Exploring Alternatives for Assessing Student Learning

Synopsis- There is a need to explore alternatives for assessing student learning instead of holding or postponing board exams in this unprecedented situation.

Introduction-
  • The pandemic provides an opportunity to reconsider educational assessments and evaluations.
  • However, the government is considering Postponing or Holding in person board exams.
  • Instead, alternative forms of assessment must be found for promoting students. It’s time to come up with new approaches to evaluate student learning.
Challenges related to upcoming board exams-
  • First, Students’ future will be harmed if board exams are postponed- Postponing board exams will further disturb the schedule for further courses which include admissions to higher educational institutions.
  • Second, Student safety- Student gathering during offline board exams is also not a viable option due to rising COVID-19 cases.
  • Third, The possibility of cheating during online examinations – Online exams are not reliable as most of the students have cheated in exams.
What are proposed approaches to assessing student learning?
  • Make academic evaluation more rigorous and sustainable
  • Encouraging students to write creatively- The question paper should be structured in such a way that students critically engaged with the subject and assess their analytical ability to solve questions based on their previous experience and knowledge from the book.
  • Formative assessments throughout the year- Teachers could assess students’ progress through the year. This will make an evaluation and learning much more holistic.
  • Inviting higher educational institutions to facilitate online entrance exams.
  • Instead of rote learning, more pragmatic-based learning can be pursued- The mentality that academic achievement is the primary reflection of student progress must be changed and student development must be redefined in terms of social, emotional, and spiritual growth.
Way forward-

To avoid students being stuck in the present model of cramming, rote learning, and fear, it is time to re-evaluate student learning methods. To do this –

  • The government needs to give complete autonomy to educational committees so that they can enforce this reform.
  • Improving the standard of educational assessments and evaluations by including higher educational institutions. This can also deter a mass migration to foreign universities.

Source- The Hindu

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