We are living in a time of technological revolution. Many aspects of society and our own lives have been improved as a result of the many advancements made by rapid technological progress – it is what experts are calling the fourth revolution. Even education has seen the benefits of these new technologies.
At Cambridge Assessment International Education, they are working closely with experts to utilise these technological advancements to enhance teaching and learning practices in the 10,000 schools it works with around the world. This includes the Centre for Evaluation & Monitoring (CEM), a leading provider of assessment and monitoring systems, which says the use of data in education will become increasingly critical for teachers looking to improve student performance.
Cambridge CEM, a partnership between Cambridge Assessment and Cambridge University Press, says that data-driven assessment is making it possible for teachers to identify the precise gaps students have in their knowledge and are then able to make the right interventions to address them.
Cambridge CEM uses baseline and diagnostic assessments to accurately measure a student’s potential and progress, enabling teachers to understand and respond to each student’s individual needs. The data informs teachers about areas where students need intervention, giving them a deeper understanding of the learning environment.
Coming at a time when Kenya is in the process of implementing the new curriculum known as Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC), Cambridge CEM can play a key role in supporting Kenyan schools to maintain high-quality teaching and learning standards.
“Schools can use Cambridge CEM tests to find out the level of students before they start a course and as a basis for discussion with their parents. The data-driven tools enable teachers to make the right decisions so that all students have the opportunity to unlock their full potential,” says Joseph Mbugua, Senior Manager, East Africa at Cambridge Assessment International Education.
Joseph added that the Cambridge CEM tests enable teachers and schools to set realistic targets and enable them to give each student’s parents feedback on their progress.
The tests enable schools to give parents clear and easy-to-understand details of their child’s performance compared with how well they would be expected to be doing at this stage of their studies. Once the unique needs of a student are identified, parents are also informed about decisive steps that need to be taken to help their child perform at a higher level.
Many Cambridge International schools around the world and in Kenya are using Cambridge CEM tests already, including Oshwal Academy in Mombasa County.
“Cambridge CEM tests such as the MidYiS for Lower Secondary and Yellis for the Upper Secondary allow underperforming students, with the help of their teachers to take subsequent steps to better their performance. The data we collect from the tests also facilitates professional development among teachers, as it is used to inform teaching and learning. This enables us to ensure that the needs of every student are met,” said Jackline Aming’a, Head of School at Oshwal Academy, Mombasa.
The move to encourage the use of data-driven decisions comes at a time when there is an increasing number of Kenyan students keen to apply to the top UK universities and other higher learning institutions. And with the use of assessment providers like Cambridge CEM, Kenyan schools can uphold high-quality teaching and learning standards through the provision of personalised solutions to the specific issues students face. The integration of assessment into various curriculums will create an education system that prioritises the unique potential of each child, thus improving the overall academic performance.