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Assessment criteria in Art & Design

Discussion in 'Art and design' started by Jonathanhaylock, May 13, 2009.

  1. Hi there
    I am currently completing my teacher training course for a Further Education PGCE. My subject specialism is Art and Design and in particular Graphic Design.
    I am currently researching the assessment procedures of Art-based subjects to review whether or not the system works. At my placement they teach the Edexcel specification.
    Recently a situation arose where a student had produced 15+ pages in his sketchbook of high quality work (he is very talented). However, after sitting in on a tutorial between the student and my mentor, the student was told he was failing.... the reason? because the majority of his work was manipulated in Photoshop and all his sources were second hand (no direct observations).
    Now I understand that marking Art work is extremely difficult due to it being very opinion based, and that this is why the criteria exists, so a fair assessment of learners work occurs.
    But this seemed wrong to me... his work was of a much higher standard than many other students in his class who were passing.. but he was failing.
    As I am very new to this, I was wondering:
    Does anyone have any experience dealing with marking?
    Do you see the criteria as fair? is it too condensed?
    Can this method of marking hinder inspiration? by having too many 'rules' to reach a pass mark?
    Is there any more productive ways of marking? have there been some in the past?

    Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated!

    Many thanks for your time!

  2. Hello Jonathan,
    You do not say which Unit/s that the assessment was addressing or which Edexcel qualification was being delivered. If you let me know I can clarify further. However, at the moment I can observe from your comments that, whilst you are aware that the work submitted was of a good technical standard, it perhaps showed little sign to the assessor of analysis and development towards the pieces presented?
    The experienced assessor would have been marking against quite specific criteria, have you seen those? Generally, assessors want to see how work has developed from a primary (observed) source or stimulus and to see how the learner develops an idea in an original or thoughtful way. He or she would probably take exception to your statement that the marking of artwork is very 'opinion' based or subjective in nature. Most Art teachers are very careful to be objective in their observations and comments in order to feedback to the learner exactly why the criteria are not being passed. Have you asked the assessor for clarification, it is possible that they are assuming you are familiar with assessment and grading criteria or mark schemes?
    I hope this is of some help?
    Best wishes and good luck with the PGCE, Susan Young, Subject Advisor for Art & Design Edexcel, London

  3. I am more familiar with AQA, but having looked at the edexcel Assessment objectives AO1says
    'AO1: record observations, experiences
    and ideas that are <u>appropriate to intentions </u>
    This does not always have to be from direct observation. It has to be appropriate to intentions which means if the student is working for example purely on photography or in a digital way they may not have any 'pencil' drawings etc. They mayl have recorded observation using a camera, scanner, or through collage/montage of inspirations.

  4. It always strikes me as being a rather dull subject to get exercised about but once you accept that you work in a school, you are teaching a nationally recognised exam then you have to accept that students' wok will have to be assessed by some kind of standardised criteria. I'm afraid that there is no escaping this fact, however idealistic one may be about teaching art. The four basic criteria are pretty sensible when you consider the creative process. It seems to me essential that pupils' observations of the world around them are given a prominent place in any assessment. If not then they are simply pinching/recycling other people's observations. It may seem on the face of it that the student you write about is producing quality work but if he is simply manipulating borrowed imagery, he is bypassing a process that is central to the creative process. Your mentor is talking sense!
  5. tomyum

    tomyum New commenter

    If you look at the Edexcel Taxonomy, the descriptor for Limited Achievement (1-2 marks out of 10) says 'over reliance on second-hand material'. The descriptor for Basic Achievement (3-4 marks out of 10) says 'maybe a disproportionate reliance on second-hand material'.
    Both of these would be applied to students getting D grades and below. Ask to take a look at the Taxonomy - it will help to clarify things for you.

  6. artcrisis

    artcrisis New commenter

    There is an inherited belief that GCSE Art must include drawing, whereas , as one reply has pointed out, it is recording in whatever way is appropriate. AQA do not have the tight restrictions that Edexcel have by the way. It is a more user friendly and flexible course structure. I have worked on the theme of Photomontage for GCSE Graphics, the starting point of which is that this art form recycles previously used images but then re-creates unique work from them. This has been well received with AQA moderaters because of the contextualisation. If you use your own photographs or scans in PhotoShop, then you are using first hand images. If you create an image in PhotoShop, from scratch, then surely this is a first hand image ? Mark making via a computer is the same as mark making with a drawing tool on paper. I am sure that this issue is one which needs debating, especially in the light of some of the statements and sumaries in the recent OFSTED report on the subject.
  7. tomyum

    tomyum New commenter

    Mark-making on a computer is not the same as mark-making with a physical tool on physical paper! One is simply a simulation of the other, but without the tactile quality, the impact of scale or the physicality. How scratching away at an A4 sized plastic pad can be seen as an equivalent to drawing I have no idea. Sure, it's interesting and engaging and definitely something for all students to try, but let's not forget that it is one tool among many.
    I think that drawing is definitely a key part of what GCSE Art should include, whether or not that is seen as old-fashioned, I don't see how we can claim to be training the designers and illustrators of the future without substantial drawing skills. In all the ICT-focussed magazines and websites I've seen, so many of the featured designers talk about the importance of starting with 'real' drawing.
  8. Hello,
    In my response to the original post I referred to 'direct observation' but did not state at all that this was expected to be evidenced using a 'pencil'. You state that in response to the Edexcel AO1 'record observations..' that this does not always have to be from direct observation. This is incorrect. The 'observation' always has to be a direct observation or a first-hand experience by the person recording that which he/she has seen or heard or touched otherwise it is not an observation and is referred to as 'recording from a secondary source' which can support first hand studies. However, they may record this in any way appropriate to the work and this of course can include photographs, collage, notes, diagrams etc.
    For the record, with reference to another post in this thread, Edexcel criteria allow as broad a response in any or all of the assessment objectives as any of the other Boards.
    Best Regards, Susan Young, Art & Design Subject Advisor, Edexcel, London
  9. Hi,
    I'm glad you find the interpretation helpful. I suppose all assessment criteria are open to mis-interpretation but if anyone is in any doubt they should try to resolve it as colleagues do here. If you feel that a moderator has mis-interpreted the Assessment Objectives then you should feel able to talk this through with them - you can do this with Edexcel, we have an open policy on that, if you feel then that you still have not resolved an issue then you should contact the Board.
    Moderators are not employees of Edexcel, they are contracted to visit centres during the moderation period after they have received training, most are teachers, some are retired from teaching others run their own businesses. Edexcel invites feedback on an online form after moderation on a random choice basis, although new moderators may have a more experienced assessor with them on a few visits.
    As for your last point, I couldn't possibly comment :)
    Best Wishes
    Susan Young, Subject Advisor Art & Design, Edexcel, London
  10. artcrisis

    artcrisis New commenter

    I am pleased to see quality assurance strategies about moderators from Edexcel, and it is something AQA needs to sharpen up on. I personally belive that moderators should be current teachers or part time teachers or have some other day to day contact with schools. I sometimes think a moderator's meeting resembles " Last of the Summer Wine " . Obviously AQA has assessment materials to view to help with interpreting assessment objectives ( the work used at standardising meetings appears online ), what would a teacher new to the subject have to support them ( visually ) when using Edexcel please ?
  11. Hello,
    Thank you for your comments. Edexcel provides a range of helpful support material for new and experienced teachers. For example, the new GCSE 09 'Getting Started' guide includes; a Teacher guide, a Student guide, tons of information on assessment including assessed work with comments, Course Planner and Content overview, 'taster day lesson' plans, full detailed qualification information, sample External assessment papers (images are all in colour) and details of resources, support and training. An eVersion is included with the pack and is on the GCSE for 09 at http://www.edexcel.com/quals/gcse/gcse09/Art/Pages/default.aspx. There is normally another box below this headed 'documents' but this has momentarily disappeared, presumably for updating today.
    Edexcel also has an online question and answer service which you can access at www.edexcel.com/ask
    Currently to get to Art and Design on the Edexcel Website you would search by qualification first, through the qualification finder on the left, and then select your subject area - Art & Design. However, we are in the process of building an Art & Design 'area' for teachers of both the general and the BTEC qualifications which will include plenty of resources, easy access to guidance documents and specifications, Key dates, training events and much more, building upon feedback from colleagues such as yourself. This will be up and running for September - and it will not look as corporate as the rest of the site!

    Best wishes Susan Young, Subject Advisor for Art & Design, Edexcel, London

  12. artcrisis

    artcrisis New commenter

    Yes, I have followed the link and looked at the resources ,which seem detailed and easy to access ( had problems downloading them though ) . Also, I think it is really good that an exam board subject advisor visits the forums.
  13. Thank you, I have been on holiday for a week and it is a pleasant surprise to come back to a nice comment! I try to look into the forum to see whether I can be of help when possible - I will mention the downloading problem, which particular resource was this?
  14. artcrisis

    artcrisis New commenter

    It was the espec software, struggled with Vista so put it on with XP instead.
    Otherwise, all looks good, I like the video interviews with students. Really useful I think.
  15. Ah Vista! Don't we just love it!
    Glad you got there in the end.
    Best wishes,
  16. I totally agree; the pupils have to bring something to the table... something that is origial !!!! 'o)

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