Saturday, March 31, 2012

Interview Question: How do you assess student artwork?

When dealing with assessment in my classroom, I believe in both authentic and summative assessment practices. In authentic assessment,  an art project is assessed by analyzing the piece itself. If I was teaching perspective, I would know if the students learned the correct technique if the lines matched up to the vanishing point and so on. In summative assessment, a body of work as well as the improvement of the artist is taken into account. Things like portfolio reviews, artist statements, and a gallery or blog of all artwork would be analyzed and graded. This type of assessment is becoming more and more popular because of the technology that can also be integrated into the assessment. By creating a website, the students need to design and organize their work in a visually pleasing manner, which also teaches them about professional responsibilities. Even if they do not become practicing artists, they will still need the ability to organize information in a pleasing way, like in a resume.

The way that I will assess most projects, no matter if they are authentic or summative, is through the use of rubrics. By having an organized layout, my students and their parents will be able to see the areas in which they excel and the areas that need improvement. In lesson planning, rubrics fit in great with criteria of the project and the learning objectives involved. By incorporating point values for the integration of each, they will gain and understanding of their work as a whole. In most rubrics I have created thus far, I always integrate a craftsmanship and effort category. Not only is it important that the student be graded on their physical artifact, but it is important that they create that artifact with the correct technique and neatness required for the project as well as the effort and behavior that they exuded in class.

Self assessment will also be a way that I assess student artwork. I want to know what the student thinks of his or her work! If they can use the vocabulary and main concepts in complex ways, or if they understand their strengths and weaknesses. It is important for students to be able to assess themselves in order for them to grow as young artists.

In class, we talked about how  a principal wants to hear that you have criteria and that you have information to support your reason for giving the grade you do. I think that rubrics are a great way to show principals and other teachers what you expect out of your students. For this reason, and that they are easy to organize and understand, I hope to base most of my assessment on rubrics and authentic assessment practices in the future!

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