Assessing creative work is a complex issue in fine art education, particularly with the academy’s push toward the standardisation of assessment practices. This creates particular challenges for art educators such as defining creativity; balancing assessment of the person, the process and the outcome; identifying suitable assessment criteria; moderating subjective responses of assessors; providing feedback that does not inhibit future risk-taking, experimentation and creativity; and considering assessment for, as and of learning. This paper reports on a five-year curriculum and assessment project in the fine art undergraduate degree within an Australian university. The project was designed to provide greater clarity and transparency in the assessment of all aspects of creative and written works within the degree. Using case study and action learning methodologies, we found that assessing in fine art requires artistry and engaged dialogue. This dialogue must allow the language of the discipline to emerge and take into account the pedagogical purpose of assessment. When this process is systemically enacted across the curriculum of a program, assessment can move towards a fairer, more rigorous and transparent approach. We present a fine art curriculum and assessment framework that embeds the values of art educators and simultaneously acts within institutional requirements for assessment.
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