Evaluation Skill – Core Teaching Skills Series – Post 2

Evaluation skill is an important and crucial skill for a teacher. According to myNalanda, the scope of evaluation skill is not limited to the evaluation of tests and activities. Our research shows that evaluation is driven by the student’s persona the teacher has built in her mind. This persona is based on many academics and non-academic aspects of student’s personality. Based on this persona, the teacher interacts with student daily, shares observations with parents in PTA, exchange notes on the student with other teachers, and writes remarks in student’s school diary. More importantly, this persona is used by the teacher to respond to students by adopting certain style of motivation and communication. This internal process of building student’s persona happens with all teachers, consciously or sub-consciously. Evaluation based on student’s persona is very critical because this evaluation is communicated to all stakeholders (student, parents, teachers, and principal) in different ways and in different forums. Based on what is shared, these stakeholders make action plan of their own to be successful in their role.  Therefore, evaluation skill of a teacher becomes the most fundamental skill and carries the highest impact
It is observed that a school that has teachers with right evaluation style does better in national and international forums. As a school leader, have you ever thought what kind of evaluation style your teachers have? How does their evaluation style impact the performance of students and reputation of the school? Are the teachers collectively evaluating the right potential of students?

Statistical study undertaken as a part of Teacher Skills Analytics has shown that about 42-65% teachers have low evaluation skills. The exact percentage of such teachers varies across the academics boards and schools; but the range remains same. This finding is important and must concern the school leaders. This article will help you to understand different styles of evaluation, how to measure them, and use the findings for the growth of school.

Every academic board provides guidelines to teachers to evaluate a subject. Using only those guidelines for evaluation is a conventional style of evaluation. It is more mechanical and fact-based style of evaluation that is devoid of understanding of a student.

Compared to the conventional style, a more preferred style of evaluation is logical evaluation. In this style, teacher emphasizes on whether students have developed logical ability and whether they have understood the overall concept. The marks are given to the logical understanding even if a student arrives at a wrong answer. The logic understood by a student can be complete, partial, right, or wrong. This style is better than the conventional style and most of the teachers fall into this category of evaluation.

Though logical evaluation style is good, it still has a few limitations. It does not consider various aspects that are contributing to student’s performance. The style that avoids the limitations of logical style is the liberal evaluation style. It is the most preferred style. A teacher using this style focuses not only on how well logical ability is developed in a student but also considers other aspects such as student’s earlier progress, grade in which the student is, personality of the student, availability of parental support, student’s comfort level with classmates and with the teacher.  Now, this becomes a holistic approach. Such kind of evaluation has always helped in student’s growth.  Self-motivated students are groomed by such teachers.

To understand each style in detail, let us consider an example of a teacher who needs to evaluate a concept-based question of Mathematics for 7th grade. If a teacher’s predominant style of evaluation is conventional then he/she will give marks only to the students who got a correct answer or as per the guidelines provided by the board or decided in the school. Drawback of this method is, that it will not help students to find where exactly they had made mistakes. Students may think that his/ her concept is not yet clear. This style can be appropriate only for multiple choice questions or competitive exams and not for concept-based questions.

Under logical type of evaluation, teacher, at one hand, will give marks for the correct logic and at the other hand will deduct marks for the steps that went wrong. Marks will depend on the type of logic applied. For example, if logic is fully correct but the answer is wrong, the teacher will deduct marks only for wrong computation. If the logic is partially correct, then marks will be given accordingly. Allocation of marks is not based only on the answers but on logic the students have used. This helps students to understand what went wrong and whether it was concept, logic, or computation. Such approach can help a student to have an optimistic attitude towards curriculum and can boost student’s performance immediately in next test.

In liberal type of evaluation, the teacher will consider student’s persona and its various aspects – such as whether a student have improved from last exam or not, whether a student have any kind of family issues, whether a student is suffering with any kind of medical issues, or facing any learning difficulties. Considering all these aspects, the teacher would evaluate a student. However, this evaluation style is not suitable for the students who are appearing or nearing board exams. For such students, a teacher must follow the board-prescribed evaluation methods.

It is very clear that if an appropriate style is not adopted by a teacher, it will have a negative impact on all stakeholders especially on student’s confidence, school’s reputation, and parents’ satisfaction. Many cases are observed in different schools in which inappropriate evaluation of teachers have led to the failure of some of the quality initiatives and results of some of the competitive exams. To prevent such circumstances, there is a dire need to have understanding of right kind of evaluation skill the school has.

Understanding the evaluation skill of school is important for its progress but to have sustainable progress year after year, it is important for school leader to monitor and develop an ability to improvise over a period of time. Ultimately, a growing school contributes in the growth of the society.

About the authors:

Co-authored by Megha who works as a Data Analyst with myNalanda research team and Dr Manisha who leads the Research & Operations at myNalanda. Megha’s work involves understanding the data of teachers’ skill-sets and analyzing it to find the trends that would help the teachers and the school to grow. This helps her to profile teachers on their skill strengths and areas of development. This blog post shares the findings of myNalanda research while working with schools across India.

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