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Developing and Piloting a Test Battery for the Assessment of Primary Mathematics in Marathi

Supported by: 
Mastek
Status: 
Completed
Status Date: 
Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Duration: July 2013 to December 2013 (6 months)
 
Total Project Cost: Rs. 2, 10,000/-
 
Summary:
 
Since its inception, QUEST has been working to improve the quality of Mathematics Education at primary level. The absence of a comprehensive assessment tool, that would enable Educators to exactly map the students profile of achievement and help them plan appropriate input for them, is one of the major gaps. There are some international test batteries available for this purpose but they become quite redundant for two reasons
 
They are in English and have examples with completely western context.
 
The content and concepts included in a particular level goes much beyond the capacity of children in mainstream schools.
 
Thus it is necessary to develop a comprehensive testing tool for assessing students at primary level.
 
Features of the battery:
 
The battery we would like to develop and pilot would have following features
It covers all the major areas in the Mathematics curriculum up to grade 5
 
The battery is available in print and online form ( using Moodle platform)
 
It includes three levels in each of 6 curricular areas: the basic, intermediate & advance. Hence the battery would have 18 tests
 
The test attempts to assess both the conceptual and procedural understanding of the students 
 
The basik structure battery
 

Level / Area

Numbers and Place Value

Addition & Subtraction

Multiplication & Division

Fractions & decimal

fractions

Units, Measures,

data handling & Mensuration

Geometric Concepts

Basic

T 1

T 2

T 3

T 4

T 5

T 6

Intermediate

T 7

T 8

T 9

T 10

T 11

T 12

Advance

T 13

T 14

T 15

T 16

T 17

T 18

Process of developing the Test Battery:

The tests were developed during 2 workshops of 3 days each. A set of equivalent tests was prepared in order to avoid possibility of students copying answers from each other. We call the two sets as 'Set A' and 'Set B'. This completed the process of development of the content of the tests.
 
Moodle Version:
 
A total of 223 questions are already uploaded on the Moodle (this includes questions in both Set A and Set B). Since Moodle automatically shuffles the options for the multiple choice questions, only those questions in Set B were added where the numbers are different. The questions are in ready to use state and the tests can be assembled from these questions at any time.
 
Reviewing Process:
 
At the same time, the tests were sent to an expert mathematics educationist, Dr. Aaloka Kanhere for review. We requested her to provide:
  1. An executive summary.
  2. Pointing out the areas in mathematics or kinds of problems which are left out.
  3. III. Pointing out problem which are ambiguous either because of mathematical content or form (language/figure).
  4. IV. Comments on age appropriateness, contexts in the word problems, design and graphics and social inclusion, etc.
  5. V. Suggestions and sample problems for modifications.
Based on the reviewer's comments, pilot-testing experience and insights from data analysis we decided to make some changes in the tests.
 
Process of Piloting the Test Battery:
 
The pilot testing was administered on two samples.
  1. Aksharnandan school during 21 to 24 January 2014: Aksharnandan is an experimental school at Pune.
  2. 2 Balbhavans in Wada taluka (district Thane) during 1-3 February 2014: As one of its projects, QUEST runs BalBhavans in the small villages in the tribal areas of Thane.

Tests 1-6 were given to Grade 3, tests 7-12 were given to Grade 4 and tests 13-18 were given to Grade 5. A second level testing was carried out in the Aksharnandan school. That is, if a student scored less than 60% in any test, he/she was given equivalent test in the same area at the lower level (this is not applicable to Grade 3 because there is no lower level). If a student scored between 60 to 80% that score was considered his/her final score. If a student scored more than 80% in a test. An equivalent test in the same area but at the upper level was given to the student (this does not applies to Grade 5 because there is no upper level).