[This is from a while back but it's taken me a bit to get caught up so pardon me.]
Do you do pre-tests/assessments in visual art?
This is from the very first assignment for the 3D Design class as a way for me to assess where each of them was starting from - skillsets, general understanding of art and design, etc. The inspiration for each of the sculptures was for them to sculpt what it feels like to look at a rainbow. Essentially, they were each sculpting an emotion which was challenging for some but at the same time many of them enjoyed the challenge and really sought to tackle it well. They were only allowed to use paper and simple adhesives like tape and white glue and they were instructed to do their best to make it as clean in construction as possible.
After they spent about three days working on it I had another class (a 2D Design class) critique and visually "read" what the sculpture was attempting to communicate while the 3D Design classes critiqued and read the 2D Design pre-assessments. All of the students were very interested in find out what the other students read from their work and I was able to read where they were in their art understandings and abilities! It was pretty successful overall.