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MarylandFine Arts Education Instructional Tool Kit
All Fine Arts Content Areas Dance Music Theatre Visual Arts
Maryland Fine Arts Education
Developing Fine Arts Assessments
Integrating Fine Arts Across the Curriculum
Assessment Outcomes and Implications

Types of Assessments

Three primary categories of assessments or "modes" for measuring proficiencies can be used to assess the objectives in Maryland's Voluntary State Curricula (VSC) for the fine arts. These include traditional standardized test items, performance-based tasks, and long-term tasks.

Some VSC objectives are best assessed by a single mode; others can be addressed using more than one approach. The content of the objective is the best determiner of which mode to use. In addition, some objectives may be best suited to be administered as, or as part of, on-demand or summative assessment tasks, while others may be better suited as formative assessment tasks.

Throughout the Tool Kit, many examples are provided of various types of assessment items and tasks.  Although most are content area-specific, others are generic and can be adapted for use in other arts disciplines.

Traditional standardized test items consist of two primary types, selected response and constructed response.  They may either be contextualized as in a set of items related to a particular theme or overarching idea (i.e., a task) or de-contextualized (i.e., having no specific relationship to other items).

Performance-based tasks require doing, creating, or producing artwork. They may be either contextualized within the framework of a theme or overarching idea or de-contextualized (i.e., having no specific relationship to other items). Performance-based tasks result in the creation of a product or a performance and may be accompanied by paper-and-pencil items that address the resulting product or performance.

Long-term tasks require the creation of a long-term product or performance. They apply most often where a proficiency cannot be suitably measured solely by a paper-and-pencil or performance-based mode.

Particularly in developing assessment items for the fine arts, these three categories of assessment may often require use of stimulus materials.

   Traditional standardized test items

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