Process, effort, and participation are good ways for learning to occur. Copying or imitating may make it easy to produce a product, but it probably does reflect learning to think and feel like an actual artist. Working at the art process by thinking like an artist helps students learn to think and develop new skills and abilities, both mental and physical. Learning the art process requires practice in generating and developing ideas. Students learn to make compositional choices. This is when thinking skills, problems solving skills, and dexterity skills are practiced. I think that most educators and parents expect a grade to be based on learning to think and feel on our own. Some may misunderstand and feel that grades should only be based on the end products (on the artwork itself).
WHAT TO ASSESS?
Lois Hetland 1 and her coauthors, (2007) Studio Thinking, list eight habits of mind learned in studio art classes. If we agree with these, it makes sense that they should also be the basis of our grading. Their eight habits are: 1) develop craft, 2) engage and persist, 3) envision, 4) express, 5) observe, 6) reflect, 7) search and explore, and 8) understand the art world.