What is a ‘crit’?
A ‘crit’ (short for critique) is a process of formal analysis or criticism. It forms an important stage in your project, module or programme, when you have a chance to organise, present and discuss your work with tutors and your group.
It is usually a part of the assessment process, prior to the final marking, giving you an opportunity to reflect on what you have done and gain a range of opinion on how well it is working and ways it could be developed further.
Typically a ‘crit’ will explore these basic questions with regard to your work.
- What have I done in response to the module/brief or requirements?
- Why have I chosen this approach? Ideas, concepts, issues, context?
- What methods have I used and why? Techniques, processes, media?
- What’s working, and what could be improved? Strengths and weaknesses?
- What can I learn from others’ reactions and suggestions?
Why do ‘crits’?
The prospect of a ‘crit’ can be a bit daunting, but bear in mind that it will be a valuable learning tool, which will help you reflect on your work and yourself. For example ‘crits’:
- Help you to organise and present your work
- Help you to put your thoughts and ideas about your work into words
- Give you an opportunity to practice at speaking in front of others – it gets easier with practice!
- Help you take stock of your own learning and progress
- Allow you to get opinions and feedback from your tutors and other students – fresh ideas and alternative approaches are always helpful
- • Allow you to check that your work is meeting the criteria for assessment
Getting the most out of ‘crits’
- Read the assignment brief carefully, including the learning outcomes and assessment criteria
- Bearing these in mind, check you understand what is required of you
- Look through your work and sort it into a sequence that shows the development of your thinking and practice
- Jot down ways you would answer the questions above
- Make yourself a checklist of points to prompt you in the ‘crit’
- Have an ordered selection of work available to view
- Ask a friend to take notes on the points raised – you can do the same for them
- Listen carefully to what others say and try not to take things personally– it’s the work that is the subject of discussion, not you
- Remember everyone else in the group has been or will have to go through the same process and your fellow students will be feeling exactly the same as you
- If you are invited to comment on a fellow student’s work, always try to start with a friendly positive comment
- As soon as possible after the session, review the discussion and notes made by your peers
- Use the notes from the ‘crit’ to plan your next steps
- Keep adding ideas and thoughts to your reflective journal. Over time this will reveal your working process, and help you become more conscious of your own strengths and weaknesses