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Comparison of student performance on visual arts multiple-choice questions administered in 1997 and 2008

Although the assessment questions administered in 2008 were selected from those used in the 1997 assessment, due to changes in scoring procedures and materials, the 2008 score results in music and visual arts could not be directly compared to the results in 1997.

In the 2008 arts assessment, the scoring guides for constructed-response questions, the sample questions and student responses used to train scorers, and the standardized training procedures were updated to reflect changes in training and scoring procedures that have been adapted for use across all NAEP assessments since 1997. In addition, because the student artwork used as training samples for visual arts in 1997 had degraded over time and because of differences in the availability of certain types of art supplies and tools between 1997 and 2008, new samples were developed for scoring students' responses to the creating questions in 2008.

However, since the scoring method for multiple-choice questions was the same in 1997 and 2008, direct comparisons could be made between the two years on results for these questions in music and visual arts. Because multiple-choice questions were only a portion of the assessment and only assessed certain types of topics in the responding process of music and visual arts, the changes in students' performance between 1997 and 2008 on these questions did not represent the performance changes for the constructed-response questions or the entire assessment.

For more information about how students performed, explore the visual arts item map.

Percentage correct for multiple-choice questions in NAEP visual arts at grade 8: 1997 and 2008
  Percent correct
Question description 1997   2008
     Overall 42   42
Identify purpose of insulating package material 61   62
Identify an example of 20th-century western art 55   59
Infer from photograph advantages of shrink-wrap packaging 57   57
Identify an example of a Renaissance painting 48   50
Identify compositional emphasis in a Bearden collage 49   46
Identify genre of a Bearden collage 34   37
Identify a technical similarity between Schiele and Kollwitz self-portraits 36   37
Identify an important compositional aspect of a Kollwitz self-portrait 40   37
Identify a stylistic emphasis in a Bearden collage 29   35
Identify a compositional feature of a medieval artwork 39 * 32
Identify the style of an artwork as surrealism 27   31
Identify an artistic style that influenced cubism 25   23
* Significantly different (p < .05) from 2008.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), 1997 and 2008 Arts Assessments.

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