Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation

Spring 2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


School of Art, Design and Art History


Abstract This study investigates the incorporation of the visual journal as a learning tool within the art curriculum to understand how it contributes to students’ perception of themselves as artists, students’ understanding of art content, and how it can be used as a source of formative and summative assessment of student growth over time. This study was conducted with a control and a test group. Each group participated in the creation of visual journal pages throughout the course of one semester. However, the test group received additional information on visual journal artists and techniques as well as daily time to work within their journals and weekly enrichment activities. Data is collected through pre-, mid-, and post-instruction artist surveys, visual journal assessment pages, student self-reflection, and teacher observations. Students were classified into one of five artist categories in two ways: 1) through the artist survey and 2) through scores earned from the instructor for the visual journal assessment pages. This classification occurred at pre-, mid-, and post-instruction assessment times. The results indicated that students benefitted at a personal level as well as an artistic level with the use of the visual journal, however there seemed to be no correlation between the visual journal, the enrichment activities, and the students’ perception of themselves as an artist. The visual journal was found to be a great source of authentic assessment and allowed the instructor to assess the things that are most important in a visual arts classroom: student thought processes, perception, progress in technical skills, mastery of media, creative problem solving, out of the box thinking, and risk taking.



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