Schools of Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) in the state of Kerala have started brushing their students for the upcoming Open Text-Based Assessment (OTBA). The first-of-its-kind, OTBA will be conducted by CBSE in all of its affiliated schools in the month of March 2014.
Through OTBA, the CBSE board will assess students of Class IX and XI to evaluate their understanding level to situational problems, and their ability to solve a problem as well as the ability of providing innovative opinions and suggestions at the time of requirement.
A part of the annual exams, the OTBA will be conducted for four subjects — English, Social Sciences, Hindi and Mathematics, and will include questions of total 10 marks. The exam study material has already been supplied to schools by the CBSE board in September. All the questions in the open text exam will be asked from the given material, which includes an article, a case study, a diagram, a concept map, a picture or a cartoon, problem or situation based on the concepts.
The Principal of Kakkanad Christhujayanthi Public School said that they are relying on the sample papers sent by CBSE for students’ preparations, and are trying to ensure that students apply their knowledge and skills while responding to the queries. They are also encouraging students to think out-of-the-box, said he.
While discussing their strategies for prep, the Principal of Thammanam Nalanda Public School said that they will divide students into groups of five each to carry out discussions on the issue amongst themselves and come out with appropriate solutions by themselves. For this exam, students need to develop a little bit of creativity, subject knowledge and ability to analyze things, he added further.
To ensure the success of the new concept, teachers are asked to make a bridge between theory and practice. They have been urged to push students’ participation in the process of learning through discussion, analysis, self-reflection and critical thinking.
Apart from this, teachers are also asked to assign the text material to students in groups so that they can read, understand, view it from different perspectives, and bring up solution oriented ideas in class or even seek further research outside of it.