Awarding 10% Marks for Critical Thinking in Academic Work: NAAC Panel

By on June 2, 2022 0

An expert panel from the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) has proposed that college-level exam papers be redesigned so that at least 10% of marks are awarded based on the assessment of ‘higher order cognition’ in students to encourage the development of critical skills. thinking.

The proposal is part of a white paper, released Wednesday, on revising the country’s higher education institution assessment and accreditation process. It is co-authored by NAAC Executive Committee Chairman Bhushan Patwardhan and former Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Professor KP Mohanan.

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According to the document, which was reviewed and approved by the NAAC Academic Advisory Committee and Executive Committee, the weighting of these questions could be increased in phases to 20% and 40% in the future if the rollout is successful. .

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The development of higher-order cognition in students is a key proposal of the National Education Policy, 2020. “NAAC recommends the action plan to improve the quality of examination question design, initially to bachelor’s degree programs in a few subjects and then expanded to cover all bachelor’s degree programs,” the document states.

Experts have defined higher-order literacy as the ability to process and communicate academic knowledge through spoken and written forms of language and higher-order numeracy as the thinking that helps make sense of information. digitally encoded.

Patwardhan, who was appointed chairman of the NAAC EC in February, told The Indian Express: “As many as 80% of NAAC stakeholders have suggested the need for reforms. The NAAC was established three decades ago and since then the education ecosystem has changed significantly. And accordingly, assessment and accreditation should also be changed.

Importantly, the committee advised against the Provisional College Accreditation (PAC) system announced earlier this year by the NAAC and the University Grants Commission.

The PAC allows new institutions – those with an academic year or more – to apply for provisional approval for a period of two years. Until now, colleges and universities had to be at least six years old to apply.

“The PAC proposal involves lowering the standards so that more colleges can obtain provisional accreditation. Instead, it would be wiser for the NAAC to help colleges improve the quality of the education they provide, so that they can successfully meet NAAC accreditation standards. “, indicates the document.

In the paper, the NAAC proposed that the accreditation process also involve verifying, through a national test, whether students at a particular institution have achieved the required level of general education and cognition of higher order. He suggests that the NAAC reduce its reliance on institutional self-assessment when rating them and focus more on assessing learning outcomes.

The NAAC panel also recommended rankings not only for institutions as a whole, as is currently the norm, but also for the individual programs they offer. For example, a higher education institution focusing on health sciences can be accredited based on its overall performance and further, specific courses such as MBBS, MD, MTech offered by it can be graded separately.