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Visual Artefact

There are many different types of visual artefacts including posters, illustrated presentations, infographics mindmaps and 
photographic essays. 
  A visual artefact may be produced as a standalone assessment or it may be combined with an essay or project or as part of a group project.  A visual artefact is often considered a ‘real world’ or ‘authentic’ assessment as it can be made available to an audience wider than just the assessor. 

Typically used to…. 

  • assess students' capacity to develop an appropriate visual representation of a response to a problem or concept.  
  • assess students' ability to critique and synthesise information to produce a final artefact.  
  • assess students' creativity and design skills 
  • develop students' digital capabilities (JISC 2021).   

Some of the learning outcomes being assessed through visual artefacts may refer to content and others to visual presentation.  Always check the assessment criteria or rubric to establish what is being assessed.    

Key considerations when using visual artefacts for assessment

Visual artefacts can be particularly engaging for students to produce, whether working on their own or working collaboratively. In a digital context, these can be used as an alternative to a more traditional assessment such as an essay, or to accompany/ extend on a traditional assessment: 

When using visual artefacts as part of your assessment strategy, keep the following points in mind:

  • What is the purpose of the artefact? Is it the most appropriate way to assess student learning outcomes in this instance?
  • Are you intending to use the artefact for formative or summative assessment purposes, or both?
  • What criteria will you use to assess the artefact? How will you assess design/presentation versus content and analysis?
  • Remember that visual artefacts may also be created collaboratively. Consider how you will assess students individually within a collaborative activity.
  • Have you provided students with a rubric? Does the rubric align with the relevant learning outcomes?
  • Will you set requirements regarding tools that students can/should use to develop their artefact? (See relevant tools and technologies listed below.)
  • How will your students submit their artefact? For example will they be required to send/submit the original file to you? Will they need to share a URL to an online artefact? How will they do this?
  • Remember that your students may not have created a visual artefact before. set up or contributed to a wiki before. Check what institutional supports and guides are provided for this and share with your students in advance. Make sure these supports cover
    • technical tasks (e.g. how to access and post to the wiki)
    • academic tasks (e.g. how to critique, synthesise and analyse research etc.)
    • netiquette guidelines (e.g. how to collaboratively create an artefact, how to review/amend a peer’s contributions etc.)
  • Will the artefact be private (where only the student author(s) and lecturer/examiner can view it) or will it be available for public viewing?


Trinity-supported tools:  

MS Powerpoint and Word are accessible via myzone
Gimp and are accessible via mytrinityapps

External tools (unsupported by Trinity):  

A student perspective on visual artefacts


Coming soon

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