Saturday, October 4, 2014

Assessment from a Student Perspective - Projects or Grades

Our objective as educational institutes is too make a life long learner that has marketable skills that can be used to add value to society in a variety of ways. 

I am a student. 20 years old and I write this to present the student voice on education, which I strongly feel has not been represented enough on national platforms and discussions related to Education in India. I believe students have a valid opinion and are a vital stake holder in Education.

Assessment and Students

Let us look at one such aspect of education from the perspective of a student. Assessment. 

All the assessment I went through at school and college was for the institute and for the government and not for me? When we assess with Grades, we assess to keep a record not to check the real learning of the students. Because before you assess you have to analyze the perspective of the student towards a particular subject. 

-Has the student understood why the subject is relevant? 
-Has the student developed a genuine interest in the subject?

What kind of assessment will your dream employer or company prefer?

When I went to apply for my first job interview, the first question my interviewer asked me was this, ‘Show me a portfolio of your work and contribution in this industry?’ For some reason no one was interested in the grades I received at school. I wondered why?

The grades of the 8th grade are not useful for the 9th Grade. They were simply meant to keep a record of the student’s progress from one grade to another. Why does assessment not benefit me as a student? Why do I have to start off from scratch every year, rather than build on my work over several years at school and college? 

What are some possible solutions to this problem? I asked a few students this question and got some very interesting ideas. Why not assess the Portfolio documenting all the projects, creations, writing, videos, of the students in their 16+ years of schooling.

Assessment based on Portfolio and Projects

Now you are assessing me for my work. Let me create a specialized portfolio. Any employer would love to go through this. Let me create a

1.  Blog

2.  Video Channel

3.  Community Project

4.  Web Application

5.  Research Study

6.  Small Business

Let me do the above in an industry or field I am truly and really passionate about. Then when I go to apply for a job, I will have the skills I need and you will have the assessment you need. We both win. I decided I was going to assess myself based on the projects I brought to life and not based on my grades. Here are some pictures of projects with which I have tried hard to add value.

Recent Trends in Assessment in Education

1) Ipsative Assessment - In Education, Ipsative is the practice of assessing present performance against prior performance of the person being assessed. Read Gwyneth Hughes' book on the subject for more information.
2) Met School Passion Assessment - This school started by the visionary educator, Dr Dennis Liitky, assesses students based on the projects they create related to their subjects and not only on grades.

Let us learn together
Tweet @AbhishekShetty_

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