Progress in ed­u­ca­tional as­sess­ment

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Opinion/national News -

As we reach half in the year, the asses­sor is tak­ing a glimpse at the set wishes, dreams, goals and tar­gets which may turn into real­ity.

Ed­u­ca­tional as­sess­ment world­wide, is ever evolv­ing and mov­ing for­ward.

The stu­dent to­day is dif­fer­ent from the yester year stu­dent.

Where the oldies played with dolly houses, wire cars and sat down promptly and 1700 hours to watch Rain­bow or Ba­nanas in Py­ja­mas on the tele­vi­sion, our modern child plays games on the lap­top, tablet or play sta­tion, googles the lat­est movie and watches it on the smart phone and ad­mires only car­toons with su­per­nat­u­ral pow­ers.

A dif­fer­ence of worlds in­deed. Au­thors such as Enid Bly­ton and C.S Lewis had widely read books, they re­main to­day be­cause some have been turned into films or movies which ap­peals to the tech­no­log­i­cally adept gen­er­a­tion.

With all this in mind ed­u­ca­tional as­sess­ment must look at how to move tech­no­log­i­cally so as to cap­ture the full po­ten­tial of the stu­dent as well as evolve with the learn­ing plat­forms.

E-learn­ing has be­come quite a phe­nom­e­non with stu­dents be­ing able to ac­cess mod­ules and tu­to­ri­als on com­put­ers.

At higher lev­els of ed­u­ca­tion, on can ac­quire a de­gree on line and even at­tend “vir­tual” lec­tures.

David Haw­ley, chief aca­demic of­fi­cer, In­ter­na­tional Bac­calau­re­ate, in his ar­ti­cle ti­tled, The Fu­ture of Ed­u­ca­tional As­sess­ment? seems to sum it up in a state­ment that reads “Con­tem­po­rary ado­les­cents have grown up with tablets, video games and a rich ar­ray of in­ter­ac­tive so­cial me­dia.

“They de­serve aca­demic as­sess­ments that value what they al­ready un­der­stand.”

What would this mean? It would mean us­ing tech­nol­ogy in the stead of man­ual pa­per, as is the world­wide prac­tice at the mo­ment.

It would means tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vance­ments to as­sist in the set­ting, com­pil­ing and mark­ing of the ex­am­i­na­tions.

The Zim­babwe School Ex­am­i­na­tions Coun­cil has a vi­sion “to cre­ate and ICT driven or­gan­i­sa­tion” and has taken great strides to­wards the re­al­i­sa­tion of this vi­sion.

E-mark­ing, which ZIMSEC now runs with­out as­sis­tance from the soft­ware provider, has be­come a strength which other ex­am­i­na­tions boards in our re­gion and pos­si­bly the broader Africa are tak­ing a leaf from.

Ev­ery year ZIMSEC hosts groups from other ex­am­i­na­tion boards who are com­ing to un­der­study and learn dur­ing our live emark­ing ses­sions.

The adop­tion of e-mark­ing for most sub­jects has cut down the mark­ing time and has put in stop gap mea­sures to en­sure qual­ity as­sess­ment which is tracked and de­pend­able.

The Grade Maker is an­other ad­vance­ment in which brings ef­fi­ciency and se­cu­rity to ed­u­ca­tional as­sess­ment.

It not only al­lows the asses­sor to write items and bank them on­line, it also aids in the com­pi­la­tion of the set pa­pers.

It al­lows ac­cess to archived in­for­ma­tion which helps in­form those in charge of the pro­cesses to see quickly how “top­ics, subtopics and skills have been as­sessed in the past this knowl­edge can feed into im­prov­ing item au­thor­ing”.

It will also re­duce hu­man in­ter­face with com­plete scripts en­hanc­ing se­cu­rity lev­els of the ex­am­i­na­tions process.

As a na­tion ICT has be­come a fun­da­men­tal base for all com­merce and in­dus­try in the re­al­i­sa­tion of the na­tional trans­for­ma­tion plan.

As ZIMSEC, we are look­ing a tak­ing great strides to­wards be­ing driven by tech­nol­ogy, in stan­dard as­sess­ment prac­tices and in the en­hance­ment of se­cu­rity of ex­am­i­na­tions.

Con­tin­u­ous as­sess­ment which has been in­tro­duced by the Min­istry of Pri­mary and Se­condary Ed­u­ca­tion is all part and par­cel of a for­ward look­ing na­tion whose de­sire is not only main­tain, but im­prove stan­dards in teach­ing, learn­ing and as­sess­ment.

The teach­ers be­ing the ones who are in day to day in­ter­ac­tion with the stu­dent, are now able to mean­ing­fully con­trib­ute to the holis­tic as­sess­ment of the child.

To­gether we work to­wards as­sess­ment that is holis­tic and fair giv­ing ev­ery stu­dent the chance to ex­cel at what they are strong in, car­ry­ing a life skill that will jump­start them into their fu­ture.

Web­site: www.zimsec.co.zw; What­sApp: 0772768817; FB: Zim­babwe School Ex­am­i­na­tions Coun­cil- Zimsec Public Re­la­tions

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