Monday, December 9, 2019


Student Assessment and SEE

Student's assessment determines level of learning of the student as set in the curriculum in the subject tested. Learning achievement of the student is used for various purposes such as qualification for higher studies; selection for scholarship or employment; as a yardstick to measure quality of education; or as an information tool to improve instruction to enhance student learning.

Assessment is categorized into formative and summative assessments based on their purposes. Formative assessments are used when teaching learning is going on and there is room to improve student's learning. Summative assessments are used is to determine level of student's learning and usually certification is done on this basis.

School Education Examination (SEE) is a nation-wide external examination used to certify student at the end of grade 10. Previously SEE was named as School Leaving Examination (SLC) in school education system in Nepal. SLC which has been accorded as end of school level education was in practice since 1934 under the Board of School Leaving Certificate Examination. In its history of 85 years of SLC with changed named SEE in 2017, there have been a number of initiatives to improve end of grade examination such as development of specification grid, use of marking scheme, training to the item writers, quality improvement of examination tools, capacity development for data processing, and use of letter grading, etc. But weakest point of SLC/SEE is that it has never been standardized which is essential for quality assessment. Due to lack of test standardization, interpretation of test results and comparability of test scores over years has been difficult.

The School Sector Development Plan (SSDP) 2016/2017-2020/21 has emphasized standardization of SEE at grade 10 starting with three subjects: language (Nepali or English), Science and Mathematics. National Examination Board (NEB) is responsible for regulating and carrying out SEE examination which will be held by provinces later. NEB is working towards standardization of SEE which will be pre-tested in 2020 and in SEE 2021 standardized test will be used.

Concept of Test Standardization

There have been several issues in SLC/SEE which have impacted validity (meeting purposes of the test), reliability (consistency in score), and fairness in the test (no discrimination among the examinees). One of the issues is that tests are not comparable from one year to another year because pass percentage is always fluctuating, and reasons are not evident. Second issue is coverage of learning domains are not representative and mostly rote learning items are included in the test. SSDP also remarked that the test items are commonly at "memorization and knowledge/recall level. Critical thinking, analysis, and creativity are insufficiently emphasized'. Third pertinent issue is lack of uniformity in instruction, administration and scoring. There were instances where Nepali and English versions of the items did not convey the same meaning in the test paper.

These issues need to be considered in order to improve SEE. In order to make the tests equivalent, test items need to be pre-tested and equivalent test papers should be prepared from the pool of pre-tested item based on their characteristics. In order to make test representative of the curriculum, item preparation should consider elaborated specifications and items assembling process which comply with format and level of behaviour intended by the curriculum. Moreover, uniformity in testing should be ensured. During pre-testing clarity in instruction are checked. Uniform guidelines are used and adhered to before, during and after test administration. To improve scoring key or marking schemes are prepared along with the items and these are also pre-tested to ensure their correctness and uniform use. Besides these aspects several other aspects are thoroughly followed in order to improve testing. A standardized test adheres to these compliances.    

Standardized test is a test which is administered and scored in consistent manner. This test has certain distinguished features – a fixed set of test items designed to measure a clearly defined achievement domain, specific directions for administrating and scoring the test, specified ways of interpreting test results and reporting them. SEE standardized is expected to ensure valid and reliable certification of learning achievement at the level of individual student at the end of grade 10. 

Technical Presentation

HA level Item Presentation

No comments:

Post a Comment