Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation – An overview…

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Continuous & Comprehensive Evaluation:

Our national policies on education imply that the evaluation system should incorporate both scholastic and non-scholastic aspects and should spread over the total span of instructional time. This has stirred up every state to look at its own educational policy and has demanded certain reforms in the evolution and implementation of evaluation system that would test knowledge and application of knowledge along with various life skills. Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) being one of the attributes of RTE Act 2009, has compelled the state governments to practice and implement CCE in their respective states. I welcome the decision of the Government of Tamil Nadu to implement CCE for the classes I to VIII from the academic year 2012-13, and for the classes IX & X from the academic year 2013-14.

Need for CCE:

The present traditional evaluation system is one-dimensional and is based on memory of the learner. It does not test if the student is able to interpret the knowledge gained. In other words, the present system does not test the student’s ability to apply the knowledge in a real life situation, present the case, defend the results, reflect his/her learning and argue with confidence. Hence, there is an urgent need to reform our present traditional evaluation system.

What is CCE?

The Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation consists of two assessment parts: Formative Assessment (FA) and Summative Assessment (SA). FA is used to map/monitor learning progress throughout the term or semester. It provides ongoing feedback to teachers and students. The assessment provides information on progress, and identifies and addresses areas that require further development e.g. writing folios, work conferencing, teacher questioning, learning journals, portfolios, digital portfolios, reading logs, observations and interviews, projects, oral presentation. SA, on the other hand is generally completed at the end of the term or semester to document the level of achievement. Summative assessment includes written tests and exams. This assessment can provide feedback to the teacher about the effectiveness of the unit of work.

The students are evaluated on scholastic areas by incorporating both formative assessment and summative assessment, with weightage being given in the ratio 40:60 respectively. The formative assessment is instigated in two frames FA(a) – Activity based assessment and FA(b) – written test based assessment. FA takes place throughout the term in a continuous manner. It is proposed to have 6 assessments and the best 4 would be considered for grading in both FA(a) & FA(b). Both frames contribute 40% of the total. During the 2nd term, the students from class V and above will be given a project of his/her choice of subject and the entire marks for FA(b) ie., 20% will be marked on his/her project.

The Summative Assessment takes place at the end of the term. In the present context of educational system, there would be three summative assessments SA1, SA2 & SA3 that occurs at the end of three terms (quarterly, half yearly and annual).

Sl.no Terms Assessment Mode of Assessment Time- Frame Marks
1 Term 1 – June to Sept FA 1 FA(a) & FA(b) June – Sept 20 + 20
SA 1 Written Test Sept 60
2 Term 2– Oct to Dec FA 2 FA(a) & FA(b*) Oct – Dec 20 + 20
SA 2 Written Test Dec 60
3 Term 3 – Jan to April FA 3 FA(a) & FA(b) Jan – April 20 + 20
SA 3 Written Test April 60

 

* Project work for classes V and above

Source: School Education (V1) Department, G.O. (Ms) No. 143 dated 19.09.2011

 

Points to ponder on CCE:

  1. The uniformity of assessment criteria and strategy followed by the teachers at different locations / suburbs across the state may not prove to be the standard outcome for the students.
  2. The caliber of teachers to understand and cope with the new evaluation system should be taken into consideration as CCE is implemented. Necessary training may be carried out at every school in order to gain the full advantage of CCE.
  3. The teachers should possess the ability to understand every student and provide him or her with necessary evaluation strategy within the framework of CCE. I believe each and every student is unique and are differently gifted.
  4. Creating assessment strategy to evaluate the co-scholastic area FA(a) of the students is equally important.
  5. The transparency of the co-scholastic assessment criteria FA(a) should be made available in the form of task sheet detailing the expectation of the task to every student before the actual assessment.
  6. Different activity may require different set of assessment criteria hence the ability to frame the right assessment criteria by the school / teachers.
  7. We should have different assessment methods to assess the students on a specific topic with regards to FA(a). Option should be given to the students to choose the kind of activity that interests him so that students can be assessed based on that activity.
  8. The assessment criteria should be carefully drafted to measure life skills.
  9. Students should also possess the right to challenge the marking of assessment done by the teacher. This would make sure that the teacher is not biased.
  10. The influence of CCE in the teaching methods used by the teacher.

Conclusion:

Can CCE replace the traditional evaluation system effectively? In my opinion, the effectiveness of CCE still needs to be discussed as it raises various concerns. Though, in contradiction to the traditional system, CCE provides the freedom to teachers to mark the students using formative assessment method, it is limited, as FA(a) contributes just 20% of overall score of 100. Besides, nothing much can be done with the summative assessment, which is paper & pen type test; constituting about 60% of overall score along with 20% of formative assessment FA(b) based on class written test. One positive outcome of CCE is that it removes some amount of pressure on students as CCE provides opportunity for every student to perform well i.e., 4 out of 6 in FA’s. Though the CCE has both advantages and concerns, on a broader picture, every teacher in the school needs to understand CCE and should continue to develop different formative assessment strategies to assess the students and to make CCE very effective and meaningful.

On a different note, I believe CCE method would become highly effective and meaningful when the summative assessment is made through various tasks such as like project work, oral presentation, problem solving activities, essays and other formal assignments. This would lead us to the next reformation in education: school autonomy, conducting exams and evaluating students in Year 10 & Year 12 by the school itself. This will tremendously reduce the amount of pressure on students, giving complete freedom to school to design their own learning and evaluation strategies according to its demographic position, quality of education and the learning outcome required. This can be achieved, if we have a policy framework on school autonomy with well-defined policies and regulations placed upon the schools in order to ensure uniformity and greater control over the quality on assessment. This would facilitate every student to compete at equal level for higher education at college / university level.

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