Chennai Schools explore ways to assess students online

Spot tests, quizzes, periodic tests are being conducted to find out the outcome of online learning

Published - August 12, 2020 05:58 pm IST - CHENNAI

A class 9 student attending online class in Chennai. File.

A class 9 student attending online class in Chennai. File.

From using fun apps to administer quizzes to having students take up short tests administered through online learning platforms, several schools in the city are exploring ways to have assessments for their students.

Several private schools began online classes from June and assessments have now become an integral part. “We’ve been administering a mix of tests through zoom as well as by way of short spot tests during the live classes for basic formative assessment. The spot tests assess if students have understood what is being taught in their online classes- something that the teachers can use to evaluate how effective their online teaching has been,” said Sheela Rajendra, dean and director, PSBB Schools.

She emphasised that now, more than ever, the focus should be on learning rather than marks. “We ensure that there is no pressure on students with regard to these assessments and as a practice we also ask them to frame questions based on the lessons taught and share it for better understanding,” she said.

With students behind their laptops or other electronic devices, teachers too have become invigilators virtually. “For short periodic tests that we conducted, the students were shown each question and they wrote the answers on a sheet of paper which they later mailed to us. We had their teacher as well as another faculty member conduct the test online,” said Priyanka Ghosh, principal, Vikas Mantra Public School.

Most schools have ensured that the assessments are restricted to 25 marks or below. “While our initial round of periodic tests had only multiple choice questions, we plan on having 2, 3 and 4 mark questions for our next round of tests,” she said.

At Chennai Public School Anna Nagar, assessments with objective type questions are carried out through time bound google forms through the Google Classrooms platform. “We also give students a few subjective questions in addition since we don’t want them to lose practice with writing,” said Asha Nathan, principal.

Schools like CPS are also having fun quizzes for students through apps like Kahoot in specific concepts or lessons. “Students are very eager to participate in these quizzes and it definitely makes learning more fun,” Ms Asha added.

In the recently released guidelines for online learning, the Tamil Nadu government had said that while schools can carry out assessments, none of these should be made mandatory and they have also recommended that it should not be counted in the final grade.

Keeping with the guidelines, schools too are yet to take a call on whether the assessments will be calculated for a student’s final grade and say that they will take a decision once they have more clarity on when schools reopen.

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