To make learning a serious goal, it is important to measure and track learning better and use results from assessments to guide action. Learning assessments can provide valuable information on the education system with regards to issues of quality, efficiency, access and equity.
There are broadly two main types of learning assessments that correspond to different information needs or purposes:
- Large scale assessments: provide information on overall students’ learning levels and trends in the education system as an aid to policy decision-making.
- Classroom based assessments: provide real-time information to teachers and students to support teaching and learning in individual classrooms
Data quality and accuracy plays a central role in all phases of developing, implementing, analyzing and using the data from learning assessments.
CSF supports NCERT, CBSE, and other central bodies to ensure that there is a continued focus on the improvement of student outcomes through enabling high-quality, reliable large-scale assessments. Some key assessment projects that CSF supports are the National Achievement Survey, a national-level study on Foundational Literacy and Numeracy , Key Stage Assessments in CBSE schools (SAFAL), and setting up PARAKH, a national-level assessment body.
Involves selecting a sample of elements from a target population to conduct a survey
National Achievement Survey
NAS is the largest sample-based national-level assessment in the world that feeds into the overall policy-making in Education conducted and undertaken by the Ministry of Education, Government of India, across 701 Districts in 20 Languages for ~30 Lakh students in Grades 3, 5, 8, and 10 across State Govt. schools, Govt. Aided schools, Private Unaided recognized schools, and Central Government schools.
CSF supported NCERT for assessment design across the following critical workstreams to ensure reliable and valid measurement of learning outcomes.
This method entails the collection of information from all units in the population
Assessments in grades 3, 5 and 8
Key- Stage Assessments (KSAs) help monitor student progress over time and provide an overall picture of the education system’s performance. Aggregated at the school level, KSAs would provide valuable data about student learning and help stakeholders across the education system to evaluate progress on early grade competencies to take timely remedial action. These assessments are not meant for passing or failing a child but to understand the health of the education system.
In line with NEP’s recommendations to prioritize key stage assessments, CBSE conducted Structured Assessment for Analyzing Learning levels (SAFAL), which undertook key stage assessments at grades 3, 5, and 8.
Read more on how key-stage examinations like SAFAL can improve the quality of education
Assessment-Informed Instruction (A-i-i) is that missing link which helps teachers identify “where students are” and “how best to move them to their intended destination” through the modification of teaching and learning activities in the classroom. It involves supporting teachers with a step-by-step guide integrated within the teaching-learning materials with regular checkpoints to assess the learning levels of students and instructions tailored according to the students’ responses.
CSF has published a guidebook titled ‘Practitioners Guide to Embedding Assessment Informed Instruction (A-i-i)’, which serves as a last-mile solution for education stakeholders and practitioner organizations. You can read it here.