Grading Art Work and Creativity

RubricOkay all you art teachers out there, here’s a question for you. How do you grade art work created by your students? I would certainly like to receive input from art teachers. I would like to find out what you do in your classroom as well as hear your opinions. It helps to have people share their experiences, success stories, and even mistakes. So, if you have a story to tell, please share.

To me, one of the most important factors in grading art work is to have an idea of what is to be included in the work. You can create a rubric that spells it out specifically for the student to see.

I use a rubric on large projects. I give the rubric to the student in advance so they know what I am looking for in the work. You can make a rubric of your own or you can find a rubric on the internet to use. There are websites set up to help teachers create rubrics. Some sites are: RubiStar, Rubrics for Teachers, and General Rubric Generator.

Here is an example of a rubric that I will use for an upcoming project for my Art II class. Click here to download. Rubrics can be vague or very specific about what you expect from your students.  The rubric is for a project called Creative Creation. I’ll write an article about that project later.

I found the rubric above online and then I changed it up to meet my specific needs.  There are so many rubrics out there in cyberspace that have been shared and are available to use. Do a search with your favorite search engine and you can be sure to find hundreds.

Sometimes you may have specific criteria that you want to see in the artwork such as a certain element of art or principle of design. You would list those criteria in your rubric. Often when I assign a project my main criteria is effort and creativity.

I do not always use a rubric. On smaller projects and daily work I use a different method of grading. I often make mental notes as I watch my students effort in the classroom. Before I grade I determine a point value for specific criteria such as use of  the whole page, shading with five values, using the proper color scheme, craftsmanship, and completion.

Clean up is also important to me and I have started implementing that into the grading equation. If someone leaves a mess, they will lose points on their project. That usually does not happen though because I am on my students all the time to tidy up their work areas.

Grading art work is tough. It is often very subjective. I try to be fair with my students and help them to be successful in my class. I want them to know that I do not grade according to talent. Everyone has a shot at getting good grades in art class. But I do expect to effort and creativity.

I have shared a few things that I do in my art classroom. Now I would love to hear from you. How do you grade art work and creativity?

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