Evaluation Report

Please find a word document version here:  Evaluation Report Draft 2

Evaluation Report                       Scott Mcintosh                 The Teaching Artist Module PGCert

My class, ‘Light and Shade’, was an introduction into the decorative art technique of Tromp l’Oeil. Tromp l’Oeil is the painting on a 2-dimensional surface that to the eye appears 3-dimensional. The class, for 2nd year Production Art and Design students explored the theory behind Tromp l’Oeil and its use as part of a Scenic Artist‘s repertoire before applying the knowledge in drawing and painting exercises. In my evaluation of the design and delivery of the class I will be assessing the success of achieving the learning outcomes through feedback from peers, my personal tutor and the learners. I will take into account how to improve on the lesson, why such improvements need to be made and the actions I need to take forward into future lesson design and delivery.

In order to apply my research into Flipped Classrooms I wanted to familiarise the students with the subject matter, context and techniques that they would be using in class prior to the class.  I sent the students three videos from The Art league School, The National Theatre and an Artist Tutorial, each video detailed a different aspect of Tromp l’Oeil. During the exercises in the lesson I drew attention back to the videos in order to transition the student’s ‘knowledge – recalling or recognizing information’ into ‘comprehension – understanding the meaning of the information’ (Bates, p218, 2016).

As I was giving the example of a brush and paint application technique I referred back to The Art League’s video and their unusual technique of applying a layer of clear glaze and then paint, this approach differs from another process with which the students are more familiar. Providing the students with this knowledge prior going into the class placed the student into the ‘Mantle of the Expert’ (Heathcote, 1994) which familiarises them with the subject area and promotes engagement and discussion in the group. As a class we had an in-depth discussion about which application would be best suited for the painting exercise. All of the students tried the new technique in their final exercise and upon feedback and reflection it was revealed that some students preferred the new technique, while others did not. This exercise highlights the importance of an emerging professional to be flexible to different approaches and also be able the critically examine the benefits and drawbacks to each style. In their feedback to the question, “Did you find the videos you viewed prior to coming to this class useful in helping you understand the concepts and techniques used today?”

The students reacted positively saying:

Yes – its good to actually have a visual demonstration rather than just reading something”

“Now I know where to look in the future for examples and explanations”

“Definitely useful in understanding different ways of trompe and understanding colour

I find the last quote very interesting as it refers directly to the video tutorial from an artist’s blog. Initially I wanted to include this video because of its exercise in painting a sphere however upon re-watching the video before I sent it, I realised that the inclusion of colour theory would help the students think about colour theory’s importance in every technique or faux finish they attempt. This has highlighted to me the opportunity to embed learning about a number of different aspects through targeting learning.

Verbal feedback during our post-class discussion brought up that the students would like to have more videos produced in-house, created by myself specifically. They felt that such learning resources relating to their areas of study, using the language, tools and materials they are used to, would compliment the videos currently available from different artistic contexts. A further action for future classes (and production work) would be to create subject or technique specific videos for the students to access prior to class.

By the end of the lesson I wanted my students to be able to evidence the following learning outcomes:

  • A critical understanding of the use of light and shade in order to create a 3-dimensional Tromp l’Oeil effect on a 2-dimensional surface
  • Their ability to control a single paintbrush to produce a variation of line strengths and paint application techniques.
  • Their ability to use a paintbrush from varying distances in order to achieve the consistent results.

 To achieve these outcomes, I designed different exercises to take the students through the stages of ‘knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation’ (Bates, p218, 2016) of the subject area. To achieve the first learning outcome I began by focusing on the theory behind shadows and highlights (detailed in appendix 1). I outlined the historical use of Tromp l’Oeil and its use as a decorative art form, making sure to show picture examples (students were provided with a copy to follow along with) and ask if the students had encountered it before. Observed Tutor feedback stated:

very good printed resources which supported your discussion about the history of the topic, clarifying in a strongly visual way the scope of the subject and what is meant by Trompe L’Oeil painting.”

All the students responded to questions and some even without prompting. I feel the atmosphere, familiar setting and having already touched upon the subject though video tutorials, the students felt able to respond with confidence to my questions. To discuss the subject of the different schools of decorative art (Italian and French) I asked each student to read aloud a paragraph from the Art of Faux by Pierre Finklestein with the instruction to think about which school’s approach might be best applied to Scenic Art. My reasoning behind this choice to ask students to read aloud was to stop the constant stream of my own voice and engage the learners by hearing their peers talk instead. What became apparent to me by doing this exercise was that I had not taken into account that the first language of two of the students was not English and that reading aloud may have made students feel anxious or uncomfortable. The feedback from my tutor pointed out that:

 “Reading aloud without prior warning could have caused a student with dyslexia significant anxiety, even in the small group context, and I wonder whether there were other ways to share this information without putting anyone on the spot.”

Although I am familiar with my students learning needs, I had not considered checking the learning agreements for the students before the class and in this instance one student had recently updated their agreement, to include dyslexia. Upon reflection I think that anxiety about reading out loud may have affected the student’s ability to absorb the information. It was reflected in one student’s feedback, “Don’t make people read out in front of everyone”. My further action is to double-check learning agreements prior to every class and find alternative ways of delivering information such as sending the extract before class or providing an audio version. The VARK model (visual, auditory, read, kinaesthetic) was important to the design of the class activities but I plan to develop future classes to ensure full integration of all learning types and needs.

My next two exercises focused on the application of knowledge. I used a lighting exercise (detailed further in appendix 1, see activities) utilising a ball and a torch to show the shadows and highlights that fall upon a spherical object, using a whiteboard to detail the different aspects. Using the ball created a strong visual reference of how to understand the shadows and highlights. Drawing out the sphere on the white board proved somewhat problematic, as the white board was white, I had drawn the shadows in red and the highlights in green. This was meant to be a reference for the students but on reflection I now realise that it could have proved confusing and it was noted in my tutor feedback. Reading the student’s notebooks later, they all had drawn a monochromatic sphere in pen showing that they were interpreting the visual reference with their own diagram without my prompting.

The student feedback for the theory section was very positive, in response to the question, ‘What about the class did you find useful in helping you understand the process of creating a Tromp l’Oeil image?’ Students fed back:

A practical part and theoretical explanation before, so we can understand why we were doing what we do”

 “Having the explanation of the theory behind [Tromp l’Oeil]”

 “Learning the theory before the exercise really helped”

 “I found the background history useful. Also the way the light falls on the object and what kind of shadows it creates”

  “Content wasn’t too complicated”

 This feedback highlights to me that having completed the daylong lesson, the sections that resonated with the students are the areas they were least familiar with. It is also an information delivery style that they are less used to, but on reading their feedback I can surmise that the change of format made an impact.

I then moved on to a drawing exercise where the students where given a 3D example of a moulding and asked to reproduce the shadows and highlights of the object using charcoal and chalk. The object of this exercise was to put their new knowledge into practice. Feedback from my tutor observed, “I know time was limited here, but I wonder whether an exercise using the sphere might have preceded this slightly more complicated task.” By adding another drawing exercise this would have improved the transition for the students between seeing the example, drawing out the same shape, transferring the learning and knowledge onto a new shape and this would then lead into the main exercise of the day: painting a moulding.

In my original lesson plan there was a mistake in the timings that made it unclear whether the drawing exercise here was planned to take 10 or 20 minutes. Although this difference can be regulated in a daylong session, difficulties may have occurred if time was more limited. The lesson ran over by around 30 minutes, due to more time being spent on the final exercise and our feedback discussion. Being clear with the students about how much time they had remaining is important and it is something I try to promote as good professional practice but, should a teacher sacrifice student engagement to adhere to a pre-determined schedule? I think that there should be a balance and, if time allows, a student could keep working. If they don’t finish in the allotted time, there can be an evaluation about what could be done to make the process faster in the future.

In my tutor feedback it was said that the class was “supportive, calm and encouraging” and that I had “already built up a strong rapport with your learner”. I have worked closely with these students over the last year so a comfortable rapport was easy, one of my actions would be to investigate how to create such an environment in the classroom with students who I have met for the very first time. What could be done to ease them into an unfamiliar classroom and subject area?

The main exercise of the class was to produce two painted Tromp l’Oeil mouldings from profiles given out (see appendix). This exercise would allow the students to put into practice the knowledge and comprehension from the theory whilst evaluating the challenges from the drawing exercise. The completion of the task this would fulfil their first learning outcome. The following two learning outcomes were essential to the production of the mouldings:

  • Their ability to control a single paintbrush to produce a variation of line strengths and paint application techniques. 
  • Their ability to use a paintbrush from varying distances in order to achieve the consistent results

 Before the students began I revisited the brush technique shown in one of the videos. I wanted to ensure the students were understanding the basic technique before starting. I talked about how the pressure of the brush affects line strength and the use of glaze and water softening methods. One part I left unexplained is related to the third learning outcome of working from distance. I wanted the students to problem solve, they knew how to apply paint and the brush technique but how would they apply this to having the painting on the floor while they stood upright. All of the students realised quickly that they needed sticks to elongate their brush reach and a larger straight edge to draw and paint with. They then had to manage their brush control from a distance to achieve the variety of line strength needed. During the lesson many students commented that this technique was easier than being up close, the sense of distance helped them to judge the impact of the painting.

During this exercise I maintained communication and observation with the students throughout, I offered advice and fielded questions regarding their process or their logic. I remained positive and encouraged the students. One student felt the need to paint over her first attempt at protestations from myself. But she learned from the mistakes and after a discussion approached the task by analysing the shadows and highlights on the printout first and used that as a reference sheet. Her second attempt was much better though she had no benchmark from the previous attempt to show how far she had come. Another student struggled with the brush technique and following another demonstration by myself she began to pick it up and was more successful towards the end of the exercise. My peer feedback around this time said,

“The students were continuing with their painting and Scott was offering continual feedback and support…He didn’t teach the skills and then stand back and observe. He continually went round the room checking the students were ok, if they had questions he answered them or he would ask them questions that would lead them to rethink how they were approaching certain stages of the work.”

 I brought all my experience of working with students to realise theatre productions into this class. The object of the PAD course is for the students to complete the work, it is my role to question their decisions and logic, offer demonstrations and ideas and facilitate experimentation and problem solving. I feel I successfully implemented this approach in my lesson.

I feel the students achieved success in all three learning outcomes:

 

  • A critical understanding of the use of light and shade in order to create a 3-dimensional Tromp l’Oeil effect on a 2-dimensional surface

The students completed the drawing task and then the painting exercise using the theory to produce a three dimensional representation of the mouldings given out. Some students struggled at first but all left with an attempt that had the impact and technically correct light and shade of a Tromp l’Oeil image.

  • Their ability to control a single paintbrush to produce a variation of line strengths and paint application techniques. 

 The students all used the paintbrush they were supplied to produce nuanced mark making to represent the curves and angles of the mouldings.

 

  • Their ability to use a paintbrush from varying distances in order to achieve the consistent results. 

 

By the end of the session all of the students had remarked that the technique of painting on the floor using a brush and straight edge from distance was easier than painting up close. Most students are resistant to this technique at first as they fear the lack of control but quite quickly the students master this technique and it is important in their development as a professional.

 Before we discussed their finished Tromp l’Oeil, I gave out a short quiz for the students based around the theory we had discussed at the start of the day. We self-marked the quiz and this was noted in the peer feedback:

 At the end of the session, to test the students’ knowledge and see what had been retained. He asked them to complete the quiz themselves, rather than asking them questions out loud in the group. He then got them all together for a discussion at the end. This worked really well, as they were able to complete the quiz privately and then discuss the answers, rather than comparing each other’s knowledge. It was very informal and a nice touch.”

 It was my intention not to put students on the spot but keep this section informal but with questions that would test what they had learned of the day. There were almost full-marks across the board and the discussion afterwards revealed it was remembering specific terminology that some students had struggled with.

We settled into a circle for a critique of the work and a discussion of the lesson as a whole. I asked the students what they found challenging about the painting exercise and what they found easy. It was interesting to hear that the students are generally quite self-deprecating about their work focusing on their mistakes. I tried to encourage them and point out the success in their work and evaluate what could be done differently in the future. My peer feedback was,

“Scott was very good at listening to each student’s individually and letting them talk, before offering advice or asking them questions which led them to think about what they’d discussed. He didn’t push the conversation in any direction for himself, he was very good and very supportive of their feelings about their work…He talked them through their strengths and areas where they could improve. He also discussed the idea of them having other, similar classes’ out-with production work, and what skills they would like to work on.”

 When we moved on to the discussion of the class as a whole the general feedback was positive on the tutor-led subject specific class. The general consensus was that they would like more time and another longer, more decorative project, this was also reflected by the written feedback. This led us on to a discussion of incorporating masterclasses during the year, written in advance and delivered when the productions have fallen quiet. This would take the form of a theory-based practical day followed by a bigger three-day project. For myself as the tutor delivering the class I was overwhelmed by the feedback and the request for more classes like this.

 Having successfully designed and implementing my lesson plan I have created some further actions for myself as a teaching artist. These are:

  • Always check the learning agreements to ensure I’m supporting all learning types and needs prior to any class
  • Continue to cultivate a safe and engaging learning environment for learners
  • Be aware of time restraints and move the lesson on without compromising the learners journey
  • Produce subject specific video tutorials
  • Develop master classes on core subject’s integral to a Scenic Artist’s skillset

With these actions in mind for future teaching opportunities I feel I am well equipped to deliver engaging and immersive learning experiences that will benefit the emerging professional.

 

Reference:

 

Bates Bob (2016). Learning Theories Simplified London: Sage Publications LTD

Heathcote, D & Bolton, G (1994) Drama for learning: Dorothy Heathcote’s Mantle of the Expert approach to education. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann Press. Heston


 

Appendix 1

 

LESSON PLAN

 

 

CLASS DETAILS (adapt headings in this section to suit your learning / teaching context)

 

Programme / Course Title : Productions Arts and Design
Module/ Project / Topic  Lesson is linked to (if relevant): PA3 Module
Module Aims Lesson is linked to (if relevant): Enable you to analyse and develop intermediate skills and techniques in your major subject and apply them in a practical context.

 

STUDENT DETAILS

 

Student Group: 2nd Year Production Arts and Design (Scenic Art Major)
Level (eg: P5 / S1) or context (Intergenerational.) SCQF Level 9
No. of students in Session 5

 

LEARNING ENVIRONMENT

 

Venue / Room: Wallace Studio Paintshop
Learning Materials / Resources Detailed in the learner teacher section
Equipment Detailed in the learner teacher section
Learning Technologies  

 

LESSON DETAILS/ PLANNED ACTIVITIES:

 

Lesson Title:  
Lesson Learning Outcomes* The verbs used to describe the learning outcome should be appropriate to the level and stage of development of the learners the lesson is for (Use CfE Outcomes / SCQF level descriptors or other Indicators as appropriate).

 

By the end of this session students should be able to:
  1. Evidence a critical understanding of the use of light and shade in order to create a 3-dimensional tromp l’oiel effect on a 2-dimensional surface

 

  1. Evidence their ability to control a single paintbrush to produce a variation of line strengths and paint application techniques. 

 

  1. Evidence their ability to use a paintbrush from varying distances in order to achieve the consistent results. 

 

   
Time Available:  
Notes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Assessment and Feedback

 

Assessment mechanisms –

 

How will you determine the degree to which your learners have reached the learning outcomes for the session?

 

There will be a short quiz at the end of the session that will test if the students have absorbed the information that has been presented to them during the lesson. Observation of practice and verbal communication throughout the lesson will determine whether they are moving towards completing their learning outcomes. Observation and communication once the allotted lesson time has passed will allow the tutor to assess whether they have completed their learning outcomes.

 

 

Feedback mechanisms –

 

How will you share your observations with your learners about the degree to which they have reached the learning outcomes of the session?

 

Verbal discussion taking the form of a critical analysis with the rest of the class.

 

 

How will you gather feedback from your learners about their experience of the session?

 

Feedback sheet to be filled out and returned at the end of the lesson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Teacher Activity Learners Activity Resources Required/ Notes Suggested Timing  
Introduction

A brief introduction by the tutor into what the students will be working on during the day’s lesson. A discussion on the origins of Tromp l’Oeil, the two different schools of decorative arts, its use for us as scenic artists and examples and contexts of it being used.  Handouts of painted Tromp l’Oeil examples, real examples and a “work up sheet” (this is a table that records the student’s method so it can be replicated if needed at a future time).

 

 

The students will be sitting listening and responding to questions asked by the tutor

Handouts

 

 

Start time: 9.30

 

5mins

(9.35am)

 
Lighting Exercise

 

A model box with an adaptable light source is used to cast shadow and light on a variety of objects. This displays the effect of light on objects and the space around. Discussion of form shadows, cast shadows, halftones and accents.

 

 

The students view the object in the model box.

Model box

Light source

 

Variety of objects:

Ball

Scaffold bar

Paper

 

Objects must fit into model box

15mins

(9.50am)

 
Drawing exercise

The tutor leads an example of how to draw out a simple molding and instructs the students to use charcoal and chalk to identify the shadows and highlights. The tutor facilitates them through the process.

 

The students are given out the molding and begin their task. Questions and discussion may be asked at any time during the exercise

Paper

Charcoal

Chalk

Ruler

Pencil

20 min

(10.00am)

 
 

Moldings Example

The moldings are then put into the light box to display how it reacts under light and the comparison between their sketch and the physical object

 

 

 

The students can view the comparison to their drawings

Molding

Model Box

Light source

5 min

(10.05am)

 
Physical Example

The tutor leads a demonstration of the brush stroke technique using a meter stick as a support to achieve straight lines.

 

Also a demonstration of the softening methods using a “slip glaze” (as used in the video tutorial sent to the students) and using a wet brush.

 

*Important* The students must not be show the technique for painting using the same brush on the floor, they know that one molding must be painted from a distance but not how, they should explore this by themselves.

 

Students look on and can engage on the different techniques and the benefits and drawbacks to both.

One Inch Purdy

Meter Stick

Example board

 

Discussion on the benefits of using the meter stick, what problems may arise during the exercise.

15 mins

(10.20am)

 

 
Moldings handed out to students

Each student chooses at random a molding that they must replicate on their boards.

 

Each molding comes with instructions:

–       They will either say “Floor/Upright” or “Upright/Floor” this denotes what orientation they must complete first

–       They must achieve this tromp effect using one brush and display a variety of line strength

–       The painted molding must be monochromatic

 

 

 

Students receive their moldings and can discuss what approach they will be taking to painting on the floor and upright.

Moldings examples.

 

Boards are pre prepared by the students at a previous time.

5 mins

(10.25am)

 

 
Materials & Equipment discussion

The students are given five pots each for the following contents:

 

 

–       Emulsion matt glaze

–       White emulsion paint

–       Black emulsion paint

–       Water

–       The last is empty and is for mixing.

 

The students are then given the following equipment

 

–       Meter stick

–       Pencil

–       Measuring tape

–       Charcoal/ chalk

–       One inch Purdy

–       Bamboo stick

–       Masking tape

 

 

The students can begin to gather the equipment and formulate the process with a discussion with the tutor.

 

 

See activity

 

Question the students about what they may use as equipment before they are given anything. They may request alternative equipment and can be given anything they like, except they must only use the one inch Purdy.

 

10 mins

(10.35am)

 

 
Students commence prep work

 

The students are instructed to prep their boards.

 

 

 

The students prep their boards

Boards

 

25 mins

(11.00am)

 

 
BREAK     15 mins

(11.15am)

 
Students work through painting the Tromp l’Oeil molding from the reference given to them

 

The tutor must facilitate the students through this section, questioning their process and observing their technique and offering advice where needed or requested.

 

The tutor must facilitate the students through this section, questioning their process and observing their technique and offering advice where needed or requested.

 

See materials and activity section Lunch Break at 1pm for 1 hour, students work commences after works until 3pm  
Clear up

 

    10mins

(3.10pm)

 
Pop Quiz

A quick pop quiz with 5 questions on what they have learned today.

 

The students work through he pop quiz and mark their own papers

Pop Quiz sheet

Pens

10mins

(3.20pm)

 
Critical discussion on their work

 

The tutor facilitates the critical discussion asking the students questions on how they approached the task and what they found challenging or enjoyable.

 

The students then individually present their work to the class and reflect on what they found challenging or easy about the process. The other students can offer their own thoughts on their peers’ work.

 

  10mins

(3.30pm)

 
Links to further research

A handout is given out featuring links to websites, videos and further reading on books featured on the RCS Scenic Art reading list.

 

  Further Research Handout 5mins

(3.35pm)

 
Fill out Feedback sheets

Feedback sheets handed out to be filled out. The tutor encourages the students to be honest and constructive in their feedback

 

Feedback sheets to be filled out.

Feedback sheets

 

Pens

 

 

5mins

(3.40pm)

 

 

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