Is Personalised Assessment the Way Forward?

We can simplify the process of education into a cycle consisting of the following parameters – lessons, assessment, and feedback. Schools naturally use their classrooms to provide lessons.


We can simplify the process of education into a cycle consisting of the following parameters – lessons, assessment, and feedback. Schools naturally use their classrooms to provide lessons. Then there are continuous assessments to track the students’ progress. It then leads to a feedback session where the teachers either help the children to rectify their mistakes or decide whether a particular student is ready to move on to the next grade. Accordingly, the next set of lessons start. Now, the top ten school in Greater Noida have already implemented personalisation in the learning process. Feedback can also be personalised with one-to-one sessions. But where personalisation is yet to leave a considerable footprint is in the assessment stage as many schools still follow the same examination pattern for all their students.

The need for personalised assessment

Naturally, the schools cannot set a particular exam paper for each student of its institution. One, that is humanly herculean. And two, the resulting grades will not present a proper metric. However, just because the concept seems impossible to apply does not mean it should not be applied at all. Personalised learning has already shown its stark benefits. So has personalised feedback. General assessment that stands in between the two somehow breaks the whole essence of education. If a student is struggling with expression, he/she will naturally find it difficult to answer questions on paper. The marks he/she receives can by no means show the depth of the student’s education.

There lies the importance of personalised assessment. If a school has to effectively judge a student’s progress, the evaluation must encapsulate his/her strengths and weaknesses as well. The sole purpose of the assessment is never to decide whether a student passes or fails a particular grade. It is to test knowledge and development and their effective evaluation can only come through personalisation.

Implementing personalised assessment

How can schools personalise their assessments? The answer lies with formative assessment or the technique by which the Best School in Noida Extension employees a combination of formal and informal evaluation techniques to test its students and the net outcome is a cumulative result of all the results. In formative assessment, the student who was struggling with writing answers on the examination paper may very well start performing in a one-to-one oral session with the teacher where the burden of expressing properly is less or in a project set in the class that tackles a similar set of questions. Personalised formative assessment will take class performance into account in the marking scheme, along with participation in extra-curricular activities, performance in school labs, application of knowledge in the real world, and projects that work without any time limit.

The informal element of formative assessment leads to personalisation. Teachers need to have the freedom to assess their students in a way they deem fit, just like the allowances exist in the lesson and feedback stages. If a student is successful in actually dividing five oranges in class or using the abacus to solve a math problem, these must count in the overall gradation system. This is personalisation. Not testing everyone in the same way but giving equal opportunities to all prove themselves in different ways.

The extent of personalisation

Here again, just like the lessons cannot be completely personalised in schools, neither can the feedback, personalisation must have a limit in the assessment stage as well. The top CBSE schools in Noida Extension will continue to use the conventional exam structure to evaluate their students but will include choices in the questions, involve different patterns, and vary complexity to accommodate the needs of all students. Similarly, class performance will count but they will not constitute a major chunk of the net grade to facilitate students who can express themselves on paper but not in front of an audience. In short, good schools will know the limits of personalisation. Just because the need is there, the schools cannot go all out as no one method holds an absolute advantage when implemented alone.

The BGS Vijnatham School believes in personalised assessment. The teachers here employ formative assessment techniques to evaluate the students based on their existing knowledge, capability to comprehend, strengths and weaknesses, and varying intelligence. The concept of personalised learning exists in BGS Vijnatham’s core ethos and naturally, the entire pedagogy of the school follows the principles, assessment included. Only when the cycle is complete with this essential ingredient present at every stage can education receive its true treatment. A few good schools have implemented personalised assessment. And there remains no question as to whether this is the way forward. The benefits are fairly obvious.

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