Music assessment objectives and assessment criteria

Greeting DP Music teachers!

Today I would like to briefly discuss the assessment objectives in DP Music and how to use these objectives to develop rubrics.

My discussion today is informed by my knowledge and understanding of the Middle Years Programme in the context of assessment. In my humble opinion, the MYP handles assessment extremely effectively – there are clear assessment criteria which are clearly linked to assessment objectives. The wording of both the criteria and the objectives is exactly the same. This allow for easy application of the assessment objectives for unit planning, for assessment design and for assessing student work during and at the end of the unit.

In the current DP Music guide, there is not the same degree of parity between the assessment objectives and the provided assessment criteria that exists in the MYP Arts. Rather than collude the current DP Music rubrics with new language, I will describe a process where we use the DP Music objectives in combination with adjectives to describe different levels of student achievement.

Assessment objective one (AO1):
Students will demonstrate knowledge, understanding and perception of music in relation to time, place and cultures

Step 1. Define the number of level descriptors used in each objective. I greatly enjoy the MYP Arts assessment criteria. Each MYP Arts criteria has a range of 8 with four level descriptors. Each descriptor has two points – a high and a low within the descriptor.

I would take AO1 and select four level descriptor adjectives:
1-2 little/poor
3-4 satisfactory
5-6 good
7-8 excellent

Step 2. I would then add these adjectives to AO1:
0 – The student did not meet the standard.
1-2 The student demonstrated little and/or poor knowledge, understanding and perception of music in relation to time, place and cultures.
3-4 The student demonstrated satisfactory knowledge, understanding and perception of music in relation to time, place and cultures.
5-6 The student demonstrated good knowledge, understanding and perception of music in relation to time, place and cultures.
7-8 The student demonstrated excellent knowledge, understanding and perception of music in relation to time, place and cultures.

These rubrics can be used with a wide variety of formative and summative assessment tasks, not limited to the listening paper or the musical links investigation. Using rubrics based on the assessment objectives will always prepare students for DP assessments but give teachers a wider range of assessment options in their classrooms.

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