Central Square Foundation and Michael and Susan Dell Foundation periodically convene experts and organizations with a strong interest in improving Large Scale Assessments (LSAs) in India. The first roundtable Learning from Large-Scale Assessments was organised on December 19, 2014. The purpose was to consolidate learnings from the large scale student assessments conducted across the country, address common challenges, and discuss ways in which organisations can collaborate to strengthen assessment-led reform. Various foundations, assessment providers and experts participated in the roundtable. The overall objectives were to:
- Provide a platform to discuss perspectives on large-scale assessments conducted across states
- Align on key levers needed to make large-scale assessments more effective
- Identify opportunities for collaboration
Participants shared their experience and learning from participating in LSAs conducted across Indian states. The group deliberated on key gaps in the assessment process. One gap identified was that the vision of assessments is not usually defined and conveyed to all stakeholders and that the tools used are not very high quality. The group also found that even the administration of tests falls short due to the fact that states ultimately lack the requisite capacity to analyse results or the willingness to use them to improve learning. The participants also discussed opportunities for collaboration on several long-term and short-term projects.
Three key takeaways emerged from this roundtable. First, effective implementation of LSAs would require a collective voice. Second, although there is some variation in perspective among the experts, there is consensus on certain critical aspects. Third, there are multiple opportunities to for members to collaborate.