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Student Assessment: The Parable of Cooking Rice

In a world of intelligent machines, learning outcomes of the new generation students await a thorough revision and fine-tuning to keep educational processes relevant.

It is proposed that modern-day education shall better serve as a tool for the development of entrepreneurial mindset of students, which shall equip them to be future-ready in a VUCA-driven world. Accordingly, students should be able to demonstrate their ability to solve a pertinent problem they encounter in themselves or in the society based on the knowledge they appropriate through education. 

It is high time that student assessment procedures shall be updated, making sure that the right outcomes are measured and that in the most simplified possible manner.  In fact, huge resources of an institution (human resource as well as material resource) is being expended to conduct student examinations, which has to be justified.

Modern theories of student assessment conceive student tests as learning, for learning, as it is the test of learning. Efficacy of a student assessment needs to be evaluated based on its contribution to the process of learning. Additionally, they shall ensure that student assessment facilitates the attainment of the modern-day learning outcome, namely development of entrepreneurial mindset. 

CBSE has taken steps to develop competency-based assessments, a right stem in the right direction. But, we have miles to go before we develop the fitting student assessment scheme for new generation learners. 

 Anybody who cooks rice knows that it is sufficient to test a few grains of the cooked rice to make sure that the entire rice bowl is cooked. Here, the test measures the right property (cooking level) in the simplest possible way (checking a few grains)! Cooking rice may be taken as a parable for right student assessment: Test what is to be tested, in the simplest possible way!

The student assessment of ancient pallikkutams were conducted in that manner! Let us learn from the rich educational legacy of ancient schools.

The February edition of Pallikkutam -- The Education Observer discusses the issues related to student assessment in modern times.

Let us "simplify" student assessments, without "silli-fying" it! Let us carry the message of Entrepreneurial Education beyond the national borders!

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