Paper Setting, Examining and Reporting
Paper Setting, Examining and Reporting:

In order to improve the validity of current examinations, the entire process of papersetting needs to be overhauled. The focus should shift to framing good questions rather than mere paper setting. Such questions need not be generated by experts only. Through wide canvassing, good questions can be pooled all year round, from teachers, college professors in that discipline, educators from other states, and even students. These questions, after careful vetting by experts, could be categorised according to level of difficulty, topic/area, concept/competency being evaluated and time estimated to solve. These could be maintained along with a record of their usage and testing record to be drawn upon at the time of generating question papers.

Compelling teachers to examine without paper offering adequate remuneration makes it difficult to motivate them to ensure better quality and consistency in evaluation. Considering that most boards are in good financial health, funding issues should not come in the way of improving the quality of evaluation. With computerisation, it is much easier to protect the identity of both examinee and examiner. It is also easier to randomise examination scripts given to any particular examiner, thus checking malpractices and reducing inter-examiner variability. Malpractices such as cheating with help from outside the examination hall can be reduced if candidates are not permitted to leave the exam centre in the first half time, and also are not permitted to carry question papers out with them while the examination is still going on. The question paper can be made available after the examination is over.

Computerisation makes it possible to present a wider range of performance parameters on the marksheet—absolute marks/grades, percentile rank among all candidates taking the examination for that subject, and percentile rank among peers (e.g. schools in the same rural or urban block). It would also be possible to analyse the quality and consistency of various examiners. The last parameter, in particular, we believe to be a crucial test of merit. Making this information public will allow institutions of higher learning to take a more complex and relativist view of the notion of merit. Such analysis will promote transparency. Requests for re-checking have declined dramatically in places where students have access to their answer papers in either scanned or xeroxed form, on request, for a nominal fee.

In the medium term, we need to be able to increasingly shift towards school-based assessment, and devise ways in which to make such internal assessment more credible. Each school should evolve a flexible and implementable scheme of Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE), primarily for diagnosis, remediation and enhancing of learning. The scheme should take, into account the social environment and the facilities available in the school.

Sensitive teachers usually pick up the unique strengths and weakness of students. There should be ways of utilising such insights. At the same time, to prevent abuse by schools (as is currently the case in practical examinations), they could be graded on a relative, not an absolute, scale and must be moderated and scaled against the marks obtained in the external examination. More research is required on development, teacher training and relevant institutional arrangements.
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Clear CTET - Coaching Institute for CTET, DSSSB and KVS: Paper Setting, Examining and Reporting
Paper Setting, Examining and Reporting
Clear CTET - Coaching Institute for CTET, DSSSB and KVS
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