Open text based assessment for CBSE class IX, XII

The CBSE’s recent release of study material for Open Text Based Assessment (OTBA), applicable to classes’ IX and XI final exams scheduled in March-2014, has stunned many schools.

Most schools have found the material challenging enough to introduce it without changing the entire teaching methodology. Others have admitted that teachers requires intensive training before they teach the material to students.

In the new system, students will be given text material four months in advance and they will be allowed to carry the case studies during the examination.

After analyzing the material, Lata Rawat, principal of Cambridge Court High School, said, “It has questions of higher order thinking skills, meaning learning through critical thinking and problem solving. Most of sample questions are subjective and based on concepts. Indeed, it requires intensive deliberations before we could explain the concept to students.”

The circular released by the CBSE says that schools have to prepare question paper out of the material provided by the CBSE. The material has been released for all main subjects-English, Hindi, Mathematics, Science and Social science for class IX and Geography, Economics and Biology for class XI.

Principal of Kendriya Vidhalaya -1, D R Meena said the success of the new model depends upon how fast teachers and students orientated to changes of the more elaborative OTBA from the traditional cramming system. “In the present system, teachers are well versed with the answers to all possible questions. But in the new system, they have to comprehend answers in different formats,” Meena said.

Schools have to provide content to students in the form of an article, illustrations, diagrams, problems derived from classroom studies. The material has to be chosen strictly from the syllabi. With the new assessment system in place, the question papers in main subjects of Summative Assessment will be of 90 marks and the question paper in each main subject will have a separate section of 10 marks for OTBA.
What’s OTBA?

The Open Book system means students will be provided case studies in each subject four months in advance. The questions should be strictly derived from the given material.

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