Technology as a Harbinger of Quality Standards in Assessment and Evaluation: An International Approach

Technology as a Harbinger

By harnessing the power of technology, educational institutions and organizations can enhance the accuracy, efficiency, and fairness of assessment processes while promoting global best practices and comparability. The panel discussion at 25th Elets World Education Summit in Dubai explores the ways in which technology is revolutionising assessment and evaluation practices on an international scale, highlighting its benefits, challenges, and the importance of adopting a collaborative approach to drive educational excellence. Edited excerpts:

Dr. Harshita Sharma, Founder-Director, Brainstorm International, Maharashtra, India shared, “The assessment and evaluation processes have been revolutionised by technology, improving accuracy, objectivity, and access to education. However, there are still learning gaps that need to be addressed. Reflecting on the purpose of assessment is crucial to creating effective evaluation tools.

“The impact of assessment on self-esteem and confidence must be considered, as well as fairness and equity for diverse learners. NEP emphasizes the importance of understanding “why” we teach, not just “what” and “how.” Moving towards a holistic progress card rather than a traditional report card can help children progress in their learning.”

Dr. Vinod R. R., Director – Training Internship and Placements, Chinmaya Vishwa Vidyapeeth, Kerala, India shared, “First and foremost, we must acknowledge that technology will continue to exist and coexist with us. The younger generation, Generation Z, seeks instant gratification and quick satisfaction in their lives. While this is not necessarily a bad thing, we must also appreciate and follow traditional rules of gratitude and appreciation for the things we have.”

“We must strike a balance between embracing technology and practising gratitude. As a trainer myself, I understand the importance of feedback in improving performance, but we must maintain sight of the emotional aspect of it. We should use rubrics to measure progress and growth, as Bloom’s taxonomy suggests. It’s time for us to mature and find a holistic approach to this issue.”

Gariasi Dutta, Resident Trustee, The downtown School, Guwahati, Assam, India, shared “The recommendation when it comes to utilizing technology for assessment purposes is to use it judiciously, as too much of anything can have negative effects. For instance, in our school, we balance the use of technology with other activities such as coding class for one hour followed by a Dramatics or swimming class. We believe that this balance can be achieved in the daily academic curriculum, which now includes not just academics, but also co-curricular and individual development.”

“For students with special needs such as ADHD or slow learners, we integrate gamification into the curriculum for subjects like science, math, and social studies, so that learning needs are met while keeping the use of technology judicious. However, for students with autism spectrum, excessive screen time is not recommended, so we use organic hands-on assessments instead. With access to teaching-learning tools that have opened up after the Covid pandemic, we are making the best use of whatever we can in the northeastern part of India, despite being located far away from Bangalore or Delhi.”

“Currently, we have adopted a hybrid approach since eliminating pen and paper entirely can make parents uneasy, to be frank. Therefore, we still utilize pen and paper for some portions of the curriculum to keep parents content. Moreover, we incorporate various resources available in the Northeast, such as Logic Kits for logical reasoning, Minds Park, and the Olympiads. Previously, these exams were conducted using pen and paper, but now that computer access is available, I have observed a significant reduction in anxiety levels among my students. They no longer have the educator pacing around the room, which is what my students have conveyed to me as feedback.”

Madhuri Sawant, Managing Director and Founder, Brainquartz shared, “The initial step is the concept of assessment, which is always beneficial for children to identify their gaps and improve upon them. Practice tests are a form of assessment that helps students to understand where their gaps lie and work towards filling them. This way, they continue to learn and progress independently. Technology can aid in this process as well.”

“For instance, ChatGPT is an AI-based tool that can provide feedback to teachers on individual students’ learning gaps. This helps teachers to understand which topics need more focus and repetition in class. Additionally, students can also use technology to learn at their own pace, using various devices and online resources. This way, they can overcome their fear of missing out on any part of the subject and continue to learn even if they miss a class. It is essential to recognize that every child learns differently and at their own pace, and technology can assist in balancing their learning speed.”