Classroom Technologies Enable Better Testing
Smart schools help minimise disruption caused by the new CBSE assessment structure
Last week, the Central Board for Secondary Education (CBSE) announced a change in the assessment structure for Class X students in CBSE schools, effective for the 2017-2018 school year. Currently, students in Class X follow a dual-scheme system, where schools conduct exams internally, and allow students to study limited portions of the curriculum for the exam. The Board has now revised this structure, to enable students to have a more continual learning experience.
The scholastic assessment portion of the revised assessment structure consists of two sections: Internal Assessment, conducted by schools, and External Assessment, conducted by the Board.
Internal Assessment will comprise 20% of the scholastic assessment portion of the structure and will focus on periodic testing (10 marks), notebook submission (5 marks), and subject enrichment activities like lab work and speaking and listening skills (5 marks). Schedule and syllabi being tested have been left up to the discretion of individual schools. The Board will then conduct External Assessments, which will make up the remaining 80% of the scholastic assessment portion of the structure. For both internal and external assessments, the student must score over 33% in each subject in order to pass. Along with the external assessment score, the average of a student’s two best scores will be considered towards the final score.
In addition to the scholastic portion, provisions have also been made for co-scholastic activities like art, physical health, and work education or vocational training and disciplinary goals like attendance, sincerity, behaviour, and values. Teachers will grade students on these areas on a 5 point grading scale, from A to E.
What This Means for Students
Periodic internal testing gives students a chance to learn their curriculum in a staggered fashion and assess where they stand throughout the year. The likelihood of a student being unpleasantly surprised by a poor score is minimized, since students will repeatedly be tested on smaller sections of the subject before an external assessment is conducted. This gives students the opportunity to revise subjects in manageable amounts resulting in better learning and recall.
Technology in the classroom also helps keep better track of learning at an individual level. Fedena allows students to communicate with teachers, form study groups with their peers, and submit coursework and tests easily, allowing them to stay focused on learning, rather than the intricacies of testing.
What This Means for Teachers
Teachers will benefit from the amount of data they will have one each system. If efficiently implemented, a teacher will be able to have a real-time understanding of the student’s comprehension and recall of the subject matter being taught. While continual assessment might seem like extra paperwork for the teacher, use of tools like Fedena makes things a breeze. Fedena allows teachers to test, post grades, and give personalised feedback to students easily and efficiently.
What This Means For Administrators
In States like Maharashtra, the previous CBSE rule of awarding grades instead of scores resulted in an overwhelming amount of paperwork for administrators who had to reissue separate marks cards in addition to grade sheets for students apply for Class XI or Junior College after Class X. With the new assessment structure, both grades and marks will be awarded, making the process easier. Administrators can also use tools like Fedena to track student performance and issue grade reports in real time for every student.
Changes in how we teach and assess learners are inevitable as we learn how to more effectively educate our students. However, the worry that structural disruption derails learning is a valid one. How do we ensure that the impact of change remains positive?
The use of smart school tools like Fedena allow schools to rapidly deploy changing rules with minimal damage to a student’s learning. A student’s test scores is just a representation of all that they have learned over the course of a year. It is vital to remember that the process must reflect their potential, not hinder it.
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