Student Progress Reports

Final Crit

This week I’m writing student progress reports for my freshman students at RISD.   I always write the reports within a week after final reviews; if I wait any longer, my thoughts aren’t quite as crisp and I have a harder time being specific in the reports.

I had 40 students this semester, so writing these reports is very time consuming. I can’t write the reports in one sitting either, I have to spread out the writing over several days so I can come back and revise the reports with a fresh eye.  I try to be succinct, but once I start writing, I find that there is so much to say.  This approach takes more time, but I think it’s important to explain things thoroughly to make sure that the report is coherent.

I also understand how meaningful these reports are for the students.  I know this because I was a RISD student once, and I vividly remember the tremendous impact these reports had on me.  Reading the reports cemented my progress, and provided a sense of accomplishment that made all of the late nights worth it.

Today I unearthed my own student progress reports from when I was a student at RISD. The reports shown below were written by Fred Lynch, Alba Corrado, and Fritz Drury, all of whom are now my colleagues.

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I was petrified of Alba Corrado when I met her the spring semester of my freshman year in 1995. Her teaching methods and assignments were vastly different than what I had experienced in my 3D class in the previous semester. I was terribly worried that I wasn’t equipped with the technical skills and thinking strategies necessary to surviving in her class. Alba revolutionized my thought process and understanding of 3D concepts. Eventually, I discovered that she was a brilliant teacher who was also a lovely person.

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When I took Fred Lynch’s class over Wintersession in 1996, I was a complete wreck. I had a miserable experience in the fall semester of my sophomore year, and decided to switch into the Illustration department. Fred’s class was the one requirement that I had to make up in order to change majors.  I had no idea what to expect, and at the time, I didn’t even really know what illustration was. I didn’t feel confident about switching majors either.  A friend of mine switched and I followed him because I didn’t know what else to do. Fred’s class turned out to be a pivotal moment in my time at RISD.  His class was refreshing, exciting and highly stimulating.  I didn’t know that group crits could be so challenging, and yet have me laughing throughout.  I couldn’t have asked for a smoother, more inspiring transition into the Illustration department.

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Fritz Drury’s class was my first drawing class in the Illustration department in the spring semester of my sophomore year. After taking Fred Lynch’s class over Wintersession, I was all revved up and ready to go.  Fritz’s class fulfilled every creative craving I had.  I couldn’t wait to get started on my homework assignments, and class sessions fostered a new level of engagement with my work. I knew then that I was finally in the right place.


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One thought on “Student Progress Reports

  1. I appreciate the time you put in to your reviews. I revived a unnecessary review after graduation at RI SD that stated I would not succeed in the visual field and was quite distraught by poorly chosen words. Your attention to little things as such can make a dramatic change on a students life. Thank you.

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