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ABC High School

Year 12 Assessment task notification

Teacher: Ms McDowall Year: Visual Arts-Year 12

Issued: Thursday, 10/05/18 Assessment Task No: 2
Time allowed: 3 weeks Format: Essay (Art Criticism and art history)
Due date: 9am, Thursday, 31/05/18 Marks: 20
Weighting: 20% (20% of your internal HSC mark)

Non-submission due to illness/misadventure will result in a mark of 0, if school policy is not

followed. A hard copy of the task must be submitted on the required date to your classroom

Outcomes to Be Assessed:H7: Applies their understanding of practice in art criticism and art history
H8: Applies their understanding of the relationships among the artist, artwork, world and audience
H9: Demonstrates an understanding of how the frames provide for different orientations to critical and historical
investigations of art
H10: Constructs a body of significant art histories, critical narratives and other documentary accounts of
representation in the visual arts.

This assessment has been scaffolded for students to develop and present a deep knowledge of how artist
use a visual language to explore meaning in their work. Students will compare and contrast specific aspects
of the subjective and structural frames, whilst exploring the relationship between the artists-artwork-world
and audience.

teacher. It must be the work of the student, with appropriate referencing. It is advisable to
keep a copy of the task for your records.
Task: Essay (1000 words)

Art critics and historians argue that Kahlo was a surrealist painter, however she famously
stated: “I never painted my dreams, I painted my own reality”, Frida Kahlo (1953).

Discuss this statement with reference to how artists communicate concepts using a visual
language. Focus your discussion on the components of the Subjective and Structural
Frames. Make reference to at least two artist and two of their artworks, to support
your reasoning.

· Support your essay with evidence from art history

· Analyse how artist have used approaches other than realism
· Consider how the frames are interpreted by artist and audience
· Focus on the subjective and structural frame, using appropriate language
· Refer to Kahlo as your first artist.
· You will study Kahlo & Picasso in class, and may use them as your artists.
· Compare and contrast artist and artworks
· This should be in the format of an essay.
· Word limit 1500 (excluding bibliography)

Steps to successfully complete task:

* This task requires you to present an essay on how artists communicate

concepts using a visual language.
* You must discuss the work of at least two artists you have studied and at
least two of their works.
* Your essay should focus on the structural and subjective components of
the artworks
* The essay must include numbered pages, a bibliography and your name or
student number
* The essay must be within the word count (1000 words)

* Refer to the marking criteria for guidance on marking scale

* Use appropriate language associated with the frames

* Ensure you read ‘how to construct an essay’ (attached)
* You may choose to use the P.E.E.L method when scaffolding your essay
* Read the printed power point slides on the structural and subjective
frames (attached)
Source: McDowall, J (2018) Assignment 1
Source: McDowall, J (2018) Assignment 1
Source: Costello, C. (2018). Virtual Library. Retrieved from

Criterio Description of Marking Criterion
* Demonstrates a sound understanding of the Subjective and
Structural frame
A * Demonstrates a sound awareness of the artists practices 16 - 20

* Demonstrates a sound understanding of how artists use

different orientations of communication

* Demonstrates a critical and historical investigations of the


* Demonstrates a sound awareness of the the relationships

among the artist, artwork, world and audience

* Constructs a well written essay using appropriate language

specific to the Subjective and Structural Frames

* Identifies relevant features of the Subjective and Structural

B * Identifies relevant factors of the artists practices 11 - 15

* Identifies relevant factors of how artists use different

orientations of communication

* Demonstrates some critical and historical investigation of the


* Demonstrates some awareness of the the relationships among

the artist, artwork, world and audience

* Demonstrates some use of appropriate language specific to

the Subjective and Structural Frames
Marking Feedback
Description of Marking Criterion Mark
Criterio Range
n are provided with a marking criteria that has been highlighted and
annotated by the teacher
* Identifies with notes
basic features on Subjective
of the their performance.
and Structural frame

Students are provided

C * Limited with a Self-Assessment
understanding Evaluation sheet (SAE) to fill out
of the artists practices
in class with teacher assistance to promote self-assessment. 6 - 10
* Limited or no awareness of how artists use different
orientations of communication

* Limited or no critical and historical investigation of the


* Limited or no understanding of the the relationships

among the artist, artwork, world and audience

D * Lists features of the artworks 1-5


Marking Criteria

(with results)
Notes from

teacher are also

2. SAE Sheet

Assessment tasks play a key role in the collection, evaluation and

development of student education. It is vital that teachers produce high quality

assessment tasks that engage students of diverse learning needs and satisfy

the requirements outlined in the NSW Syllabus (NESA, 2012). Students must be

provided with adequate tools to succeed, thus educators must consider the

importance of providing marking criteria, tip-sheets, sample scaffolds, and

feedback to ensure students can participate in self reflection and ongoing


The assessment task (attached) has been designed to align with the outcomes

of the NSW Stage 6 Visual Arts Syllabus (NESA,2012). It aims to provide

students with the opportunity to further develop their knowledge of the

theoretical components of the visual arts curriculum through the evaluation of

art history and art criticism.

When developing an assessment task, it is important that educators recognise

how they can gather evidence of student development (NESA, 2012). The age

and learning level of students should be considered (Mercier et al. 2014). This

task was designed for stage 6 students participating in their internal HSC

program, therefore relevant higher order strategies were included from Blooms

Revised Taxonomy (2001) to provide students with the opportunity to further

their skills in ‘Evaluation and Analysation’. This includes prompts for the

discussion of the different orientations the frames can have on the

investigations of art, adhering to outcome H9 (NESA, 2002).

An effective tool used by educators to evaluate student development is

through the use of summative assessment (Looney, 2011). It has been

included in the attached task to assess students knowledge of the frames,

and relationship between artist-artwork-world and audience, adhering to

AITSL Standard 5.1 ‘assess student learning’. Summative assessment helps

teachers to gather evidence of student development by making a

comparison of their work against a standard. It can be used throughout the

course at key points to grade students learning, and is an appropriate

means to formulate a percentile mark for the HSC internal assessments

(NESA, 2012). This assessment type provides students, parents and school

community with a transparent interpretation of achievement, which can

assist a smoother running of the classroom by decreasing questions or

complaints about grades (Mercier et al. 2014).

However, the use of summative assessment may also present challenges for

teachers as it has been reported that teachers may become too focused on

the end result, and teach only for the test/assessment. This can undermine

innovative approaches to teaching and negatively impacts student

development (Arum, 2002). Many professionals argue that formal

assessment should have less weighting than regular or informal class work

throughout the semester, as formal examinations may not present a good

example of student capabilities, in cases where students ‘mess up’ under

pressure or ‘fluke’ a better mark than expected (Arum, 2002). However, the

NESA NSW HSC course (NESA, 2012) is designed to include a holistic

structure to learning and teaching, therefore a summative assessment that is

well planned and maintains the curriculum outcomes as centre focus, should

effectively combat these concerns.

One of the most common forms of assessment tasks used in contemporary

classrooms is an essay. A written essay is an effective task for students to

demonstrate their understanding of a subject, their critical thinking and

personal opinion of a specific topic, as well as their comprehension skills

(Looney, 2011). A holistic approach to learning is maintained through the

delivery of an essay as it presents opportunity for students to delve into a

topic and explore multiple self-selected areas at their own rate (Murray et

al. 2004). This type of assessment encourages in-depth questioning, and

critical analysation, rather than expecting one correct answer, providing

diverse learners with the opportunity to perform at a rate that challenges

them (Larkey, 2015).

An essay is considered a multi-disciplinary task, however it is particularly

suitable for Visual Arts, as it encourages students to critically analyse visual

stimuli and theoretically examine meaning in artworks. It allows students to

focus on the theoretical elements of the frames, and the relationship

between artist-artwork-world and audience, adhering to outcome H8 (NESA,

2002). Students are able to creatively present their ideas or opinions about

art encouraging self expression and connectedness to their work (Ladwig &

Gore, 2009). This is emphasized in the task attached, whereby students are

encouraged to select artists and artworks of their own choosing. By allowing

students to exercise some form of direction over their own learning criteria,

they participate in conceptual risk-taking, and develop a more leading role in

their own learning, to which the teacher becomes more of a facilitator of

learning (Kanevsky, 2002).

The flexibility of the essay (attached) supports diverse learning needs,

including those considered gifted and talented (GAT). It creates opportunity

for GAT students to be assessed on their deep knowledge a topic, rather than

expecting them to present more amounts of the same work, which causes

negativity and frustration (Rowley, Jennifer L, 2008). Multiple means of

content exploration is encouraged including the use of inter communication

technologies, which is supportive to students diverse learning requirements.

Students with language difficulties or lower learning abilities may find this

particularly helpful as it allows them to choose their own preferred means of

interpreting data (Strain, Kohler, & Goldstein, 1996).

That said, ‘effective classroom communication’ (Standard 3.5., AITSL, 2014)

is not complete without students being supplied with explicit quality criteria.

Teachers must clearly communicate what is expected and can do this

through the use of a transparent outline of the marking criteria. The

assessment attached includes a rubric that outlines what is required to do

well in the task. It allows students to breakdown the assessment into

categories or bands, enabling the recognition of what will be evaluated, and

helps to guide them in the right direction of completing the task. By

including this information in the assessment, it raises students confidence in

their ability to complete the task thus raises enjoyment levels (Mercier et al.

2014). Students with lower learning abilities or behavioural issues are

particularly responsive to written guidelines, which helps them to identify

and maintain a thorough understanding of what is expected of them (Larkey,

The rubric created for the assessment attached is intended to be discussed

with students prior to submission. Students are graded on their abilities to

demonstrate a thorough understanding on how artist communicate visual

language through the use of signs, symbols, colour etc., and how they

analyse the meaning of the work. Students are given a mark out of 20, with a

weighting of 20% towards their HSC internal mark. The highest scoring level

achievable (A) is offered to students who present an essay that

demonstrates a sound knowledge of areas noted within the A criteria of the

rubric, for example, ‘Demonstrates a sound understanding of the Subjective

and Structural frame’. This mark is achievable to students who display higher

order thinking, which is identified in the rubric through specific language

consistent with Blooms Revised Taxonomy (2001), such as ‘demonstrate’,

‘evaluate’, ‘analyse’, etc. Lower areas of achievement are displayed on the

rubric in descending categories B,C and D, which consist of a decreasing

amount of requirements of higher order thinking but instead include more

lower order thinking skills, such as, ‘identify basic features of the artworks’.

Lower order thinking words are used in these categories such as ‘identify’ or

‘list features’ etc. (Blooms Revised Taxonomy, 2001).

An amended rubric can be supplied to students with lower learning abilities

or to students in life skills, which may exclude the higher achievement

bands, for example the rubric may only include achievement sections B to D.

This will reflect an amended task in which students do not qualify for

achievement in the A section on the rubric. Amending the marking criteria to

compliment the amended assessment task ensures all students have a

thorough understanding of expectations in a dignified and respectful way

(Larkey, 2015).
That said, it is also important that the rubric be reflected on by students

post-assessment to ensure ongoing student learning (NESA, 2012). Good

quality feedback and students self-reflection is an integral role in the

development of future learning goals, in which post-assessment interviews,

detailed feedback notes and discussion on how students achieved their

grades are highly valued (Arum, 2002). This activity encourages students to

take responsibilities of their own learning by asking questions and using

feedback information to direct them to succeed (NESA, 2012).

A post-assessment evaluation sheet (PAE) is included in the assessment

(attached) which aims to provide students with the tools to identify what

their strengths and weaknesses are, and evaluate what steps they need to

take to improve their skills in a non-threatening way. It is to be completed in

class with assistance from the teacher, enabling the teacher to monitor

student participation. The PAE is an effective way for students to self-assess

their work in a positive way which rewards the identification of

requirements for future success.

Assessment tasks play a vital role in identifying and monitoring student

development. It is important that assessment tasks are scaffolded to adhere to

the NSW syllabus outcomes, to ensure relevant criteria is being utilised. Tasks

must be structured to engage students and offer diverse learners opportunities

to exhibit their knowledge. Assessment tasks should be viewed as an ongoing

process, in which student self-reflection is encouraged to create a process in

which students can monitor their own learning goals and take responsibility for

their personal development.


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Education. John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated. Retrieved from

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Edwards, C.H. and Watts, V. (2004). Classroom Discipline and

Management an Australasian Perspective. Milton, QLD: John Wiley &

Sons Australia, Ltd.

Ladwig, J.G. & Gore, J.M. (2009). Quality teaching in NSW Public

Schools: a classroom practice guide. Sydney Australia: Department of

Education and Training. Retrieved from http://web1.muirfield-


Ladwig, J.G. & Gore, J.M. (2006). Quality teaching in NSW Public

Schools: an assessment practice guide. Sydney Australia: Department of

Education and Training. Retrieved from

Lambert, L. (2003). Standards based program design: Creating a

congruent guide for student learning. In S. J. Silverman & C. D. Ennis (Eds.),

Student learning in physical education: Applying research to enhance

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Larkey, S. Learning Media. (2015). Retrieved from

Looney, J. (2011). Integrating Formative and Summative

Assessment: Progress Toward a Seamless System? OECD Education Working

Papers. 58. OECD Publishing, Paris. Retrieved from

Mercier, K. and Iacovelli, T. (2014) Summative Assessments: How We

Improved Our High School Physical Education Program. Journal of Physical

Education, Recreation & Dance; Reston Vol. 85, Iss. 2, p 14-18

Murray, R., Shea, M. and Shea, B. (2004). Avoiding the one-size-fits-all

curriculum: textsets, inquiry, and differentiating instruction. Childhood

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Strain P. S., Kohler F. W., Goldstein H. (1996). Peer-mediated interventions

for young children with autism. In Jensen P., Hibbs T. (Eds.), Psychosocial

treatments of child and adolescent disorders (pp. 573-586). Bethesda, MD:

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