DMD 5015 – MFA Studio Critique
Course Number: DMD 5015
Credit: 3 credits
Term: Spring 2021
Class Meeting: Wednesday 3:35 PM – 6:35 PM Online Asynchronous/Synchronous – Microsoft Teams
Class Location:
Course Instructor: Heejoo Gwen Kim
Office Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday by appointment (please email to schedule)
Office Location: The Bishop Center, Room 239 (2nd Floor)
One Bishop Circle, Unit 4056, Storrs CT 06269
Course website:

This course aims to provide a context for graduate students to meet as a cohort to workshop, critique, and contextualize their work. This graduate critique course aims to bridge a gap in the DMD MFA program between courses devoted to skill acquisition, and the independent creative vision asked of graduate students in their research projects and MFA thesis work. The DMD MFA Studio Critique also aims to provide an academic context for graduate students to build a sense of community, and develop work with influence from and potential collaboration with their graduate student peers. All DMD MFA graduate students are required to take the DMD MFA Studio Critique course four times for a total of 12 credits. In this way, the MFA Studio Critique is designed to be a consistent meeting ground throughout the graduate experience.


  • Provide a supportive framework and common language for discussion and evaluation of individual artwork across media;
  • Help students gain independence in the development of creative work in preparation for the MFA thesis project and defense;
  • Help students identify, define, clarify, and refine the message/concept of their artwork;
  • Support students in talking articulately, cohesively, and intelligently about their own artwork, the work of their peers, and the work of established creative professionals in a group setting;
  • Help students contextualize their own arts practice;
  • Help students prepare their work for public presentation;
  • Help students document their work process;
  • Share collective wisdom, experiences, resources, and information to further the making, viewing and promotion of students’ current and future creative work;
  • Share ideas, question, and challenge the group as a whole and individually;
  • Cross-pollinate our collective disciplines, in order to expand all of our artistic vocabularies


  • Actively work towards developing your independent body of creative work;
  • Present and receive critiques of your current body of creative work every 2-3 weeks;
  • Actively participate in the thoughtful, honest, and analytical critique of your colleague’s’ work;
  • Identify and discuss the “why” of your work – the philosophical, theoretical, social, [insert your own “of, relating to, or based on” system here];
  • Identify and discuss the “how” of your work – the pragmatic aspects to realizing your creative vision;
  • Identify, present, discuss, and write about artistic, cultural, technological, and/or historical influences as they pertain to, contradict, drive, substantiate, or inspire your work;
  • Prepare your work for public presentation;
  • Document your work and work process;
  • To approach the content of the course and creative opportunities presented with a desire to push beyond individual comfort zones
  • To complete the assignments by scheduled due dates

Software and hardware: You are responsible for procuring the software and hardware tools you need to produce and present your own creative work and/or making arrangements to use tools available to your through the DMD department. With that said, you are welcome to use the MFA Studio Critique class as a resource to learn about what tools are available and how to access them.
Data Back-up: Maintaining a back-up system is a responsible and necessary task in the digital age. Along with the benefit of owning your own hardware comes the responsibility of maintaining it so data is safe. Hardware problems are no excuse for late or mission work. Apple offers its software Time Machine. Another is an app called Super Duper. Online back-up systems like CrashPlan are also available. Whatever back-up system you select, maintain it regularly.
Class participation is required. This course is experiential in nature, and failure to attend class means you are not fulfilling your obligation to participate in discussion and critiques and contribute to the overall learning experience of all. There is no practical way to recapture material covered in class if a class is missed. Students are expected to arrive on time and remain throughout the entire class period. Failure to participate in 15% or more of class time will result in the lowering of one or more letter grades at the discretion of the instructor. Failure to participate in 30% of class time will result in automatic failure for the course.
If you must be absent from class for any reason email me prior to the absence.
Providing adequate notice is professional etiquette and a demonstration of active participation. If you are unable to send notice prior to a lesson you must email me within 24 hours. I make a concerted effort to accommodate absences for religious observances, and absences due to extracurricular activities coordinated by a university official, such as scholarly presentation, performing arts, and intercollegiate sports. Please note, however, that being absent from class does not change a submission deadline for an assignment unless prior arrangements have been made.
If you are absent for a sustained period of time I need to know. If you have a serious, life-threatening illness that will accrue absences, a handwritten and signed letter from your doctor, with a telephone number, is required. See me for class materials you may have missed and to discuss a plan for making up your missed class time and work. Failure to comply with this procedure will result in either an I, X, or N grade until the matter is resolved.

Good communication is essential to a successful class experience. Please come and talk to me if you anticipate any conflicts with any of the due dates or studio critique deadlines of the course, or if you need any special accommodation in order to successfully complete the requirements of the course. The sooner I know about any exceptional circumstances the better, and the more likely we are to come up with non-stressful alternatives.
If you encounter any questions or challenges with an assignment, please come talk to me or email me. I am here to help. However, please try to email me at least 24 hours before a deadline. Please try your best to compose emails with a salutation and closing, and using complete, grammatical sentences.

Please avoid digital distractions.
Your computers, tablets, and phones are essential to the digital media work that you do, but they are also a gateway to all kinds of distractions. This course depends on your full and active engagement, and as a result, I ask that you please refrain from making phone calls, texting, emailing, or checking social networks during class except as part of class participation or with agreement from me.
Please keep food and drink away from each other’s work and equipment.
Come prepared for class. Arrive with your work completed/exported/rendered and ready to present before the start of class. Make sure that you have planned your presentations and critique days so that you stay within the time restrictions. Complete any assigned readings and viewings in advance of class and be ready to discuss them.

Assessment for this course is comprised of participation and professional behavior, preparation for and engagement in studio critiques and an end-of-semester exhibition and demonstrated progress on self-directed creative work.
This is a graduate-level course. The quality of your artwork was already “graded” upon acceptance into the DMD program. As such, grades will not be based on the quality of your artwork, but rather on your demonstrated commitment to developing and presenting your creative work and on your contribution to the group.
Participation: You should strive to be active, insightful, considerate, and honest during class critiques and discussions. Active participation includes arriving to class on time, professional communication in and out of class, asking questions, providing critiques or comments, paying attention, showing extra initiative, and sharing expertise with classmates.
Preparation: You should prepare in advance for all presentations, studio critiques, and discussions. Plan in advance so that all presentations stay within the time limits identified. As this class is based on discussion and critique of work, there is no practical way to recapture material covered in class if a class, deadline, or critique time is missed.
Portfolio: All the work produced in this course should be considered suitable portfolio material and may even form the foundation for your MFA thesis project. The portfolio is the sing le most valuable artifact you will generate during your coursework, and the most important one for when you graduate and seek employment and/or clients. Collect, keep, record everything towards this purpose. All of the documentation you generate may well be viable in a portfolio.

Assessment Percentage
Participation 50%
Project Site 10%
Studio Critiques 30%
Preparation for and presentation at MFA Open House 10%
  Total 100%

A 94-100
A- 90-93
B+ 87-89
B 84-86
B- 80-83
C+ 77-79
C 74-76
C- 70-73
D 60-69
F less than 60 points
I Incomplete

Further information about UConn’s grading policy can be found here grade-information/#attendance

[A] Excellent. Student demonstrates exceptional commitment, initiative, and progress on self-directed creative work; actively and positively participates in class discussions and critiques with regular, insightful, considerate, and honest contributions; speaks articulately and intelligently about their work and creative context; shares responsibility for preparations for the end-of-semester exhibition of work.
[B] Good. Student demonstrates commitment to and progress on self -directed creative work; positively participates in class discussions and critiques with considerate and honest contributions; speaks articulately and intelligently about their work; shares responsibility for preparations for the end- of-semester exhibition of work.
[C] Fair. Student demonstrates tentative progress on self-directed creative work; does not regularly participate in class discussions and critiques or may show a lack of  consideration  or  professionalism; may rely on peers for preparations for the end-of-semester exhibition of work.
[D] Poor. Student does not demonstrate progress on self-directed creative work; does not regularly participate in class discussions and critiques or may be disruptive, unprofessional, or disrespectful when participating; does not prepare for the end-of-semester exhibition of work.
[F] Failure. Student fails to demonstrate progress on self-directed creative work; miss deadlines or presentation days; absent or negative participation
[I] Incomplete. Incompletes are given at the discretion of the course instructor.

UNIVERSITY POLICIES: The course will follow all University policies, as detailed here:

The University of Connecticut is committed to protecting the rights of individuals with disabilities and assuring that the learning environment is accessible. If you anticipate or experience physical or academic barriers based on disability or pregnancy, please let me know immediately so that we can discuss options. Students who require accommodations should contact the Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD), Wilbur Cross Room 204, (860) 486-2020, or More information at

Scholarly activity at the graduate and postdoctoral level takes many forms, including, but not limited to, classroom activity, laboratory or field experience, writing for publication, presentation, and forms of artistic expression. Integrity in all of these activities is of paramount importance, and The Graduate School of the University of Connecticut requires that the highest ethical standards in teaching, learning, research, and service be maintained.Scholarly integrity encompasses “both research integrity and the ethical understanding and skill required of researchers/scholars in domestic, international, and multicultural contexts.” It also addresses “ethical aspects of scholarship that influence the next generation of researchers as teachers, mentors, supervisors, and successful stewards of grant funds” (Council of Graduate Schools, Research and Scholarly Integrity in Graduate Education: A Comprehensive Approach, 2012).

The Graduate Faculty Council, in accordance with the provisions of its By-Laws, has adopted this policy concerning scholarly integrity in graduate education and research and has approved the procedures set forth herein for addressing alleged violations. The Dean of The Graduate School shall coordinate the reporting, investigation, and determination of alleged breaches of scholarly integrity by graduate students in accordance with this policy.

Members of the Graduate Faculty have primary responsibility to foster an environment in which the highest ethical standards prevail. All members of the University community have a responsibility to uphold the highest standards of scholarship, which encompasses activities of teaching, research, and service, and to report any violation of scholarly integrity of which they have knowledge. Instructors have a responsibility to take reasonable steps to prevent scholarly misconduct in their courses and to inform students of course-specific requirements.

University definitions of scholarly misconduct can be found here:

You are responsible for ensuring that original work is correctly attributed. You must give clear and complete attributions for the work of others in your own productions as well as in any written work. Plagiarism (either digital or written) will not be tolerated and may result in failure of the course or expulsion. Please refer to The Student Code:

Note: Student misconduct other than scholarly misconduct, as defined herein, is governed by the University’ s Student Code, which is administered under the direction of the Office of the Provost. Enforcement of its provisions is the responsibility of the Director of Community Standards. At the Health Center, student misconduct other than scholarly misconduct is governed by the Health Center Rules of Conduct.

The University of Connecticut is committed to maintaining an environment free of discrimination or discriminatory harassment directed toward any person or group within its community- students, employees, or visitors. Academic and professional excellence can flourish only when each member of our community is assured an atmosphere of mutual respect. All members of UConn community are responsible for the maintenance of an academic and work environment in which people are free to learn and work without fear of discrimination or discriminatory harassment. In addition, inappropriate amorous relationships can undermine UConn’s mission when those in positions of authority abuse or appear to abuse their authority. To that end, and in accordance with federal and state law, Uconn prohibits discrimination and discriminatory harassment, as well as inappropriate amorous relationships, and such behavior will be met with appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal from the university. Additionally, to protect the campus community, all non-confidential university employees (including faculty) are required to report sexual assaults, intimate partner violence, and/or stalking involving a student that they witness or are told about to the Office of Institutional Equity.
UConn takes all reports with the utmost seriousness. Please be aware that while the information you provide will remain private, it will not be confidential and will be shared with University officials who can help. More information is available at and
To protect the campus community, all non-confidential University employees (including faculty) are required to report assaults they witness or are told about to the Office of Diversity & Equity under the Sexual Assault Response Policy. The University takes all reports with the utmost seriousness. Please be aware that while the information you provide will remain private, it will not be confidential and will be shared with University officials who can help. More information is available at
Statement on Absences from Class Due to Religious Observances and Extra-Curricular Activities:
Faculty and instructors are expected to reasonably accommodate individual religious practices unless doing so would result in fundamental alteration of class objectives or undue hardship to the University’s legitimate business purposes. Such accommodations may include rescheduling an exam or giving a make-up exam, allowing a presentation to be made on a different date or assigning the student appropriate make-up work that is intrinsically no more difficult than the original assignment. Faculty and instructors are strongly encouraged to allow students to complete work missed due to participation in extracurricular activities that enrich their experience, support their scholarly development, and benefit the university community. Examples include participation in scholarly presentations, performing arts, and intercollegiate sports, when the participation is at the request of, or coordinated by, a University official. Students should be encouraged to review the course syllabus at the beginning of the semester for potential conflicts and promptly notify their instructor of any anticipated accommodation needs. Students are responsible for making arrangements in advance to make up missed work. For conflicts with final examinations, students should contact the Dean of Students Office. Faculty and instructors are also encouraged to respond when the Counseling Program for Intercollegiate Athletes (CPIA) requests student progress reports. This will enable the counselors to give our students appropriate advice.

Center for Students with Disabilities:
The University of Connecticut is committed to protecting the rights of individuals with disabilities and assuring that the learning environment is accessible. If you anticipate or experience physical or academic barriers based on disability or pregnancy, please let me know immediately so that we can discuss options. Students who require accommodations should contact the Center for Students with Disabilities, Wilbur Cross Building Room 204, (860) 486-2020 or http:/

The University of Connecticut is required to verify the identity of students who participate in distance learning or online courses and to establish that students who register in these courses are the same students who participate in and complete the course activities and assessments and receive academic credit. Verification and authentication of student identity in this course will include [Method 1 and Method 2].”

What if you suspect academic misconduct?  Follow the University’s respective procedures:

COURSE CALENDAR: (subject to change with notification)