Dean of Learning, Teaching and Enhancement and Professor in Creative Practice Pedagogy
University of the Arts London
University of the Arts London
Professor Susan Orr is Dean at University of the Arts London. Prior to this, Susan was an Assistant Dean for the Faculty of Arts, Computing, Engineering and Sciences at Sheffield Hallam University. Susan has recently been appointed as a Visiting Professor at Bournemouth University (Centre for Excellence in Media Practice).
Susan studied at University College London and completed a Doctor of Education at the University of London’s Institute of Education. Her thesis Making Marks: the Artful Practice of Assessment in Fine Art explored fine art lecturers’ studio based assessment practices. She has written extensively on the subject of art and design assessment and her more recent work explores various aspects of art and design pedagogy in higher education. Susan is editor for the journal Art, Design and Communication in Higher Education, and on the editorial board of three further journals: Teaching in Higher Education, Writing in Creative Practice and Media Education Research Journal.
Susan is on the Executive of CHEAD (Council for Higher Education in Art and Design) and GLAD (Group for Learning in Art and Design). In 2010, Susan was awarded a Higher Education Academy National Teaching Fellowship. This was awarded in recognition of her teaching, leadership, research and contribution to art and design HE pedagogy.
Art and Design teaching and learning, creative practice pedagogy, Higher Education, assessment, collaborative assessment.
My doctoral research grew out of my interest in communities of practice in fine art education. I noted that attention was often given to the artefacts of assessment (the learning outcomes and marking criteria) at the expense of understanding or addressing the ways these reified elements were used in practice. As a result, my work offers a close analysis of the assessment practices as lived by its key actors (lecturers and students).
Working from a social constructivist perspective and employing Bourdieu’s work as a theoretical lens I explore narratives of subjectivity and objectivity. My research identifies that lecturers’ assessment discourses interlock and enmesh narratives of identity, process, product and connoisseurship. I offer an account of assessment rigour in Fine Art assessment.
More recently my interests have widened in scope and I have researched the assessment of creative collaborative group work, the role of reflection in creative practice education and the problematics of the National Student Survey in Art and Design. I have collaborated with Professor Mantz Yorke, Professor Sue Bloxham and others. Underpinning my work is a commitment to researching the pedagogy of ambiguity that lies of the heart of art and design education in HE.
Orr, Susan (2016) Editorial. Art Design and Communication in Higher Education, 15 (2). ISSN 1474273X
Orr, Susan (2015) Editorial. Art, Design & Communication in Higher Education, 14 (1). pp. 3-5. ISSN 1474-273X
Roth, Cara Lee and Orr, Susan and Mills, Katie and Johnston, Amanda and Hanceri, Ellen and Caldwell, Cath (2015) CHEAD Regional Seminar: What is the Point of Employability in Art and Design? Discussion Paper. Council for Higher Education in Art & Design.
Orr, Susan and McDougall, Julian (2014) Enquiry into Learning and Teaching in Arts and Creative Practice. In: Teaching and Learning in Higher Education: Disciplinary Approaches to Educational Enquiry. Sage, London. ISBN 9781446254639
Orr, Susan and Yorke, Mantz and Blair, Bernadette (2014) ‘The answer is brought about from within you’: a student-centred perspective on pedagogy in art and design. International Journal of Art and Design Education Special Issue: Curriculum and Pedagogy, 33 (1). pp. 32-45.
Orr, Susan and Bloxham, Sue (2013) Making judgements about students making work: Lecturers’ assessment practices in art and design. Arts and Humanities in Higher Education, 12 (2-3). pp. 234-253. ISSN 1474-0222
Yorke, Mantz and Orr, Susan and Blair, Bernadette (2013) Hit by a perfect storm? Art & Design in the National Student Survey. Studies in Higher Education.
Orr, Susan and Ball, Simon and Bew, Carolyn and Bloxham, Sue and Brown, Sally and Kleiman, Paul and May, Helen and McDowell, Liz and Morris, Erica and Payne, Elaine and Price, Margaret and Rust, Chris and Smith, Brenda and Waterfield, Judith, Higher Education Academy (2012) A Marked Improvement: transforming assessment in higher education.
Orr, Susan (2011) Being an artist you kind of, I mean, you get used to excellence’: Identity, Values and Fine Art Assessment Practices. International Journal of Art & Design Education, 30 (1). pp. 37-44. ISSN 1476-8062
Blair, Bernadette and Orr, Susan and Yorke, Mantz (2011) How art and design students understand and interpret the National Student Survey. Project Report. Higher Education Academy, HEA Website.