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MarylandFine Arts Education Instructional Tool Kit
All Fine Arts Content Areas Dance Music Theatre Visual Arts
Maryland Fine Arts Education
Developing Fine Arts Assessments
Integrating Fine Arts Across the Curriculum
Assessment Outcomes and Implications

Brief Constructed Response Item Formats and Examples
Fill in the blank  Short answer  Label a diagram
Visual representation  Show your work

Visual Representation

Visual representation items require that students create simple graphics (e.g., sketches, schematics, diagrams).   The intent of visual representation is to generate evidence of understanding the gist of an idea, a key concept, or its application.


  • Less dependent on writing skills than many other types of brief constructed responses
  • Allows for an alternative evidence of learning
  • Novelty of item format encourages interest and engagement


  • Lack of familiarity with item type may impact performance


  • Ensure that the range of anticipated responses is open-ended; if there is truly only one possible response, consider re-crafting as a selected response item
  • Word items so the expectations for that item are clear
  • Provide sufficient information (e.g., in terms of space, symbols to be used, visual field) to support the desired response

View Example:

Music Activity 2

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