Related Topics of Assessments
It is surprising that a small weak link in academic progression, if strengthened, can not only fill academic gaps but also help to address other psychological issues of underperformers.
Identifying gaps and ascertaining a child’s academic level- requires, tried and tested methods, trained and experienced observations and most importantly expertise in the system of baseline and periodic assessments and for recording and tracking the progress. There are several tools- some are standardized and some are Curriculum Based Assessments which are teacher made. GLAD (Grade Level Assessment Device) which is primarily used to identify areas of learning difficulties. The standardized tool- The Competency Ladder- by NCERT is a scientific and accurate way of conducting baseline assessments.
Assessment in Inclusive Education
The challenge lies in the optimum and most effective use of the tools.
The importance of baseline assessments, especially as part of academic audits in schools, cannot be undermined. They are the foundation of education which provide the framework for planning educational needs of students. Baseline assessments are the first step in planning and implementing improved teaching and enhancing learning outcomes.
Assessments ascertain the child’s present level as against the expected level.
Specific learning gaps are identified.
Goal setting becomes an automatic part of the process.
In a mainstream classroom, this addresses one more challenge- grouping children of similar ability so that the concept of differential teaching and learning, can be applied.
Achieved learning outcomes become visible and further planning becomes easier.
Children with larger gaps, who need special education are easily identified.
Periodic assessments and annual assessments, to determine progress are a must for every child, with or without special needs. Accountability laws, such as No Child Left Behind (NCLB), require that each student makes annual yearly progress. Students in special education usually take these tests with accommodations or take an alternate assessment.