University of Notre Dame

Round 3 augments traditional in-class critique, documents process and models the modern work environment.

Professor Anne H. Berry piloted Round3 in her Fall 2015 Visual Communication Design II: Typography course at the University of Notre Dame as an alternative way to engage students in the critique process outside of regular class time. Typically, during critiques in design courses, students pin their work on boards and instructors lead group discussions that evaluate successful work and areas for improvement.

Professor Berry noticed two major challenges with the traditional critique model, however. First, in larger groups, a few students dominate the conversation while others sit back and disengage when their work is not the topic of discussion. Second, time constraints make it hard to properly critique each student’s work. A three-hour studio session that spends 15 minutes per student can only accommodate 12 students during class time. This means several students are left with rushed feedback or don’t receive the peer review necessary for project improvement.

From my perspective Round3 is an invaluable tool.
— Professor Anne H. Berry

Round3 removed many of the challenges faced within traditional design critiques, such as occasional disengagement and time constraints. Because feedback wasn’t limited to a three-hour window, students could work independently within time frames that were convenient for them. During traditional in-person feedback, comments are made verbally and each student is responsible to take notes for reference. Round3, by contrast, provided a space for recording written feedback that could be referred to at any time during the design process. For these reasons, Professor Berry believes the tool was an asset to her design students.

“From my perspective, Round3 is an invaluable tool,” Berry said.  “It requires students to utilize their writing skills and simultaneously provides electronic documentation that they can continue to refer to as they refine and tweak their respective projects.”

Round3 provided a particularly unified and beneficial space for reflection during the final semester project. Each student uploaded their work as PDFs, reflected on their own progress and asked for specific feedback. They subsequently  reviewed the work of two of their peers, responding to specific questions posed by the instructor. Deadlines were created to allow ample time for reflection and feedback, and Professor Berry was also able to provide written instructor feedback for each student.

Students reacted positively to this enhanced way of carrying out a critique with Round3. They cited benefits like direct access to others’ work to critique while not in class, the ability to receive targeted feedback, and the convenience of using an online tool.

I like how students can focus on receiving feedback on a particular issue or concern they have about their project.
— Student, The University of Notre Dame



Key Takeaways

  • Round3 documents process, engages design students as an alternate setting for peer feedback.
  • Round3 eliminates the major challenges of in-class critique, disengaged students and time constraints.