Need of standardized evaluation for schools on Distance Learning Mode

The COVID crisis has brought the school education system into a virtual mode overnight. Across the globe, schools have switched to the online mode of teaching. The immediate shift came in with no standardised strategic plan. The effectiveness of various techniques and tools will take a couple of years to be identified as successful or not. Still, certainly, a framework to evaluate a school’s efforts and the progress made by the virtual teaching-learning process is the need of the hour.

There is a need to evaluate all schools’ distance learning measures, the provision and impact on students’ learning experiences. The evaluation framework/tool must include the international best practices, an in-depth understanding of the schools under various circumstances, feedback from all stakeholders (parents, students and school staff).

The purpose of the framework/tool should be multi-faceted. It should audit the schools’ performance and support the school in identifying areas that require improvement.

The Framework/tool

The framework/tool should be able to identify what is working and what is not. The essential aspects of evaluation can be:

  • Student experience (learning and well-being)
  • Teaching and Monitoring
  • Leadership and Management

Student Experience

  • Attendance (active involvement in the learning activities)
  • Participation (conduct and behaviour)
  • Equity of access (availability of hardware/software and learning resources)
  • Well-being (online/cyber safety, mental and physical health, guidelines on studying online, opportunity to connect with teachers and peers, discuss well-being concerns, work-load management, anxiety check)
  • Learning opportunities (delivery mode and resources available as per the pace of learning)

Teaching and Monitoring

  • Planning and delivery (use of appropriate and proportionate learning methods apt for online learning, customised lesson planning to ensure the student’s workloads are manageable, opportunities for self-learning, track of continual development of student’s attainment)
  • Opportunities for academic and non-academic experiences
  • Course progress tracking and evaluation of the attainment of learning outcomes.
  • Feedback on assignments completed.
  • Continual assessments (involving various techniques of assessing a students’ attainment like oral tests, written tests, open-book tests, observational tests, adaptive tests, static tests – formative and summative, exercises, project work, group activities, diagnostic tests, confirmatory tests, ipsative tests, etc.)

Leadership and Management

  • Readiness (short-term/long-term planning, review process and action strategy)
  • Communication (all stakeholders know about their roles and responsibilities, guidance and support to use online mode of reception and delivery, a system to raise and address concerns, ease of communication and engagement amongst all)

Based on the findings on the listed areas, the evaluation framework/tool will get the schools’ health status across all departments and create an improvement plan for the schools.

Author: Arpit Dugar

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