April 2018

Assessing the Learning

Measuring the value of Training

Assessment is the engine that drives student learning. Learners need constant feedback more than they need constant teaching. How do we know whether we are learning right?

RuralShores Skills Academy (RSA) ties up with NGO’s and Foundations for providing training, courseware and certifications for its courses through its mechanism of online assessments.

Recently RSA conducted the first online assessment and practical test for a well-known NGO which is involved in training deaf students. Like with any other student or learner, it is imperative that we check the student’s learning to gauge their understanding and assessments and tests are the only way to do so. And when the students are deaf, it becomes vital that we test them physically through online and practical assessments because their hearing impairment prevents the normal evaluation of students’ understanding through instant verbal interactions.

So 3 months into the Basic IT and Data Entry Operator (DEO) course, it was time to conduct the final assessments and evaluate the deaf students’ knowledge about the courses and what they had learnt during the training.

Starting the Assessment

The assessment started at 10 am in the morning. The students seemed nervous. I was the assessor. My first job was to calm them down. Then I explained the general instructions to be followed during the assessment. An interpreter was present to constantly translate everything I said into sign language. I watched the interpreter translating my words into sign language using his hands and fingers which moved so fast, they seemed to be doing a jazz to someone who doesn’t know Indian Sign Language. I tried to make them laugh to break through the nervousness which gripped the students. I tried to encourage them by appreciating them for all the hard work and effort they had put into coming from places as far as 70 kms away every single day and some even relocating from far off villages to be closer to the center.

There were so many students we had to split them into two batches.

Learning Management System

The assessment began with an online test on our Learning Management System (LMS). LMS is a software we use to manage all the data pertaining to students, their training and assessments. The test went off smoothly and the results were available for each student right after they finished their exam. The online test was followed by a practical test.

What did we Test?

The students were tested on their typing speeds, MS office applications and were made to apply their learning and knowledge by solving real work place related problems.

The students having typing speeds with 98% accuracy were between 25-28 wpm.  They had a little trouble comprehending the English language in the questions, so we explained and clarified it to them; after which their laser-like focus was back and they jumped into the battlefield on all fours and started off ticking away the problems given to them quickly.

The students finished the practical exam in the given duration and were quite excited since this was the first time they were doing a practical test and online test which gave them a detailed analysis of their test results. Fortunately, all the students did well in the assessment which was a big achievement for both the NGO involved in their training as well as RSA.

The students were really happy after seeing their test results. They were trained on Data Entry Operator course and were instructed that accuracy is very important in this job role and that typing less and accurate data was better than typing large amount of incorrect data. Quality always holds eminence over quantity!

RSA looks forward to work with NGOs, Foundations or any organization who want support for conducting quality training, standardized assessments and certifications from RSA, which is an NSDC certified training partner.  RSA will also provide for the placements of the students/learners. RSA genuinely wants to work for the development of the needy students and advancement of every section of the society. And we all know that behaviour, process and passion of conducting training is critical to facilitate the right learning for the students.

– Mrinal Roka