This is always a great question in art. Rubrics are by far the best way
to go. Ideally, I'd like to use a separate rubric for each assignment
in my course but I have found using one standard rubric makes grading
more efficient for me and more consistent for students.
I assess every major studio assignment the same way.
I work on a 10 point scale and each category is worth 2 points or 20%.
You could easily work from at 100 pt scale as well.
Use of Materials/Techniques
2 pt - Student uses materials/techniques appropriately and effectively
1 pt - Student uses materials/techniques with little effectiveness
0 pt - Student fails to use the correct materials/techniques
2 pt - Students demonstrates complex design and attempts new
1 pt - Student shows simple problem solving and little risk taking
0 pt - Student relies on others and does not attempt new
Neatness and Effort
2 pt - Student shows genuine neatness and effort in their execution of
1 pt - Student demonstrates some effort/care; artwork is not cared for
(i.e. fold, staples, wrinkles, etc.)
0 pt - Student demonstrates no effort and carelessness
General Aesthetic Appeal (subjective)
2 pt - Artwork is aesthetically pleasing
1 pt - Artwork is somewhat appealing, lacks superior quality
0 pt - Artwork has little to no aesthetic value
2 pt - Student meets or exceeds the assignments instructional frameworks
1 pt - Student meets most of the assignments instructional objectives
0 pt - Student meets little to none of the assignment objectives.
I also weight my overall grades.
70% - Major Studio Assignment/Written Critiques/Quizzes and Exams
30% - Progress and Participation (Including: classroom activities, daily
sketchbooks, and portfolio reviews).
Hope you find this useful
From: TeacherArtExchange Discussion Group digest
Sent: Sunday, February 08, 2009 12:01 AM
To: teacherartexchange digest recipients
Subject: teacherartexchange digest: February 07, 2009
TEACHERARTEXCHANGE Digest for Saturday, February 07, 2009.
1. Re: need help with fountain artwork
3. Re: grading
4. Re: grading
5. Re: grading
6. Re: grading
From: JeanE C. McIntosh <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 7 Feb 2009 11:21:42 -0600
I am a new teacher and I am teaching painting as part of my last
of my mfa program.
I am struggling with how to grade art projects. How much do homework
assignments count and how much do each paintings count?
Do you actually assign numbers to these projects or are they just pass/
I realize this is something I should have worked out before the
but I haven't. Not satisfactorily in my head.
The professors at my school use a system of intuition.
I would appreciate any help anyone would like to offer.
Everyone has their different formulas. I use a system of 80% projects
and behavior, 10% takehome sketchbook assign and 10% quizzes. I monitor
their behavior and if they get a behavior mark during that project,
their grade goes down for that project. I didnt have to do that until
last year. I grade projects a, a- A+, etc based on following the rubric
I make up for each project. It will take awhile before you are able to
have a rubric for each project but it makes grading easier. Good Luck!
As Trish said, everyone kind of comes up with what works for them, but
regardless of how you weight each category (projects, homework, etc),
rubrics are extremely helpful: both you and the kids understand the
expectations for each project from the get-go.
I teach at a small private boarding school where all students are
required to take 2 fine arts classes (studio/visual art, photography,
music or woodworking) in order to graduate. Some kids come into my
classes with a real desire to improve already pretty impressive
skills, and others are there because they need the credit. I also
teach grade 8 (in a separate class--finally!) through seniors. Our
school has a policy that homework counts at least 25% of a student's
This is how I've structured the weighting:
8th Grade Art (currently just one semester; other semester is in a
Work Ethic: 20% (This is informally calculated for a weekly grade.
Most kids receive a 95%, but if they've needed reminders to "get
busy," stay in their seat, etc. it will drop. On the other hand, if a
kid is really doing a fantastic job and using time well, it might go
Art 1(full year, grades 9-12)
Work Ethic: 15%
Work Ethic: 15%
Advanced Art (Art 3-4)
HW: 30% (may either be a HW drawing or a blog entry in which they
discuss their work/process)
Work Ethic: 10%
Honors Art (Reserved for students in their senior year who are
seriously working on portfolios)
Homework: 30% (may either be a HW drawing or a blog entry in which
they discuss their work/process)
Class time, aside from brief introductions to projects, especially if
linked to a particular artist or art movement, are hands-on. More
in-depth information about artists or art movements show up in
homework reading assignments with questions. (Basically *I* write a
paper and make up questions pertaining to key points, things I want
for them to remember.)
Students also have weekly observational drawing homework assignments.
This is the rubric I use for homework drawings:
0-5: Follows directions
0-10: On sketchbook paper (computer paper is a 5, lined paper is a 0)
0-10: Accurate proportions
0-10: Accurate perspective
0-10: Accurate details
0-10: Use of shading/shadows
0-10: Effective contrast (I encourage bold, strong contrast drawings)
0-20: Turned in on time (the due dates for homework drawings are
posted at the beginning of each semester. Each day something is late
results in 10 points off.)
Because I'm in a small school, I write extensive comments on each
homework rubric sheet for each drawing. It's a way to extend and
better personalize the teaching.
Next year I might possibly increase the weighting for projects for
Advanced and Honors art, but I'm still largely about the process
that's involved in creating rather than just the final project.
Hope this helps!
Subject: Re: grading
From: Ken Schwab <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 7 Feb 2009 12:22:39 -0800 (PST)
I used to weight assignments: 2 weeks-100 points, 3 weeks- 200 pts. and
4 weeks- 300 points. Charts, quizes and worksheets 25 pts. Homework
Have an objective and use a rubric to figure A,B,C,D,F based on
performance within the rubric.
San Jose, CA
--- On Sat, 2/7/09, JeanE C. McIntosh <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> From: JeanE C. McIntosh <email@example.com>
> Subject: [teacherartexchange] grading
> To: "TeacherArtExchange Discussion Group"
> Date: Saturday, February 7, 2009, 9:21 AM
> I am a new teacher and I am teaching painting as part of my
> last semester
> of my mfa program.
> I am struggling with how to grade art projects. How much do
> assignments count and how much do each paintings count?
> Do you actually assign numbers to these projects or are
> they just pass/fail?
> I realize this is something I should have worked out before
> the semester started
> but I haven't. Not satisfactorily in my head.
> The professors at my school use a system of intuition.
> I would appreciate any help anyone would like to offer.
> JeanE McIntosh
> To unsubscribe go
Subject: Re: grading
Date: Sat, 7 Feb 2009 18:35:30 -0500 (ECT)
If you plan to continue teaching, you will have to develop a better
system than "intuition."
That just won't cut in today's push for quantifiable, accountable
grading at every level. I
never weighted my grades into percentages; it was strictly point-based
and pretty easy:
practice assignments (sketches, trying out new techniques) earned 50
points, and "big"
assignments earned 100. Sketchbook work earned 25 points.
Here it helps to have clear objectives--what exactly are the students to
learn? If they are
to produce a painting using a palette of split complementaries, then you
will assess how well
they achieved that and what would constitute an A, B, C (on a point
scale)--and let them know
ahead of time what an A looks like. When faced with a pile of student
work, I would sort it
quickly and roughly into A, B, and C piles, then go back and determine
exactly where on the
point scale they stood. Sometimes a piece would be recategorized to a
We all have different ways of grading and you will have to pick the
things that suit your
style. If you're really stuck I could send you some samples of rubrics.
END OF DIGEST
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