THE REPORT CARD PROJECT
This academic project was undertaken by Akshan Ish, a post-graduate student of Graphic Design at the National Institute of Design, under the guidance of Tarun Deep Girdher, Senior Faculty, Graphic Design.
Can the report card serve as a medium that provides information about student performance in an understandable manner to facilitate positive dialogue among teachers, parents and students to assist in their learning process?
PROJECT OBJECTIVE 1. Identify the context of student achievement and the way in which parents, children and teachers perceive and understand the current evaluation system, for classes 6–8 in CBSE schools.
2. Explore the possibility of creating an interface to encourage a meaningful dialogue amongst parents, teachers and students to ensure the student’s growth.
3. Attempt to make evaluation less comparative and focus on identifying the child’s strengths and weaknesses.
RESEARCH FINDINGS continuous & comprehensive evaluation
the report card
CBSE conceptualized the CCE system with an aim to aid in a student’s holistic development1. Research indicated that the stress on students, teachers and eventually parents has increased with the implementation of the CCE system. Students and parents are complacent about the co-scholastic activities, and the mindset has not changed from scholastics to include overall development in assessments.
The report card is the only document that communicates student performance from the school to parents on a regular basis, and hence it serves an extremely sensitive purpose of guiding the way parents look at their child’s performance.
Schools have found it difficult to implement the CCE in its actuality, due to inadequate teacher training and the workload of teachers has increased exponentially. Supporting tools and resources have not been provided to them to adapt to the new teaching and evaluation methodology, which makes evaluation yet another task rather than acting as a continuous feedback mechanism to student learning. Parents have failed to grasp the objective of CCE in its entirety, and the focus still remains on training students to enter the competitive job market, and not building their critical thinking and learning abilities. Students view the co-scholastic indicators in the CCE as a means to improve their overall grades. Due to lack of clarity on how these indicators are evaluated, parents and teachers are also at a loss of what to make out of them—deeming these indicators irrelevant for assessing a student’s development. 1
It needs to act as a diagnostic tool for student performance, which enables parents and teachers to work with students on their weaknesses, and build on their strengths. It needs to provide information on student learning in the broader context of understanding and application of knowledge. The shift in the representation of student performance from marks to grades, the complexities of evaluation criteria and the lack of clarity on the basis for the given grades has made the report card an extremely complicated document to comprehend for parents, by merely creating a sea of alphabets that is difficult to wade across. Given that in today’s age—in most cases, both parents are working professionals—they end up spending very little time with their children at home. In this context, the report card takes on an even more important role of being a medium of communication between parents, teachers and students. It becomes imperative for it to foster positive dialogue to provide insight and aid in student learning.
CCE Manual for Teachers — Classes VI-VIII www.cbse.nic.in/cce/index.html
concerns of the stakeholders w.r.t student evaluation
PRINCIPALS (school management)
board unable to cater to training of large numbers
inadequate communication on child learning from school
education seen as a qualification to get a job
assessment is seen inadequate as an after-class teacher training activity also a result of originates from labelling in class school and parents
parents unsure about the need
02 / The Report Card Project
child’s performance anxiety
apprehension of child’s admission to higher colleges
child’s exam strain
poor coping skills
future of children
assessment & anxiety
extra curricular activities
low self esteem
no motivation to work or to take responsibility
unable to cater to each student’s individual needs
hardly spend time with children at home
no time to plan, expected to stay in class all the time, takes work home
ANALYSIS considerations & analysis of existing report card template The increase in the number of attributes being evaluated and feedback being provided across various verticals in scholastic and co-scholastic areas, makes it difficult to comprehend the report card for parents. At this stage, the need to restructure the manner in which complex information is presented was identified. This would make it easy to understand, and further guide the parents in making sense of the progress their child
is making at school, so that eventually, assessment can aid the learning process in its true sense. Other considerations were to seek ways to reduce the burden on teachers while filling the report card, and make sure that the report card is easily accessible without barriers of printing and web technology.
front Space for the studentâ€™s photograph can be incorporated.
An alternative to calling *this* a Report Book / Report Card, perhaps? Some schools call it an Achievement Record. Something more positive and forward-looking would help in setting the right tone.
Uneven spacing and hierarchy of information. Board registration number is only applicable for students in class 10. Parent details and residential details can be together.
Health Status is usually checked by the Physical Education teacher or the school doctor. It might be a better idea to club this section with the Physical / Health Education section later in the report card. Also, since height, weight and blood group are 3-5 characters long. They need not take as much space. Perhaps, this space could be utilized to make the student reflect upon the termâ€™s progress / write about his/her aspirations and goals or any resolve.
The current division of the report card into different parts (scholastic, co-scholastic areas, co-scholastic activities) is confusing and unclear. The grading system for each is different, both in terms of representation as well as value in terms of grade points. Using alphabets as section signifiers gets even more confusing since the grades are also signified by alphabets.
Each of these indicators might need a grade for itself. Clubbing them all together leaves a lot of room for biases and inaccurate interpretation of grading.
Formative Assessment (FA) and Summative Assessment (SA)â€”carry different weightages for arriving at the overall grade but this is not explicitly clear here.
Basis of grading for these skills is unclear. Only justification can be provided with appropriate descriptive indicators carefully written by the class teacher.
Activities specific to the student can be shown.
The Report Card Project / 03
An overall grade does not serve any purpose for students (up to class 8) since all of them have to be promoted in any case2 . It does not truly indicate their overall performance, instead categorizes students into different groups. Performance in each subject needs to be focused on, rather than the overall. 2
Right to Education, 2009
While trying to make sense of the sea of alphabets that floods the inner pages of the report cards, it is extremely cumbersome to keep flipping the page to refer to the grading system guide given on the last page. The sections are divided in alpha numeric parts in the inner pages while there is no reference to that system in the legend.
The different proportions of weightage of FA and SA are explained here in a confusing manner. This needs to be simplified and put in context.
The grading scales for different sections are different. When a parent is going through the report card, it is difficult to comprehend the meaning of the grades since they might not remember that the scales are different.
This legend can be clubbed with the legend for the other sections of the report card, or could be placed near the section itself for easy reference.
CBSE Report Card Template taken from www.cbse.nic.in/cce/index.html
04 / The Report Card Project
DESIGN PROPOSAL design strategy Most schools use MS-Excel to maintain student records and their performance data. To make sure that the proposed system does not add to the burden for teachers, the template was designed on MS-Excel for ease of access and data handling.
Sample data was used to print prototypes which were once again validated with a few parets and teachers. The progress card can be printed back to back on an A3 sheet in black and white. Its low cost of production makes it viable for schools across the country.
editable excel file template
The Report Card Project / 05
TIVE FEEDBACK EDBACK
modifications in visual representation Following is an illustration of the modifications made to the visual representation of information in the progress card. front
Telephone No. Telephone No.
School Name School Name Complete Complete Address Aoddress f School of School
3A Email IDEmail ID
Progress Card Progress Card
GRADE TERM 1
Session Session 2013-‐14 2013-‐14
TIVE FEEDBACK EDBACK
Percentage ndance Percentage
HEALTH & PHYSICAL EDUCATION
Class Class VIII VIII
GRADE TERM 1
STUDENT PROFILE STUDENT PROFILE
Student's Student's Name Name
Student Photograph Student Photograph
Date of BDate irth of Birth
Section Section Roll No. Roll No. House House
HEALTH STATUS Height
Mother's Mother's Name Name
Father's Father's Name Name
Contact Contact No. (1) No. (1)
Contact Contact No. (2) No. (2)
ATTENDANCE Total attendance of the student
Admission Admission No. No.
Total number of working days
2 Admission No.
Residential Residential Address Address Oral Hygiene Vision [L]
SELF AWARENESS SELF AWARENESS
Specific ailment, if any
[R] Class Teacher
My GoalsMy Goals My Strengths My Strengths
Date / /
My Interests My Interests
PROMOTION POLICY The qualifying grade in all the five subjects in section 1A is D.
GUIDE T GUIDE O UNDERSTANDING TO UNDERSTANDING THE REPORT THE REPORT CARD CARD
The qualifying grade in section 1B is B.
ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE
For weightage of co-‐scholastic areas, grades are to be converted into grade points according to given scale.
Formative Formative assessment assessment aids learning aids lbearning y generating by generating feedback feedback on performance, on performance, in class oin r ocn lass or on assignments. It assignments. enables It setudents nables sttudents o restructure to restructure their understanding their understanding and build and more build powerful more powerful ideas and ideas capabilities. and capabilities. Summative assessment arried out at othe of ao cf ourse of learning. It mheasures how much Summative assessment is carried is ocut at the end f a ecnd ourse learning. It measures ow much a hstudent has flrom earned the Ict ourse. It is au gsually raded i.e., it is amccording arked according to a student as learned the from course. is usually raded at gest, i.e., test, it is m arked to cale set of grades. a scale oa r set of ogr rades.
If the grade point range is 30-‐42, the student gets the benefit of upscaling the grade to next higher grade in two subjects. If the grade point range is 17-‐29, the student gets the benefit of upscaling the grade to next higher grade in one subject. Asterisk or Star (*) beside the grade reflects an upscaled grade.
GRADING GRADING SCALE SCALE The grading The sgcales rading have scales been have given been next given to enach ext ctorresponding o each corresponding section osf ection the report of the card. report card. G -‐ M Grade M -‐ P Marks P -‐ Grade Points G -‐ Grade -‐ Marks -‐ Grade Points PROGRESS PROGRESS The progress The plrogress ines show lines an sihow ncrease an io ncrease r decrease or diecrease n performance in performance for each fsor ubject each osver ubject 2 terms. over 2 terms.
1 Change the name of the report card to Progress Card
2 Addition of a teacher’s message at the back of the re-
to shift the focus from reporting to assessing progress of the student’s learning.
port card which is to be filled by the class teacher. This would personalize the feedback given to the student, and is more credible than the descriptive indicators generated by the system.
3 Health Status taken to the back of the report card near the Physical Education indicators since this section is usually filled by the Physical Education or Sports teacher; and it is secondary information that need not be given as much importance in the progress card.
06 / The Report Card Project
ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE FORMATIVE SUBJECT
Grading Scale G A1 M 91-100 P 10 G B2 M 61-70 P 7 G D M 33-40 P 4
FA1 + FA2 + SA1 (40%)
Grading Scale A+
A+ Most indicators in a skill
LIFE SKILLS SKILL
A Many indicators in a skill
B+ Some indicators in a skill
LIFE SKILLS SKILL
ATTITUDES & VALUES ATTITUDE GRADE
C Very few indicators in a skill
FA3 + FA4 + SA2 (60%)
Problem Solving C
ATTITUDES & VALUES ATTITUDE GRADE
Self Awareness B
B Few indicators in a skill
FORMATIVE FA3 (10%)
ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE SUMMATIVE
4 Clearly demarcate the different sections and label
7 Align the indicators for the two terms horizontally, to
them for easy identification.
enable viewing of progress and compare performance for the same subjects between terms.
5 Place the grading scale next to the corresponding section of the report card for quick reference and to put the grades for each subject in context.
8 Addition of a column for progress bars which indicate increase or decrease in performance for a particular subject over the two terms.
6 Clearly specify the weightages given to formative and summative assessment for each term.
The Report Card Project / 07
SYSTEMIC CONSIDERATIONS content of the report card
beyond the report card
These are issues and considerations that were discovered during our research which call for a larger debate, initiated by the CBSE.
The report card is only a small but critical part of student evaluation, which itself is only a component of student education. Factors that curtail an effective evaluation of student learning in India are discussed below.
Our research showed that most parents, students and teachers do not consider the co-scholastic indicators helpful, as there is no transparency in how these are measured. Instructions given to the teachers limit their ability to truly assess a student’s thinking ability and emotional IQ. To grade these indicators without providing a substantial basis is not convincing for the parents, and could do more harm than good to students. The overall grade given to students of classes 6–8 sums up their performance for a given year. However, this does not provide any insight into the strengths and weaknesses of the student, nor does it help identify the areas in which they need to put in more effort. The overall grade labels students, and it tends to become the prime focus of the report card for parents and students—reducing the importance of assessing individual subjects. Hence, it has been removed from our proposed design of the report card. However, parents, teachers and students in the validation stage asserted that it must be retained, as it provides motivation for students to achieve a higher grade as well as makes it easier for teachers to understand the overall performance of their class.
With a fairly large number of students in each class, continuous evaluation has increased the burden on teachers. Some argue that the focus also shifts from teaching to evaluating. This has increased the frustration with their profession. Assistive tools and methods, with appropriate training need to be devised to increase their efficiency. As the global landscape is changing rapidly, it is imperative that the education system aims to facilitate critical thinkers, entrepreneurs, do-ers and teach students to identify and create opportunities. In this light, it is required to bring back the joy of learning that was lost during the colonial times. This requires a shift from the tiffin dabba system—a compartmentalized, one size fits all approach to education where the student is unable to find relevant connections between what he/she is studying and the real world; to the thaali system—a flexible and trans-disciplinary system allowing for cross connections to be made between what is being taught in schools and the world outside.
COLOPHON our sincere appeal
This project is essentially an attempt to contribute to building a better education system in India. We hope that you will go through our proposed design of the report card, and share your feedback and thoughts with us. Hopefully, this would act as a trigger for more discussion and debate, research and suitable action.
This project has been documented chronologically here - thereportcardproject.wordpress.com
A copy of the ‘new’ progress card is attached with this document.
An online copy of this document - issuu.com/akshanish/docs/rc_pitch - issuu.com/tarundg/docs/rc_pitch
Student Akshan Ish Post-Graduate Graphic Design email@example.com
The redesigned progress card can be viewed at - issuu.com/akshanish/docs/rc_issuu - issuu.com/akshanish/docs/rc_filled
Faculty Guide Tarun Deep Girdher Senior Faculty, Graphic Design firstname.lastname@example.org
Paldi, Ahmedabad 380 007 Autonomous Institute under the DIPP
Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Govt. of India
19th December, 2013 08 / The Report Card Project