Self-assessment platform for technical skills in art and design

August 2022 to October 2023

Leading institutions: HEAD – Genève, ECAL
Project leaders: Anthony Masure (HEAD – Genève) & Vincent Jacquier (ECAL)
Financing: HES-SO, in the framework of the call for participation on "teaching in the digital age

The acceleration of the adoption of technologies generated by the Covid-19 crisis has reinforced the practices of self-learning of technical know-how. In the "Design and Visual Arts" (DAV) field at the HES-SO, more and more tutorials and online resources are complementing, competing with or even replacing the basic training courses. This know-how can first of all be of a software nature, with the specificity that a dominant player, Adobe, is hegemonic in the VLD field1. If, as media theorist Lev Manovich says, "software is the energy of the 20th century," then mastering this technical ecosystem is crucial to the "employability" of the DAV student body. In addition to software, there are other important sector-specific technical skills, such as printing (machines, screens, color profiles, resolution, etc.) and hardware (connections, storage, etc.).

The increasing amount of technical know-how - and all the other things that need to be passed on (culture, inventiveness, project management, etc.) - means that there is very little time in basic training to address them and to measure their mastery. As the emphasis is on the definition of projects, their realization and their valorization, a student in the VAD field can validate a training course while having blatant deficiencies in terms of technical skills - deficiencies that will later be unfavorable in the professional field. In addition to this lack of time, there is a concern for self-evaluation.

We propose to set up an open source online self-evaluation platform to measure the technical know-how of the student body and teaching staff in the "Design and Visual Arts" field of the HES-SO - with, in the first instance, a focus on those in the "Visual Communication" field, which is present in the two schools, the ECAL and the HEAD.

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