Teachers in the classroom undertake many activities in a classroom to gauge the students’ understanding and give appropriate feedback to parents, children and the school management. Assessment is an integral component of the teacher-learning process. ‘Educational Assessment’ broadly includes the collection and interpretation of data or evidence about a learning, teaching, classroom and institutional processes. This helps improve institutional practices and student learning, and in this course, we focus primarily on assessment as opposed to evaluation (in which outcomes are judged for adequacy in the framework of larger aims).
In India, assessments involve class tests or end of term examinations for testing for mere recall of content. The National Curriculum Framework of 2005 calls for a move away from this process into a system of continuous and formative assessments. The Right of Children to free and Compulsory Education Act of 2009 also states that no child is required to pass any Board examination until the completion of elementary education. But for there to be attention to learning in the absence of exams, there needs to be a continuous set of formative assessments to understand each student’s engagement with learning. In this course, we develop tools for large scale assessments, issues surrounding the idea of assessment, and take a close look at historical and contemporary assessment practices and policies in India’s public education system.