While the ultimate purpose of education is to facilitate personal and professional growth and enrichment, it often ends up becoming synonymous with examinations that they are assessed on. However, is education as shallow to be narrowed down to some numbers and grades? And is it sufficient to measure a child’s understanding of various academic concepts? It is time for our education system to look beyond examinations as the only means to measure academic performance.
Here are some alternative ways in which schools can assess students’ retention:
Frequent Class Assessments Instead of One Final Exam
Breaking the syllabus and topics into separate modules and assessing the child on each instead of one end-of-term exam can help teachers understand in-depth the student’s retention of the subjects. Conduct frequent small assessments on a weekly or fortnightly basis instead of one final examination to test their comprehension. This will help children identify their weak areas, and work on these to improve their understanding.
Stepping Beyond the Books: Real-World Examples
Providing real-world examples can help children to connect their tangible realities to theoretical knowledge and absorb the matter better. For example, a basic concept like “air occupies space” may be taught by placing an inflated balloon in the mouth of a compass box and trying to shut the latter. Students would then understand that since the inflated balloon consists of air within, it prevents the box from shutting. In other words, judging the examples shared from real-life can help a child build experiences and give teachers a better understanding of a child’s knowledge.
Conducting Interactive Group Activities
A child’s peer group becomes a significant learning ground to develop the most essential skills. Conducting group activities like role-playing, group discussions, debates, games, brainstorming sessions etc. can not only facilitate better comprehension of the topic but also help to boost students’ confidence. The Global Indian International School and other major educational institutions worldwide emphasize on looking beyond written examinations and monitor group activities for the benefit of their students.
Assessing the Understanding of the Basics
The key to mastering any subject is understanding the basic concepts. Thus, it would help parents and teachers to evaluate their comprehension of the foundation regularly. Students may be asked questions from the syllabus of the previous year, ensuring that they have not forgotten the core principles. Testing on the core principles is an important assessment.
Focusing on Practical Skills + Theoretical Knowledge
Emphasizing on theory without teaching students the practical implications of the same can pass off as bookish knowledge. However, not teaching them the theory behind practical skills would be like growing a plant without roots. The best schools worldwide focus on striking the right balance between theory and practical implementation.
Gone are the days when mugging up paragraphs would be the primary criterion to measure academic performance. Today, schools are realizing the significance of alternative assessment methods and the need to have regular assessments. Formulating the right metrics and criteria for evaluation can help parents and teachers assess children effectively. It also helps guardians and parents take corrective measure wherever required.