Internal assessment, or curriculum-embedded assessment, evaluates what students do when they are in the classroom. Internal assessment is a crucial part of the instruction process in art and aids teachers, students, and parents in evaluating student progress. Internal assessment illustrates aspects of student progress that are not typically evaluated in external assessment.
Internal assessment also serves as a basis for professional development. Teachers who analyze the work of their students will see trends in student performance that may be related to instruction. For example, a teacher who sees that the products of his/her art students lack depth may wish to take advanced art courses to elicit more depth in student products.
An ongoing practice of internal assessment enables teachers to monitor learning as part of their teaching process. Teachers can make data-based decisions to adjust instructional strategies so that they accommodate the different needs and learning styles of students. Data also aid students in self-assessment by providing them with critical feedback. Though teachers sometimes design specific tasks to address particular concepts or skills, any student product and learning process can be viewed as an assessment tool and can provide teachers with valuable information on current levels of student performance. Particularly useful examples of internal assessment are checklists, student journals, in-class work, peer reviews, conferencing, and portfolios.
Teachers should align all assessment tools with the TEKS, local curriculum, and instructional strategies. Additionally, teachers should make sure students understand assessment criteria and provide constructive feedback to students. Good, clear assessment preparation will keep re-teaching to a minimum.