When education systems around the world responded to the COVID-19 pandemic with intermittent closures and hybrid learning modalities, the role of learning assessment as a fundamental feedback mechanism while students learned outside of school walls remained critical for ensuring learning continuity.
Assessment of student learning is the process of gathering and evaluating information on what students know, understand, and can do to help make informed decisions about the next steps in the educational process. Formative assessment activities, usually carried out in the classroom as part of the teaching and learning process, encompass everything from teachers’ direct observation of student performance and oral questioning to check for understanding to continuous feedback on individual and group projects and homework reviews.
Supporting Student Learning at Home with Phone-based Formative Assessment
The World Bank’s Learning Assessment Platform (LeAP) team is working on a suite of remote formative assessment products and tools using basic feature phone technologies to support learning continuity outside of physical classrooms. This activity focuses on three assessment solutions to facilitate access to remote formative assessment of learning using basic phones: short message services (SMS) to deliver quizzes, synchronous phone calls between students and assessors, and interactive voice response (IVR) technologies to provide step-by-step oral guidance on learning and assessment content.
The LeAP team has developed a set of global public goods, including:
- Guidance Note on key elements necessary for feasibility and sustainability of phone-based formative assessment approaches in low-resource contexts.
- Landscape Review Database of existing phone-based assessment interventions and their key features.
- Note on Psychometric Considerations for implementing phone-based learning assessments.
- Template for Implementation Feasibility to assess implementation prerequisites and enabling conditions for each of the phone-based formative assessment solutions.
- LeAP-EdTech Knowledge Pack outlining how basic phones, specifically through SMS, IVR, and direct phone calls, can support formative assessment activities.
- Global package of remote formative assessment tools
- Report on Piloting of Remote Phone-based Formative Assessment Solutions in Ghana, Nepal, and Pakistan with lessons learned from implementing the three phone-based formative assessment solutions and recommendations for their future application and use.
It is envisioned that these activities and knowledge products can help support resilient education systems that can respond to future shocks with adaptable learning assessment resources and strategies to ensure learning continuity.
The Assessment work is benefitting from funding from the Global Partnership for Education (GPE).