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One system I've used for assessment of Elementary Education majors' art
work focuses on the criteria all students can accomplish, not based on
talent or artistic ability. I use a rubric that is designed to rate a
student's developmental level. After all, life experiences inform our level
of abiity and talent. Therefore, if students are assessed on "where they
are" on a continuum (naive to sophisticated) based on specific criteria,
they understand that the assessment is not biased, less subjective, or a
no-win. The criteria are task-specific instructional expectations. What
learning do you want students to demonstrate/show evidence? The students
discuss the criteria prior to their assignment/problem--such as the impact
of a conceptualized idea into a form; degree of elaboration/invention,
etc.; degree of technical facility; degree of appropriate
design/composition attributes--whatever relates to the study. They do not
receive letter grades on art work but do so on the completion of a
portfolio of artwork. Hope this helps! Studying the works of Grant Wiggins
(CLASS) and others will offer more complete explanations and support.
I've found students accept this form of assessment for products and written
work (different criteria, of course). They should be familiar with the use
of rubrics when they become teachers of all subjects.