Large Scale Assessments, as the name suggests, are assessments conducted on large sample size. These tests are administered on a large number of people as a method of data collection through which researchers draw inferences on pertinent areas like policy impact, test accountability in the education field, and more.
LSAs have gained traction in the last decade as most countries of the world and education systems are working towards improving academic performances at a policy level. Now, this brings us to a major question - why are Large Scale Assessments important?
Let us paint a picture here in the Indian context - The Indian education system has over a million public schools that are presided over by various bodies at the district, state and national levels. Let us take for granted that the national education authority has its headquarters in New Delhi. How can officials in Delhi monitor the efficiency of their policy in a district of, let's say, Kerala, which is one of the Southern states in the country? Through Large Scale Assessments of course.
Large Scale Assessments are standardised based on specific metrics that measure and collate vital information for researchers and policymakers to use. LSAs are also called Impact Assessments that usually take stock of student data in two phases:
- Before Policy Implementation.
- After Policy Implementation, usually towards the end of an academic year.
The logic is very simple then - what were student performances like before the implementation of the policy and what is it after the implementation of it. Before Large Scale Assessments go live, researchers also conduct pilot tests in smaller groups and draw expected inferences from the test group. So if the findings from the LSAs in any district or subgroup are widely deviant, then researchers can also find out what channels in the education ecosystem are not performing their duties properly.
As you can see, it is a method of assessing students with the aim of testing the efficiency of the education system that serves them. How wildly important is that?
India has legislated education as a system that is free and compulsory for all. When the stakes are so high and when 250 million students in India are accessing the public education system, the need for accountability and quality is of top priority.
Let us understand now how LSAs benefit students. The public education system serves students across the country with quality education in a bid to equalise opportunities available to everybody, even in some of the most rural and remote parts of the country. Our strength lies in the numbers - when there are so many students accessing education in the country, it increases the human resource index, potentially opening up the space to provide professionals with high skill value. This is aspirational of course.
However, to ensure each and every student is covered under this scheme, LSAs provide a framework of observation for researchers so they can make decisions that enhance the quality of the educational experience. Students feel more empowered and confident when they know there is an authority in charge of guaranteeing them fair and equitable access. These bodies also make it a point to drive reforms and implement changes that can benefit students immediately.
Having said all of that, one thing must be clear to everybody by now - this LSA business is very time intensive and requires a huge human resource capital. People have to manually administer the tests from district to district and the data collation also happens manually. Once the reports are collated, another group of professionals spend time analysing the reports before sending them to the higher authorities. Three separate groups of professionals are required to simply administer and collate the data.
With the introduction of the National Education Policy 2020, there is a grave need to cast Large Scale Assessments throughout the country. The big challenge here is accessing a channel of human resources at a time when movement is restricted due to the pandemic. Students cannot be reached easily, schools do not function fully and officials have all been instructed to be where they are. We must also accept that the pandemic has been extremely expensive for the country and has affected all public spending to make matters grimmer. Additionally, it is also important to note that manual data gathering leads to high error counts. How do we ensure that LSAs can happen efficiently through all these challenges?
We at TagHive Inc. have the answer for you! We have built a flexible system that enables the formulation and implementation of Large Scale Assessments. Our platform is content, grade, curriculum and language agnostic. We create fields to accommodate the diverse requirements emerging from the field and we enable the implementation of LSAs in a short period of time. All students, teachers and school administrators need to do is download our app and log in using the credentials provided to implement the test. Post the implementation, we collate reports and analyses based on the requirements prescribed.
So, what are we offering here? We offer a platform that is fully customizable to fit all the criteria mentioned. We also collate, report and analyse the data coming in to show policymakers, educators and researchers vital information at both macro and micro levels.
We entered the field of LSAs through our partnership with Kaivalya Education Foundation by providing them with a platform to conduct Large Scale Assessments in two phases:
Over 10,000 assessments were conducted, analysed and reported on in a matter of months. Find more details on the project here.
Problems will happen regardless of a smooth functioning global environment. As the saying goes, “adversity is the mother of all invention”, and keeping this in mind, we have created technology that surmounts all these challenges and so much more!
Want to conduct Large Scale Assessments by saving time and increasing efficiency? Connect with us for more information, demos or partnership opportunities. Write to us at [email protected]!