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Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)


International Studies

First Advisor

Chris Cartwright

First Committee Member

Sam Holtzman

Second Committee Member

Christine Martell


Critique, or "crit," is a central feature of instruction in art and design programs. Critique is an event in which students present their work and receive feedback from faculty, visiting professionals, and their classmates. Critique can be formative or summative. In formative critiques, the instructor intervenes in the creative process, reviews drafts of work, and makes recommendations for revision. In summative crits, the instructor evaluates a finished product for a grade. The goal of a summative critique is to evaluate and rate the quality of student work. However, success is not necessarily determined by student work alone. Critique also requires mastery of a number of communication and cultural competencies. Crits can be challenging for students of all cultural backgrounds but may be especially difficult for international students who are adapting to a new culture and academic environment. This study examined the difficulties that some Japanese students experience in summative crits often due to cultural differences and language problems. The purpose of this study was to investigate challenges experienced by Japanese international students and identify types of support that Japanese international students may need in order to be successful in crits. This study had three goals: (1) provide Japanese students with recommendations for success in crits; (2) help faculty learn international perspectives and contribute to their cultural sensitivity in the classroom; and (3) encourage greater institutional support for international students at American design schools. This research aims to contribute to a better understanding of the challenges and needs of international students in the U.S. design classroom.





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