Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Industrial Education and Technology

First Advisor

John N. Riley


Evaluation is a vital part of any educational activity. A valid evaluation method can reflect the truly important outcomes of educational instruction. In visual arts and communication, the roles and function of evaluation are unclear. There is a lack of sufficient consideration concerning the appropriate method to evaluate student work. The purpose of this study was to compare the judgments of student and professional evaluators when evaluating graphic design projects by using structured and non-structured evaluation methods. A comparison was also made between the judgments of student and professional evaluators employing the same method;Two instruments were developed and validated by a knowledgeable panel of experts, and then pilot-tested prior to being utilized. The instruments were then used to evaluate 10 posters emphasizing typographic design. A simple evaluation form was used for the non-structured method whereas an evaluation matrix was used for the structured method;The population of the study was comprised of evaluators in central Iowa including college teachers, graphic designers, graduate students, and college students. The evaluation instruments were used by 32 student evaluators and 20 professional evaluators to examine 10 posters. A total of 520 (100%) usable evaluation results were returned;The major findings of the study were: (a) significant differences were found between structured and non-structured methods, the rating scores of the structured method were lower than using the non-structured method, and standard deviations of the structured method were larger than the non-structured method; (b) significant differences were found between student and professional evaluators using the structured method while no significant differences were found using the non-structured method, and professional evaluators gave higher scores than did student evaluators using structured and non-structured methods; (c) no significant differences were found between structured and non-structured methods by professional evaluators, although, significant differences were found by student evaluators; (d) the relationship between subscores and total score was found to be highly correlated when both student and professional evaluators used the structured method;Recommendations for teachers and students were: (a) the structured method is strongly suggested for use when evaluating graphic design projects; (b) the structured method helps inexperienced teachers to establish confidence and gain experience in instruction; and (c) the structured method helps students to achieve the requirements and to enhance the judgment of the quality of design work. Recommendations for further study were: (a) research should be conducted to explore the structured method in detail (e.g., ranking and weight); (b) an investigation should be conducted to ascertain whether the whole of a work is greater than the sum of its parts; and (c) an investigation should be established to gather different perceptions of judgment between professional and student evaluators.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Jen Yen



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

136 pages