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Assessment Strategies in a Visual Arts Classroom

As interim grading time rolls around, I have assessment on my mind more than ever.  Assessment in a visual arts class can be a challenge!  How do we as Art teachers weigh the value of "talent" (which may translate in some cases to experience) verses effort?  How do we weigh the value of process verses product?  How do behavior and attitude come into play?  These are questions that I grapple with constantly as I strive to provide fair and effective feedback to students and parents as to the educational progress happening in my class.  I have to remind myself at times that my roll is not that of art critic but as educator.  My job is to take each student where they are and help them to move forward.  That forward growth is the progress I aim to reflect in my assessments. 

I have tried to streamline my assessment strategies to make it easy for students to understand expectations and to make assessment as easy as possible for me.  I have developed the standards below for a rubric that I use as an assessment tool for every student, at every grade level (I teach 5th -8th graders), on every project.  I simply write-up specific criteria for each project at the bottom.  I give the rubric to students when I first introduce a new project so that they know exactly what I will be looking for when I grade it.

Effort and Attitude

Excellent

Consistently maintained responsibility for work and process, showed pride and care for artwork and contributed positively to the classroom community (4 pts.)

Proficient

Usually maintained responsibility for work and process, showed pride and care for artwork and contributed positively to the classroom community (3 pts.)

Emerging

Occasionally maintained responsibility for work and process, showed pride and care for artwork and contributed positively to the classroom community (2 pts.)

Unsatisfactory

Never maintained responsibility for work and process, showed pride and care for artwork and contributed positively to the classroom community (1 pt.)

    

Participation

Excellent

Contributed positively to all class and group discussions (4 pts.)

Proficient

Contributed positively to most class and group discussions (3 pts.)

Emerging

Contributed positively to few class and group discussions (2 pts.)

Unsatisfactory

Did not contributed positively to any class and group discussions (1 pt.)

Project Criteria

Excellent

Met all of the project's criteria (4 pts.)

Proficient

Met most of the project's criteria (3pts.)

Emerging

Met few of the project's criteria (2 pts.)

Unsatisfactory

Did not meet any of the project's criteria (1pt.)

Project: Oil Pastel Izzy can Composition

Criteria:

Izzy cans have been drawn from observation

Composition includes:

A variety of angles

A variety of sizes

Use of overlap

Some objects leave the page to create interesting negative shapes and spaces

100% of the page has been considered in the design and colored

Student_workizzy_cans_001_2 Student_workizzy_cans_002_3 Student_workizzy_cans_003_5 Student_workizzy_cans_004_3

Check out Scholastic teacher tools for a rubric maker to help you create a rubric that works for you.

I also found some interesting thoughts on assessment in the arts at the National Center for Education Statistics, the Arts Education Assessment Consortium and Classroom-based assessments for the Arts.  These sights may inspire some new thinking around this complex discussion.

   

Comments

Kathy Reid

Your opinions lose much emphasis when you don't get work proofread! You are obviously trying to compare important concepts with the phrase "the value of process verses product" However, the comparison word you need is versus! The word you used is verses which is something relating to form in music or poetry. For your work to have weight you have to make sure it is up to par.... both scholastic and you have proofing to do!

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in Strategies for Arts Integration are strictly those of the author and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Scholastic, Inc.