True learning has an inherent assessment process. When purpose of assessments is reflection and feedback, it becomes a tool to improve and strengthen student learning

Learning and assessment

Learning is an ongoing and continuous process. The initial exposure generates the need to invest our attention towards a subject or task. And then experience brings us insights and leads to self-reflection and a need for feedback to improve understanding and performance.

And the efforts towards sustained practice ensure that the journey of learning remains unending.

In the present classroom processes, the focus on self-reflection and feedback is largely missing. Exams fail to provide the timely input on how the learner can make efforts towards reaching their learning goal.

The current process of assessment through regular testing, mid and end year exams become a judgment tool in providing a measurement of a child’s ability to learn.

The design of the learning approach developed by IEC rests fundamentally on the belief that assessments drive learning

What should be assessed?

Primarily the assessment framework should help in identifying the child’s natural abilities and interests. The design of such an assessment framework sees the child as a holistic being and her needs are assessed keeping in mind the development of all aspects of her personality.

The assessment framework should be geared towards assessing the development of skills and abilities to learn.

Ken Robinson said that in education what is measured becomes important, however, what is important is not measured.

Conceptual understanding and the intangible abilities of creativity, collaboration, analysis need to be observed in students to bring attention towards their development in classrooms.

It has been witnessed that a shift in assessment processes brings a transformation in the learning processes because the focus shifts towards how learning happens and not how much is learnt.

How should a learner be assessed?

The teaching learning process includes four main components-

  • The personality of the child
  • The nature of the subject
  • The skills that can be developed through the subject
  • The engagement of the learner in the learning tasks.

A comprehensive assessment process would have data on all these aspects to provide the child with individualised feedback, ensuring her progress on the learning path.

Translating these principles into action, IEC works with teachers to redefine their assessment practices by enabling them to

  • Use individual student portfolios to track each child’s continuous progress.
  • Record their observations on students to understand the patterns in student responses
  • Implement an integrated qualitative assessment tool which focuses on conceptual understanding and development of abilities.