Has Technology Changed the Way We Look Into Assessments?

Assessing learning has always been in the forefront of educational system.

Assessments were to grade and categorize learners.  Today, assessments make a shift towards achieving understanding. Over the past century educationists, all over the world have come forward with different purposes of assessments.

‘Necessity is the mother of invention’, when learning became more outcome focussed, assessments are categorised to various formats – formal and informal assessments.

Educational institutions changed the strategy of learning from ‘teacher centric’ to ‘learner centric’ systems.  The result being teacher time effectively used towards assessing and guiding students towards a better learning outcomes.  The major setback in these developments was teacher overload and focus on multiple students at a time. 

Technology provided a safe haven in building assessment tools which reduced the burden of monitoring, grading and providing feedback.  Statistical analysis of performance was also made much easier with the indulgence of technology into learning systems. The learning became more transparent and observable for both learner and the teacher.

Categorisation of assessment models, verbs for defining learning are all latest additions to the fields of education.  Globalisation has surpassed industrial revolution, however, there is minimal change in our education system.  With the new type of jobs emerging in the market and the gap between university and employment requisites have led institutions to think about the major changes required in the education system. 

‘Catch young’ has now become a new phrase for skill development.  Skill development emphasis towards youngsters is laid upon today’s faculty who are more knowledge oriented.  This widening vortex between the adapters and millennials has engaged the ‘middle man – technology’ to cement the gap.   

Technology support is not only for the various types of assessment possible but also for providing the right feedback for the answer provided.  Technology support allows mapping questions and assessments to rubrics which develop knowledge, skills, attitudes and values. On a larger level this support builds base which interconnects goal to assessment to outcome. 

Technology supported assessments gives out a larger framework of feedback mechanism.  The evaluation criteria and performance reports not only suggest developmental learning but also gives insight into the teacher efficiency and scope for development.  New frameworks of assessment strategies develop potential competencies which rather lay hidden until challenged.  Technology tools provide large scope for such talents to be discovered. 

Sustainable world has been the focus of this century.  Building paperless assessments with instant feedback is the order of the day.  We have changed from an era where ‘mistakes are punishable’ to an era where we design ‘learning from mistakes’.  Technology has provided the scope for making more mistakes and learning in a safe environment.  Behavioural tracking through collaborative platforms develops scope for building values.  Intercultural understanding and building tolerance among the multifaceted global population is the major criteria for PISA 2018.  Technology addition towards building assessment goals has changed drastically over the past decades. 

Assessment models and types have significantly changed without changing the basic criteria of ‘measuring and grading learning’.  Human effort and technology support for designing assessments gave provision to diversify the pattern of questioning within the set framework of curriculum.   A view towards global diversity is now available in the pattern of assessments technology supports.  It is better to accept and adapt rather than to stay ignorant while the world around us is changing. 

About the Author
I work as Academic Coordinator at Nalanda Educational Institutions, Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh. Worked in implementing Technology supportive curriculum in our organisation. Trainer and Curriculum designer for technology based Curriculum.

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