Utah and the majority of states have adopted mandatory standards for visual arts, yet no accountability measures have been established. Consequently, it is impossible to determine if standards are being addressed in the art classroom and aggregate grades are subjective. Queensland, Australia instituted a system of moderated school-based assessment (moderation) in 1971, whereby assessment is accomplished locally, then verified by peer experts. Queensland ensures that standards are addressed in curricula and assessment and that exit grades are reliable and comparable. Research has shown that Utah and Queensland share comparable visual arts standards and similar demographics. Queensland moderation has been extensively studied for solutions to Utah and U.S. accountability problems. Queensland teachers submit curricula, assessment tasks, and assessed student work to the Queensland Studies Authority (QSA), which is responsible for moderation. QSA suggests modifications where appropriate, thus ensuring accuracy. Schools are then compared according to group performance on a standardized core skills test and aggregate grades are scaled, resulting in student rankings. Research has revealed that Queensland visual arts teachers widely approve of moderation. Accountability validates good teaching and promotes diligence. Teachers also appreciate QSA curriculum and assessment guidelines. Because these are regulated, QSA has been able to promote progressive directives effectively, including integrated authentic assessment and student-directed conceptual approaches to art. Queensland has constantly striven for improvement through research and teacher feedback. Consequently, Queensland is considered a global leader in school-based assessment. Art education literature implies that accountability for visual arts education is inevitable. Arts educators strongly oppose traditional external testing. Moderation is the proven alternative to traditional testing. While other models of moderation exist, the QSA model is similar in theory to the predominant Utah and U.S. philosophy of standards-based assessment. At the same time, the QSA model offers flexible options that allow emerging theories to be embraced. The research, then, suggests that Utah and other states should consider implementing versions of moderated school-based assessment based on the success of QSA. The thesis concludes with recommendations for the U.S., and a practical curriculum guide that embraces curriculum and assessment merits of Queensland visual arts education.



College and Department

Fine Arts and Communications; Visual Arts



Date Submitted


Document Type





assessment, accountability, standards, implementation, visual arts, art, education, Utah, Queensland, moderation, moderated, school-based, QSA, NAEA, secondary, core, senior, syllabus, criteria-based, criteria, policy, curriculum, curricula



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Art Practice Commons