Evaluating &rsquo:em at Every Step
December 2010

Evaluating &rsquo:em at Every Step

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The broader perspective of education is to prepare students to become responsible and knowledgeable citizens for a resourceful and industrious life in a globalised world. In this context, it has become mandatory to reform and strengthen the educational system. Evaluation becomes a tool of ascertaining the level to which the educational system has succeeded in achieving its goals. The Continuous Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) model seeks to reform the existing examination based assessment system to a more holistic evaluation of students

By sheena Joseph

Continuous Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) is a tool that would enable children to review their own learning abilities. After every chapter, there will be a number of competencies listed for which the learner would answer in yes or no. The answers will be given to the class teacher. When the learner answers in the negative, then he/she will be given corrective coaching. When majority of the students answer in the negative, then the teacher can change the teaching methodology to suit student requirements.

“The teacher and the student become the key stakeholders in the CCE model. Formative assessments form the crux of CCE and we are coming up with a lot of resources for this”

Vineet Joshi
Chairman, Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE)

In a circular issued by the CBSE on Examination Reforms and Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) to all heads of CBSE institutions it has been reiterated that external examinations 'are largely inappropriate for the 'knowledge society' of the 21st century and its  need for innovative problem solvers'. Questions if not framed well, “call for rote memorisation and fail to test higher-order skills like reasoning and analysis, lateral thinking, creativity and judgment. External exams make no allowance for different types of learners and learning environments and induce an inordinate level of anxiety and stress.” The circular asserts that a reliable and functional school based evaluation system needs to be created that would cater to the holistic assessment of the learner, which would include co-scholastic area of life skills, attitudes and values, sports and games as well as co-curricular activities.

The CCE system intends to tackle these issues through consistent and focused reforms in the examination system. 

What is Evaluation?

“The implications of CCE is very encouraging. The creative teachers have appreciated the change, but few will always take longer to adapt to the reforms. Change is always welcome”

Rekha Sharma
Principal, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan's Mehta Vidyalaya

Evaluation is a procedure for establishing how far the knowledge experiences are in reality creating the preferred outcomes. The NCERT is occupied in numerous activities linked to measurement and assessment in the area of examination reforms. The activities related to this are particularly aimed at creating and homogenising scientific tools for appraisal of a range of areas related to a student's growth.

As Vineet Joshi, Chairman, Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) elaborates, “The teacher is the nodal point for the implementation of CCE, while at the same time, it needs to be emphasised that the reforms are being implemented for the benefit of students. The teacher and the student become the key stakeholders in the CCE model. Formative assessments form the crux of CCE and we are coming up with a lot of resources for this.  Summative assessment is something that teachers are already familiar with and includes end of term assessments. We are going to start training sessions specifically for formative assessments. We are also sensitising the parents on what to expect from CCE, because when parents realise that it is a supportive system, they will better be able to accommodate the entire process.”

Tests and Examinations

“I want to complement CBSE for bringing such changes into the school education system. We have been having regular in-service teacher training to familiarise teachers with the same”

Anubhuti Mehta
Principal, KV Sec 2, R K Puram

Conventionally, schools have been using tests in evaluation programming to assess if the student has obtained certain process- and content-related knowledge. The focus of the tests is on the mission, goal, and objectives and permit useful projections of student behavior and learning. A well created and watchfully managed test which is adjudged by two or more evaluators for the definite purpose of ascertaining program strengths and weaknesses remains one of the most popular instruments for evaluating student achievements.

Explaining the concepts of formative and summative assessments in the CCE context, Srikanth, Director and COO, Manipal K12 education points out that these are assessment tools used by the teacher to continuously monitor student progress in a non threatening, supporting environment. “It involves regular descriptive feedback, a chance for the student to reflect on the performance, take advice and improve upon it,” he says. According to him, if used effectively it can improve student performance tremendously while raising the self-esteem of the child and reducing the workload of the teacher.

Portfolio Evaluation

“Portfolios should celebrate student learning through the year, showing the development of the child, both within and outside the design of the curriculum in all subject areas”

Srikanth
Director and COO
Manipal K12 Education

Portfolios used for evaluation are mostly exemplified by compilations of student work that display to the teachers and the student the improvement and accomplishment in stipulated areas. Portfolio assessment is a supportive appraisal tool as it permits the faculty to examine an entire scope of students' work on a regular basis. The use of student portfolios also provides the faculty with the ability of determining the content and manages the quality of the assessed material.

Describing how a teacher can have an effective medium of maintaining student portfolios in a classroom Srikanth explains, “Portfolios are a collection of the child's work which is designed to demonstrate success, growth, higher order thinking, creativity and reflection.  The portfolio is an exhibition of an active mind at work. Portfolios should celebrate student learning through the year, showing the development of the whole child, both within and outside the design of the curriculum in all subject areas.”

Portfolios are used by students to communicate development with parents and with teachers and peers throughout the year. They are intended to be student-managed with teacher guidance so students take ownership of their portfolios. The balance of 'teacher-selected' versus 'student-selected' content in portfolio depends on the age and maturity of students. Teachers help students learn how to thoughtfully choose which items to include in their portfolios and provide students opportunities to thoughtfully remove items also. 

Technologies for Evaluation

There are several technologies that can help in assisting schools in implementation of examination reforms under the CCE model. These include web based applications that empower schools to capture students' details. Templates are available for activities on formative assessments and summative assessments with default descriptive indicators. There are options to customise them to the school requirements.

Report Card Generation tools can prove to be useful for generation of student results. Once marks are entered, all other calculations, conversion to grades and formatting is done automatically. The teacher can select the descriptive indicators and print the report card. There are options to generate comprehensive reports for performance analysis, consolidated mark sheets  and many more. Teachers may exercise the option to analyse challenging areas faced by the student and give feedback to student or parent through email or web portal. 

 “The purpose of technology-assisted tools is to reduce the strain on today's teachers, and to help them improve and optimise their teaching methods. With multimedia tools

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