ISB faculty to recommend next-gen evaluation systems for graduating students in Telangana

By Team Marcomm Oct 21, 2022

Initiates exemplar study to reassess college examinations

India’s higher education landscape is a mix of progress and challenges. It progressed to become the largest higher education sectors in the world (AISHE 2019-20) with a phenomenal increase in digital mode of education thanks largely to the pandemic.

The Gross Enrolment Ration (GER) however is just 27.1% in 2019-20, which is much below the potential. In addition, there are skill gap challenges which create spaces between employment and employability. The skill gaps are more of a concern due to the unpredictable and disruptive nature of future global job requirements. The demographic dividend is favourable to India, but it could well be a burden if they are not part of the knowledge economy. In order to address these challenges, the education policy must collectively address quality, technology and access to higher education, which calls for a greater look into our curriculum development mechanism and student evaluation processes.

There are multiple studies as well as policy interventions that talk about curriculum development but not much has gone into assessment and evaluation systems in India. We, more or less, follow the same pattern of examinations, based on which the future of students gets decided. What happens when we revisit the assessment systems in a holistic manner? Assess the students on what should matter, and they will learn what matters for the future.

(L-R) Professor R Limbadri, Chairman TSCHE; Professor Madan Pillutla, Dean ISB and Shri Navin Mittal, Commissioner Collegiate and technical Education, Telangana Government, at the MoU signing

To explore such a possibility and to deep dive on creating an assessment system for future-ready human capital, the Telangana State Council of Higher Education (TSCHE); Commissionerate of Collegiate and Technical Education; and the Indian School of Business (ISB) entered into an agreement to assess the present evaluation systems followed in Telangana. Their aim is to make higher education more relevant for students as well as recruiters. The objective is also to trigger required changes in the curriculum content and structures that would positively impact the quality of higher education.

The subject knowledge and clarity of concepts for students are adjudged based on their results in one main examination.  Their mark sheets and degree certificates become the basis for entering the job market. However, millennials seek to learn differently and are often unmotivated by exams. Assessing them, therefore, requires newer methods and pedagogy.

Discussions between Shri Navin Mittal, Commissioner of Collegiate and Technical Education, Government of Telangana and Professor Chandrasekhar Sripada, Practice Professor of Organisational Behaviour and Strategic Human Capital, Indian School of Business transformed into a project to study and relook into the assessment and evaluation system of Telangana’s colleges.

“We will first study the present evaluation system followed in the state, and then we will re-imagine the way students are evaluated for their college degrees,” said Professor Chandrasekhar Sripada on the occasion of the tripartite signing of a Memorandum of Understanding to this effect at ISB’s Hyderabad campus recently.

The research element in the project is key to making further suggestions on how to better the evaluation of degree college students in the state. “ISB is a research-focussed institute, and the research relevance of this project makes it very interesting for us,” said Madan Pillutla, Dean, ISB, speaking at the occasion. “I hope this project also shows the way for other states of India. It certainly has that potential,” he added.

A comprehensive team of researchers from the ISB, led by Professor Chandrashekar Sripada as the principal investigator, will work on this project.

As part of the project, TSCHE and the Commissionerate of Collegiate Education would shortlist six colleges for the study by November 2022. A full report with final remedial suggestions will be published six months after that.

Acknowledging that it is the need of the hour to relook at the present assessment system at state colleges, Professor R Limbadri, Chairman, TSCHE, said: “Despite getting good marks, grants for research or employability challenges are not always mitigated. We need to certify students’ ability of critical thinking, problem-solving, and general attitude to learning. But instead, we are just testing their memory in the current evaluation system.”

He espoused hope that the study would also help re-evaluate the curriculum across state colleges. “Both teaching and learning methods should be changed,” said Professor Limbadri.

This study’s importance and timeliness set the foundation for long-standing changes in higher education for Telangana and other states. “This is an important study to help understand the education system from an outcomes point of view,” said Shri Navin Mittal.