The learning goals of every individual varies and so does their learning path. A teacher’s job is to keep the learning track and assess the milestones that students are able to cover. Assessment is a continuous process of understanding every student’s growth, development and progress with respect to their individualized learning goals. The strengths and challenges of each student in a class is different and it is important for a teacher to factor both while facilitating the learning journey of the students. The learning environment and learning methods should be clear to the teacher so that she can use them appropriately in her teaching.
An effective way to ensure learning is to integrate holistic assessments in learning. The focus of these assessments could be on personalization and adaptive flexibility and responsiveness to student’s needs and interests and also to its adaptation to the Blended or Hybrid model of learning.
Taking the view of one of the teachers, of Vanasthali Public School Ms. Pratibha Patil, shares her thought that first we need to learn the approach and dynamics of assessment. She shares one of the examples of the question asked in the preparation of English language question paper. It was to write the report with the fill in blanks options that means the question was asked to assess the writing skills but with objective answers. Earlier, before pandemic time the same question was asked to write a report in 150-200 words, where the teacher could assess the writing style, grammar, context, etc. But this time she had reframed the same report writing in an objective type of question. It’s really challenging to create such kinds of questions in subjects like languages. To create these kinds of question papers, teachers need the full understanding of the idea, how to frame the questions critically and creatively. It should serve the purpose of the assessment for learning and assessment of learning. For this, the teachers need to think deeply and the innovation will come only when every individual teacher gets the training and could come up with some unique idea that met with her local requirements. She/he needs to share what is doable and what is not in their local context by practicing and testing with the co-teachers too. The other teachers could get the benefits by customizing the details as per their context.
In our previous month’s issue we have talked about various strategies for exam preparation useful for the students. That article also discussed ideas for teachers to conduct practice sessions which can be adopted for the preparation of mid-term examinations. You can find the copy of this issue here. As emphasized in NEP 2020, Competency-Based Questions have become a part of the Sample Question Papers for Term 1 of the Academic Session 2021-22. These questions include Multiple Choice Questions (both simple and complex), Assertion – Reasoning Questions and Case-Based Questions.
In order to help teachers prepare good questions, the Central Board of Secondary Education has conducted Webinar Series on Competency-Based Question Development and an online training programme on ‘Holistic Assessment’ in collaboration with Google. This is available for the subjects of Mathematics, Science, Hindi, English, and Social Science. In this issue, we are sharing some insights shared by CBSE in these Webinars. We hope this will be useful for our teachers.
Webinar on Competency-Based Question Development for Science
The science fraternity experts discuss the assessment structure of Term 1 examination, Bloom’s taxonomy and the blueprint of question papers. The key principles to design and develop the question papers were discussed. The panel shared some good examples of case-based, and assertion-reasoning questions in the session. Some techniques to develop these type of questions have been discussed via MOOC courses available on the Diksha platform. To know the details of this webinar, please click on the link.
Webinar on Competency-Based Question Development for English
The idea of this webinar is to remove the doubts and concerns about designing competency-based questions that a language paper would have. The experts discuss some new question types that have been put forth by CBSE. These include simple MCQs, complex MCQs, MCQ on writing skills, specifically for the English subject. It actually needs a very creative mind to develop a good quality MCQ by getting all the four kinds of language skills (Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing) reflected in it. For this, CBSE is providing training sessions to language teachers for them to get a better understanding of competency-based assessments. Please click to view the details of the session here.
Webinar on Competency-Based Question Development for Social Science
This discussion stresses on student learning, development and assessment of higher-order thinking skills. The entire discussion focuses on what and why a competency-based assessment is required. It also includes what makes a good question, what are the different types of question components and how to accommodate aspects of Bloom’s taxonomies in the question papers. Examples from the social schools textbook are taken to showcase the various formats of MCQs in the form offill in the blanks, match the chronology and inferential base questions that can be asked in the question paper. In term 1, there will be 60 MCQs from the four different social sciences books- history, geography, science and economics. To know more about how to prepare these term papers please click on this link.
Webinar on Competency-Based Question Development for Mathematics
The interesting part in this discussion is the experts explaining beautifully what are the advantages of creating competency-based multiple choice questions in the subject of Mathematics. This includes efficient scoring, easy to analyse data formats for large scale which can be used to diagnose common errors of the learners. It also discusses some challenges like the difficulty in formulating higher-level questions, the time required to design good questions with good distractors, and the difficulty in gaining insights into student’s thinking as their reasoning structures might not be explicitly visible through these questions. The session also discusses examples of some good questions. At the end of the discussion, guidelines for creating MCQs are discussed. Find the link to know more about this session.
Webinar on Competency-Based Question Development for Hindi
The expert panelists for the subject Hindi discuss on ways to create an assessment structure for the term 1 examination and incorporate all the levels of Bloom’s taxonomy in the examination question paper. These are some reference links which can help teachers to design good assessments in the subject of Hindi – abhivyakti-hindi.org, hindiwi.org, geeta-kavita.com, storyweaver.org.in, etc. To know more about the discussion please click the given link.
Apart from these webinar series on Competency-Based Question development in different subject areas, CBSE is also hosting a free online training program for teachers on ‘Holistic Assessment’ in collaboration with Google. The theme of these sessions is to define assessment by elaborating on the topics of learning goals and learning objectives and the distinction between the two. This is followed by a discussion on strategies for student involvement in defining learning objectives. These sessions also include major guidelines for creating rubrics to achieve the objective of authentic assessment. Strategies for self and peer assessment and providing constructive feedback are also shared. This is a certification-based programme consisting of four webinars, each of two hours duration. Please find the schedule of the program here.
With this we wish that this new paradigm shift in the assessment ecosystem would be a welcome opportunity for our teachers to integrate holistic assessments for their student’s learning. Please feel free to reach out to us in case you need any support in the area of Designing and Implementing Holistic Assessments.