find an abstract for their talk:

An increasing interest in commons has generated a rich literature related to co- and participatory design (PD). Besides providing examples, cases and methods, this literature often displays interpretations that are recognisably engaged and political in which commons have acquired an additional symbolic value. In some cases this symbolic value propels more ambitious narratives in which other, post-industrial/post-collapse futures or utopian societal forms are prototyped or infrastructured. Although this literature highlights an important connection between collaborative design and collaborative governance, we hold that the conception of commons underpinning some of these efforts is not fully relevant in contemporary urban contexts. In the following article we describe the practical and normative issues raised by transferring the concept of commons to a contemporary urban setting. We critique aspects of how the concept has been invoked in Co-Design and PD but also seek to demonstrate how it may be applied constructively, paying due attention to both network and subtractive effects of shared resources and acknowledging interrelations with the public sector.

Presentation of new PhD students in Interaction Design, and in Media and Communication Studies

Welcome to a K3 seminar with K3s four new PhD students in Interaction Design and in Media and Communication Studies:

Marika Hedemyr, PhD student in Interaction Design

Therese Hellberg, PhD student in Media and Communication Studies

Alicia Smedberg, PhD student in Interaction Design

Veera Virmasalo, PhD student in Media and Communication Studies

At the seminar, they will talk about their experiences before coming to K3, and they will talk about their PhD plans.

The seminar will take on Wednesday, September 20 at 10.15-12.00 in room NIC 0826, Niagara.

Maria Hellström Reimer: Park Politics – Environmentalities, Eco-Aesthetics, and Green Mobilization

Welcome to a K3 seminar with Maria Hellström Reimer, Professor of Design in Theory and Practice at K3. The title of her talk is:

Park Politics – Environmentalities, Eco-Aesthetics, and Green Mobilization

It will be held on Wednesday, September 13, at 10.15-12.00 room NIB 0501 in Niagara.

Below you can find an abstract for the talk:

Park Politics is a project focusing on urban public parks as aesthetically, politically, and ethically multidimensional, thereto from a climate perspective increasingly urgent, public spaces. The project identifies a number of controversial situations, where the park unfolds as a border phenomenon. Through experimental mapping and artistic/participatory interventions, the aim is to contribute to an aesthetic-political theorizing of contemporary ‘green’ urban forms of government and eco-mobilization. While the park in the modern city was legitimized with reference to its naturally recreational function, its contemporary role is rather that of a more or less disputed projection surface for different green and blue governmentalities or environmentalities. The theoretical assumption is that mentalities always rest on aesthetic grounds, in other words constitute aesthetically formed, and socially formative, experiential foundations or worldviews, which are expressed not only in the design of new environments but also in the managing and evaluation of existing areas. In relation to increasingly strained climate politics, urban public parks have come to occupy a symbolic and strategic position, idealized and mythologized, but also presenting an urban ‘elsewhere,’ to a certain extent excepted from strict urban rationality. The question raised therefore concerns the different performances of the park, as green capital, as a materialization of environmentalities and as a site for the mobilizing of alternative ‘cosmologies.’

September 6. Sreejata Roy: Dialogue

Visual artist Sreejata Roy is currently the Malmö studio grant holder for IASPIS (the Swedish Arts Grants Committee’s International Programme for Visual and Applied Artists), and K3 is the host for her stay (she will be here September to November). At this K3 seminar she will give an introduction to her work. It will be held on Wednesday, September 6 at 16.15-18.00 in Room NIC 0425 (in Niagara). The title of the talk is Dialogue.

During her MPhil studies in media art at the Coventry School of Art and Design, UK (2001-05), Sreejata Roy evolved a culturally embedded personal art practice within her larger investigation of socio-cultural issues via oral history and ethnography, the narration of daily life, and the formation of subjectivity. She initially logged her observations in a diary. These notations – sometimes dense and analytical, at other times fragmented marginalia – functioned as core material for reflection and later articulation of her core interests through various interlinked media forms and formats.

Sreejata Roy’s present practice involves working with young people through a variety of forms of art practices. Inspecting everyday freedom through the lens of gendered identities in the urban village of Khirki, New Delhi, together with the artist Mrityunjay Chatterjee Roy has embarked on a year long project called Network & Neighborhoods. Their initiative focusses on empowering young women from the Khirkee and Hauz Rani neighborhoods to re-claim public spaces. The practice of active listening is at the core of their dialogic method.

Read more about the project here:


Read her reflections on the gaze and public art here:


Raiford Guins: Atari Modern. A Design History of Atari’s Coin-Op Machines, 1972 – 1979

Welcome to the first K3 seminar of the season. It will be held by Raiford Guins, professor in Cinema and Media Studies at Indiana University. It will be held on Monday, September 4, at 14.45-16.00 in Room NIC 0541 in Niagara (the K3 Open Studio).

The title of the talk is: Atari Modern: A Design History of Atari’s Coin-Op Machines, 1972 – 1979

 Raiford Guins is Professor of Cinema and Media Studies in The Media School, Indiana University. He edits MIT University Press’s “Game Histories” book series with Henry Lowood and is in the early stages of developing a new journal devoted to the critical historical study of games entitled ROMchip: A Journal of Game History. He is the author of Game After: A Cultural Study of Video Game Afterlife (MIT Press, 2014).

Abstract for the talk:

What is the research process behind the publication of an academic book? Where does one’s research questions come from? How does one decide on a particular method? Where does actual research occur? To address questions such as these, I will share my process of writing my next book, Atari Modern: A Design History of Atari’s Coin-Ops, 1972 – 1979.  

This “behind the scenes”, informal talk, will present the visualization of my historical actors and research terrain as well as demonstrate the strategic use of “problem revealing things” to craft the book’s introduction. The aim of the talk is to materialize a process that is usually obscured in the final product of a published book.

Anna Seravalli, Anders Emilson and Micke Svedemar: Coproduction. Partnership and collaboration with external actors in education and research

Welcome to the next K3 seminar. It will be held by Anna Seravalli senior lecturer in Product Design, Anders Emilsson, senior lecturer in Interaction Design, and Micke Svedemar, lecturer in Interaction Design, Wednesday, May 24, at 10.15-12.00 in The Open Studio on the fifth floor of Niagara (Room NIC 0541)  

In this seminar/workshop they will discuss “samverkan” and how to create and maintain strategic partnership and/or tight collaborations with external actors. They will depart from some K3-projects and discuss pros and cons and how to support each other in establishing, navigating and maintaining partnerships to co-create knowledge and education together with non-academic actors.

The long term goal is to create an understanding for how coproduction/collaboration/ co-operation is evaluated.


Rough plan for the workshop

  1. Short background
  2. Some examples of “K3-samverkan”
  • ReTuren
  • Student projects with external partners (stakeholders).
  • Do you have any cases you want to share with us in the workshop – please send in advance a mail to Micke Svedemar so he can fit it in to the plan.    
  1. Round table discussion:
  • What is coproduction/collaboration/ co-operation (samverkan) at K3?
  • Why do we need “samverkan” (for researchers and lecturers, for students)?
  • How do we assess quality when working with “samverkan” (example of topics)
    • For who do we assess the quality
    • Which are our quality variables
    • Who are included when assessing the quality
    • How do we ensure that we not only judge what is easy to measure
    • How do we share with each other at K3 what happens in samverkan
  • Summary