EDPA 585: Advanced Assessment Practices in the K-12 Visual Art Classroom

EDPA 585: Advanced Assessment Practices in the K-12 Visual Art Classroom

*** Course Pre-Requisite:  EDPO 536: Refining Assessment in the Visual Art Classroom, or Instructor’s Permission

Cath Mural background





National and regional activity around assessment in the Arts has taken dramatic and exciting steps over the past few years. National Core Standards for the Arts are currently being developed. This course will serve to take a critical look at standards-based assessment practices and the philosophies that support them for Visual Art Education.

The course will focus on the essential question:  What should assessments look like for a standards-based visual arts program? Participants will explore and reflect upon current developments with the Conceptual Framework for Arts Learning being advanced by the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards. This course is geared for those educators who have had some experience with assessment practices and want to further develop them so as to advance teaching and learning in their classroom.

The course will take place in one of two ways:

  1. Meet in two face-to-face weekend sessions, with the Instructor and other course participants and complete extensive inter-session and post-session work.. Both Friday sessions will run from 4 to 8 pm and the Saturday sessions will run from 8 to 4 pm. A follow up, summative reflective paper will be written.
  2. Guided Independent Study. Participants can work one-on-one or in small teams with the Instructor through the use of technology (a combination of any of: weekly emails, video chat sessions, or one-on-one meetings). An individual study plan is designed by the participant, using an inquiry-based format,  and collaboration with a network of colleagues and shared resources is encouraged. A follow up, summative reflective paper will be written.

This course is approved by the Maine Department of Education for recertification.  This course is designed for K-12 visual art teachers.


A laptop and internet access are required. Participants will be guided toward resources for the course online, with emphasis on statewide and national initiatives.


Upon successful completion of this course, educators will be able to:

  • Identify essential components of a standards-based curriculum
  • Create an appropriate grade-level set of visual arts assessments 
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the work being done by NCCAS 
  • Research and utilize the concept of Enduring Understandings and Essential Questions
  • Review and analyze cornerstone assessments from the Conceptual Framework for Arts Learning
  • Develop unit plans aligned with standards
  • Network ideas and strategies with other arts educators and colleagues in the field. 
  • Develop a meaningful approach to ongoing analysis and modification of their own instructional practices.


It is strongly suggested that students familiarize themselves with the class website or wiki prior to the first session. The website address will be made available to those enrolled in the class. Students will be using resources (print, media, internet) as part of their inter- session and post-session work. Official reading assignments begin following the first class.

  • The Reading Response/Process Journal – Participants will write about their reading, non-print media viewing, internet research, thinking and contextualized learning throughout the course. This will be helpful for the final weekend discussions, experiential learning project presentation, and for writing the final reflective paper.
  • Meaningful, active class participation – One of the best ways we learn is through collaboration and participatory work. Thoughts, comments, reflections, shared resources and ideas, rich dialogue and feedback are strongly encouraged.
  • The Experiential Learning Project and Presentation – Participants will use what they are learning throughout this study in a classroom or another appropriate setting. The final session will include a formal presentation to the group or the instructor of their work.
  • The Summative Paper – Participants will write a substantial, thoughtful summative critical reflection paper at the conclusion of the course. This, and the completion of reading assignments and non-print media viewing, is due 30 days following the final class.