Education

Assess their skills

A gradual shift towards skill-based assessments can help identify a student’s innate abilities.

A gradual shift towards skill-based assessments can help identify a student’s innate abilities.

The education system in India tends to focus on rote learning and gives secondary status to skills, despite various discussions on including the latter.

One topic of recent debate is whether college assessments should be based on skills. According to a study in Vanderbilt University, assessment is a critical aspect of the teaching-learning process, and teachers can measure their effectiveness by linking student performance to specific learning objectives.

College assessments have, so far, been based on marks in written exams. Today, traditional ways of conducting classroom exams alone are not enough. A student’s real potential may lie in a skill set he/she possesses. A gradual shift towards skill-based assessments can help identify a student’s innate abilities. Therefore, effective verbal and written communication and presentation skills, digital marketing, designing, critical thinking, and problem-solving need to be assessed. This can be done by revising the pedagogy to incorporate these skills while keeping the main syllabus intact.

Benefits

Skill-based assessment will not only make students job-ready but also develop essential life skills and self-evaluation. This will provide teachers with feedback on the student’s strengths and weaknesses and also the efficacy of their own teaching methods. Following the learning by doing principle also helps students deal with real-life situations and assess themselves.

The pandemic has made it crucial for the government, industry, and academia to come together and focus on skilling students for a better future. In the new normal, there will be an increased demand for skilled workers related to sanitation, health, and technology. Students can be part of this ‘reset’ process and utilise their skills to secure opportunities in the fields they are interested in. Before that, there is a need for the education ecosystem to warm up to the skill-based opportunities and groom students accordingly. Skilling, re-skilling, and up-skilling of students is the need of the hour to bridge the gap between industry and academia.

India has among the youngest populations in the world, with more than 62% in the working age group. More than 54% of our population is under 25 years. There is, thus, an urgent need to enhance the skills of the available workforce to improve their employability and contribution to the country’s economic growth. And skill-based assessment at the college level is the first step in this direction.

The writer is Director, Admissions, JK Lakshmipat University, Jaipur.


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Printable version | May 24, 2022 6:31:48 am | https://www.thehindu.com/education/why-should-colleges-start-linking-student-performance-to-specific-learning-objectives/article38273017.ece