Changes In Examination & Assessment Post COVID
The transformation in education in the post-COVID scenario has just begun and the changes are here to stay.
COVID-19 has served as an eye opener for the education sector displaying how outdated it is in comparison to other sectors which may have depended on automation, technology and algorithms. The transformation in education in the post-COVID scenario has just begun and the changes are here to stay.
At present, curriculum is focused on imparting knowledge and assessments are modeled to check students’ knowledge retention. This is done by way of a fixed one point written examination at the end of the year. Online examinations have also not escaped this contradiction. While imparting and testing the learner’s knowledge base is important, equally or more important is assessing students holistically on a range of skills that are relevant to the 21st century.
Curriculum mapping and strategic planning in schools is rapidly shifting focus towards developing 21st century skills of Creativity, Critical thinking, Communication and Collaboration v/s mere knowledge retention. Assessments systems also must align with this evolving curriculum and consider including portfolios, projects, surveys, debates, discussions, interviews and presentations continuously and comprehensively. The skills these assessments should be evaluating include lifelong learning, self-agency, interpreting data and interactively using diverse tools and resources which is also a replica of workplace assignments.
Going forward, one of the assessment techniques could be including open book examinations which are specially designed to test the qualities of comprehension and capability of synthesis. This technique will help in conducting virtual examinations through the year and also eliminating the unfortunate practice of cheating in the examinations.
The present assessment system which focuses on the final examination has made education subservient to examinations. This could be replaced by internal assessment system which will assess the performance of students through the year and in all facets by the teacher who knows the pupil best. Continuous comprehensive internal assessment will throw light on how the learner is progressing with reference to his own earlier achievements, his peer group and to the expected levels of attainments set for that grade.
Online assessments help distance learning and are hassle free. They are cost effective and provide for instant evaluation and faster results with exhaustive reports to identity gaps and work on improvement. To get the best out of online assessments, it is important to add a timer to each question and could be proctored.
At higher levels, it is imperative that assessments should be made more flexible by introducing credit based courses and credit accumulation within a minimum and maximum permissible span of time in which a course can be completed by a student.
The post COVID times will see a hybrid model of proctored and timed online exams, credit based courses with continuous comprehensive evaluation replacing the traditional fixed one point written examination.
The true purpose of assessments is to provide feedback to learners on a real time basis, so that their learning gaps can be addressed. If the pandemic serves as a force to changes assessments such that their true purpose can be realized, then it would have left at least this positive impact.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house
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