Continuous Assessment For Holistic Development Of Students

The grades define the worth and there is a no different approach to assess except exams and grades.

Assessment as Learning: An Innovative Approach 

Frequent and continuous analysis of the learner is a technique of performance assessment that constantly evaluates a student’s learning. With education institutes using various teaching methods to enhance the performance of the students, a timely assessment of students’ performance enables them in designing strategies to deliver effective education. Information collected through regular assessments can also help in guiding students and navigating and nurturing the weak areas among students. It has been observed that time-to-time feedback contributes to learning better and to lead from what has already been learned. The education system in India has witnessed traditional methods of assessment, the child’s progress and knowledge base are judged by the child’s ability to mug up and pour down on paper. The grades define the worth and there is a no different approach to assess except exams and grades.  

Approaches to Assessment  

Teachers assess the mood of the class, and learners subtly evaluate the mood of the facilitator. All actions that follow are a response to this scrutiny, that we unwittingly subject ourselves to. There are multiple approaches to assess a child’s performance and growth. Day-to-day activities, learning conversations, detailed analysis of a student’s work. Assessment begins the moment the facilitator steps into the classroom, the learners will be assessed for their social, emotional, and aesthetic abilities that form a crucial part of being a leader. As such, a deep understanding of how assessments work to enhance learner understanding and outcomes, how to gather reliable evidence and document them are all aspects of the teaching-learning process, and how to develop sound tools of assessment and evaluation for varied strategies that they will use, will become important skills for the educators to develop on an on-going basis.   

Purpose and Use of Assessment 

The purpose of the information gathered is important to monitor learners and provide them with the required guidance and focus on the learner’s progress. It is an ongoing process that arises out of the interaction between teachers and learners. To determine the next teaching and learning steps, continuous assessment is a tool which provides correct direction and support. 

Another critical component of the assessment is feedback. Assessment without feedback is a meaningless exercise. Offering constructive feedback and documenting them carefully is a critical skill and can even be considered an ‘art’. The facilitators should be trained to give effective and constructive feedback in terms of the language and vocabulary, tone of voice in which to communicate feedback and even to discern when an individual or group feedback is called for. With multiple assessment tools and documented feedback, the teachers are able to gather multiple pieces of evidence that give close to accurate, qualitative, and quantitative data that can be used to improve teaching methods and to share with parents.   

Strategies and Tools for Continuous Assessment 

While there is a multitude of strategies and techniques to assess learners, below is a list of tools that are not commonly in use. However, these tools give a far more accurate understanding of where the learners stand and give teachers a clear picture of the learners’ knowledge and skills in a learned concept. These strategies also give teachers evidence-based information on how well their teaching strategies proved effective in learning of a concept.   

  • Strategic questioning strategies 

  • Exit/admit tickets 

  • Response cards 

  • Socratic seminar  

  • Journal reflections  

  • Misconception check  

  • Separate what you do and don’t understand 

  • Cool Collages 

  • Twitter Board  

There is no one approach that fits all assessment criteria for the teachers or the students. The usefulness of assessment should help teachers provide feedback and enhance students’ growth throughout the learning process. 

The Cycle of Assessment

Assessment is both a linear and a cyclical process. It is linear in the sense that it is a continuous process and follows one strategy after another in a learning journey. On the other hand, it is also cyclical, in the sense that a learning task follows assessment and feedback leads to new learning tasks. Reflection is an integral part of this cyclic process, both for the facilitator and the learner. Without reflection on the learning process, on what went well and what did not and its reasons, the stakeholders in the learning journey will not find the learning outcomes or assessment meaningful or impactful.  

The practice of continuous assessment in educational settings serves as a way to compare performance across the verticals for the student and as well as the system. Continuous assessment is a favouring tool in the student’s achievement. Careful analysis is possible to determine the challenges and weaknesses to support better learning of the student.

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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Continuous Assessment Holistic Development

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