Formative Assessment Activities

June 7, 2013

formative assessment activities

The formative assessment activities, which have been introduced in CBSE schools, are paving the way towards making education application-based, meaningful and engaging for students.   The rote and memorization based examination system with dry direct questions which encouraged many students to cram for exams at the end of the year and burn the midnight oil is slowly becoming a thing of the past.  Students can now look forward to learning with the help of activities to develop their whole being and internalize and apply what they have learnt.   The Dale’s cone of learning says that people generally remember 10% of what they read but 90% of what they do.  The annual examination system mode of evaluation encouraged a culture of textbook learners who crammed for exams and mainly relied on memorization.  Moreover, meaningful learning which goes beyond just shaping a child’s academic knowledge can only happen with a range of practical and hands-on activities.  Let us look at a few activities that are part of the formative assessment of CBSE schools:

  1. Group assignments and projects:  Group assignments and projects embody learning by doing as they enable students to be directly involved in the learning process and also helps enhance their knowledge and use their collective wisdom to come up with the best solutions.  For example, if students are learning about solar energy, making a miniature model of a solar car will help them to research and apply what they have learnt and make learning much more meaningful and engaging.
  2. Role plays, dramatizations and skits:  Role plays, dramatizations and skits help students to get into the character and empathize with literary and historic figures and understand different settings.  It makes learning subjects fun and meaningful and also helps them to relate to the topics and remember important aspects of a literary piece or a social science subject.
  3. Group discussion/speech/debate:   Group discussions, speeches and debates enable students to practice articulating their thoughts, assert themselves and gain a broader perspective about different topics.

Formative assessment is a recent development in CBSE schools, and like any change, it will take some time for the entire process to become well-established and effective.  Successful implementation of formative assessment in the next few years will ensure that students are better equipped to enter higher portals of learning.

photo credit: Jordanhill School D&T Dept via photopin cc

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