Yuvraj Krishan Sharma spearheads Kompanions as a Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer (CPO). He is a spirited and creative person at heart fuelled with a flair for innovation and technology, who continuously excited about the creation of ‘NEW Technologies’. As an entrepreneur, he firmly believes that given today’s volatile status-quo and rapidly changing scenario, students need an advanced technological skill-set to sustain growth to meet the demands of the knowledge-based economy, concepts and businesses. Having decades experience, Mr. Sharma has established himself as an industry experts. Before the inception of Kompanions, Mr. Sharma was associated with companies such as The Curriculum Company, iDiscoveri Education, Career Launcher and Noesis Infoway.
During the lockdown, school children studied three to four hours on average. Parents, students, and educators, on the other hand, believe that learning and overall advancement (including social and cultural skills, fitness, and so on) have slowed significantly. Only 60% of pupils have used any remote learning materials, and even among those who have, nearly 80% report learning less or much less than in school. In India, schools were closed in mid-March 2019, affecting roughly 286 million students (48 per cent of girls) ranging from pre-primary to upper secondary education. 6 million children (48 per cent of them are females) were already out of school before the COVID-19 disaster. Given the current scenario, almost all students today study for a few hours every day. On a typical day, 97% of students spend some time researching and learning, averaging three to four hours per day.
Learning Assessment Challenges & Precedence in the Pandemic
The method of gathering and analyzing information on what children know, learn, understand, and what can they do to make an informed decision about the next steps in the educational process. Learning evaluation tools assist in gathering essential feedback mechanisms in education that allow all relevant stakeholders in the learning process to understand what the student learnt, including which learning resources need more focus.
Depending on the goal of the assessment, multiple modalities can get used. Formative assessment, like high-stakes exams and large-scale assessments, is typically carried out by teachers as part of the teaching process and includes everything from teacher observation to constant feedback to assignments. Formative assessment is very important for understanding each student’s learning requirements and adjusting training accordingly. Furthermore, teachers typically administer summative exams, particularly educational content, and evaluate how students attained the intended learning objectives and acquired necessary knowledge and abilities. Additionally, the distractor analysis tool helps find the exact error committed by each student. For example, assume that student A made some calculation error; on the other hand, student B misidentified the concept to solve the problem. Finally, to evaluate a student’s learning development level, the teachers need to document assessment results through the current academic year. A unified assessment portfolio also helps identify the student’s learning outcome as it helps develop instructional methods based on what works and what does not for them individually. The use of an AI-based assessment method creates a tailor-made remedial path. After the learning objectives get defined, parents and teachers can follow a progress report of what the child has learned through the curriculum. Demographic Performance Benchmarking is another method that helps understand the student’s entire demographic age group in his respective age group at a national or global level.
In the Context of School Closures, How Does Formative Assessment Enhance Learning?
Formative assessment is conducted and given in synchronous and asynchronous modes. Teachers can provide real-time feedback to students in the synchronous method. They work with the student simultaneously (through online platforms like Zoom and Microsoft Teams and directly via phone). Online applications such as Google Classrooms and Moodle can assist teachers in providing feedback to students via questions, tasks, activities, and quizzes in the asynchronous mode when students and teachers are separated by geography and time. Several web programmes, like Recap: Video Response and Reflection for Education, WURRLYedu, and Screencastify, can be used to record and share performance challenges made by students. Parents, particularly younger pupils, require specific direction on transmitting formative assessment results to teachers. These instructions are usually available in electronic or printed form, or both get emailed or delivered to families or picked up at the school or other specified site. Formative evaluation can be shared even when schools are closed due to a lack of resources or connectivity.
Regardless of how formative evaluation gets communicated, it must be valid, timely, constructive, and tailored to the child’s learning needs. The alignment to review content with the knowledge content that the student should have gained as part of the learning process is linked closely to the validity element. The timeliness factor relates to the evaluation being used at the right time to take swift action and provide remedial support if necessary. The constructiveness factor relates to the assessment’s ability to provide feedback to the student and for the student to obtain knowledge that assists them in identifying misunderstandings, receiving assistance on how to improve, and comprehending the learning process’s goals. Finally, the specificity of formative assessment indicates its ability to tell teachers and students about whether specific learning objectives are getting met and what needs to get done if they are not. Teachers and parents must access the resources and tools they need to undertake a formative assessment as per these elements, especially in low-resource contexts.
Use of Formative Assessment Tools
Teachers and parents can use various resources to facilitate formative assessment in the context of COVID-19. Companies are making their solutions more accessible to a broader group of users during this period. However, when choosing any specific tool, it is imperative to check the contract terms in the currently applicable laws and regulations and their use. Some applications aid in making formative assessment easy. Questbase is a free online tool for creating quizzes compatible with most browsers and IOS. Woot Math (a free application that automatically generates and assesses thousands of problems to meet each student’s learning needs) are some examples of formative assessment applications. Also, DreamBox Math is an assessment tool that provides math instruction based on performance and allows teachers to design specific activities using the AssignFocus option. In low-resource environments, when connectivity and access to smart devices are not guaranteed, developing printed materials to enhance early reading abilities for younger children and teachers and families.
Although it is currently not possible for teachers and students to engage in the same room in several locations, it is critical for teaching and learning to prevent learning losses and stay on track to reduce learning poverty. Furthermore, a formative evaluation may help all students go forward on their learning path by providing students, their parents, and their teachers with the information they need to support the learning process, even if it gets done remotely.