Continuous Comprehensive Assessment

When we talk to a teacher about Continuous Comprehensive Assessment (CCA) and ask them how they are doing it in their school then they almost always equate assessment with periodic examinations. The very word 'assessment' needs a careful handling of it, particularly the purpose of doing it. The important aspect being who is doing it and what is the intended outcome of such assessment. Assessment can mean how better a child learns (sharing the child's learning with her parents is the intended outcome). It can also mean how better a head teacher administers her duties and encourages her colleagues to do theirs (this reflects on the school's pedagogical health).

A More Traditional View

Assessment is

  1. Comparative- assess a learner on the basis of other one, beside taking actual status of learner
  2. Criteria referenced- assessment against a fixed curriculum
  3. Simple assessment of learning - to access the process of learning

Here is very minute demarcation line between 2nd and 3rd one, any type of assessment can’t possible without taking some reference point. When we try to access anything then automatically we generate some indicator in our mind. The diluteness and sharpness of this indicator is responsible for 3rd category i.e. simple assessment of learning is the dilute form of criteria base assessment. In other word we may say that CCA (CCE) is a criteria based assessment.

Meaning of CCA

C-continuous- Continuity doesn’t mean increase in the periodicity of examination. It only means assessing a learner on regular manner which may be on the basis of one’s observation with examination may be the part of that observation. And such examination, as far as possible, should be specific to each individual.

C-comprehensiveness- This is more sensitive part of assessment. It totally depends on individual teacher. Teacher bias should be checked when it comes to what constitutes a comprehensive assessment. It has 3 components.

1. Scholastic assessment- It measures a student's scholastic ability and achievement rather than her aptitude.

2. Effectiveness of comprehensive assessment depends on teacher's own understanding of child's values, her emotional response towards a difficult situation and her democratic response in encouraging each other in one's classroom. All these observations help guide a teacher for better assessment.

3. Cognitive- Paying attention to the emotional wellbeing of a learner has a deep constructive effect on her learning pace. Teachers need to be sensitive on this.

Implementation of CCA

No shortcuts here. But yes, maintaining a diary on one's daily reflections (joys, pains, frustrations & triumphs..their challenges, your responses to them) in the classroom comes a long way in making CCA a more doable & measureable thing. Conceptual mistake of a learner (like mistake in pattern), carelessness helps teachers to fine tune their next class. An assessment sheet should contain a positive, critical feedback without fail. It should never be only a score.

Certification in CCA

It is an important part to assess learners' growth, so the certificate should reflect the progress made & not just the current status of the learner. For this there may be summative assessment at the end which a teacher may retain 75% for CCA and 25% for a normal test. Such summative assessment should be done by group of teachers rather than just one teacher. This will help rule out unintended personal bias of the teacher.

Summative assessment looks at:

1. Philosophy –what is the problem in a student's learning? (Communicating this sensitively & sensibly with the parents is a given)

2. Concept- how a child learns (This helps the teachers to come up with a better plan to course-correct the teaching pattern in a school)

3. Training- what was the behavior of a child (Helps the child take onus on her own learning & empowers her in the longer run)

4. Basic need of a teacher (this one is for teacher's self-reflection)

Learnings

CCA offers a fresh creative challenge to every teacher. Every day one realizes what their learners are lacking at and how they are lagging behind. Unlike a final exam in the traditional assessment methods, it is a daily eye-opener for the teacher.

References

  1. CCE by Rohit Dhankar

  2. To detain or not to detain: Barking up the Wrong tree - Rohit Dhankar

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