Project Updates

But How Do We Know? Assessing the Arts and other Subjective Areas

Otoniel Lopez

Otoniel Lopez

Metis’s Otoniel Lopez will join Aliza Greenberg, manager of the Metropolitan Opera Guild COBALT project—an opera-based learning program—in presenting a conversation on assessment in the arts at the EduCon 2.6 conference on Saturday, January 25, 2014, at 1:00 p.m., at the Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia. Their discussion will address what can be understood about students’ learning in arts-related subject areas that are considered difficult to assess and often seen as subjective.

EduCon is an innovation conference where participants meet, in person and virtually, to discuss the future of schools. Every session includes an opportunity to discuss and debate ideas — from “the very practical to the big dreams.”

According to Greenberg and Lopez, the arts engage students in deep, inquiry driven, project-based learning experiences, but it is often hard to assess what students know and are able to do in the arts, and it is even harder to articulate these findings. They will ask: Amid growing interest in measurement of student achievement, how can we make our case for the arts and other difficult-to-measure subject areas? How do we know and articulate what students are learning in the arts? How do we move beyond, “It was good,” and assess what students know and are able to do in the arts and other subjective areas? What can we learn from arts assessments about assessment methods overall? How might arts assessments give way to other alternative ways of understanding student learning?

For more information on the sold-out conference, visit: