Learning Links Foundation has partnered with three states in India – Hamachal Pradesh, Gujarat, and Jharkhand – to implement a project called Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation, an approach to transformation of teaching and learning that emphasizes student engagement, reflective teaching, and formative assessment intended to improve student learning. In 2014-15, participants included 448 principals; 2,691 teachers; and an estimated 120,000 students. State, block, and cluster officials and educators participated in a week-long training session and were supported in implementation by field facilitators. Officials also monitored progress and provided support using resources such as printing assessment tools, establishing electronic tracking systems, and observing classrooms and schools. Teachers learned how to establish learning objectives, provide engaging hands-on learning activities relevant to students’ lives, administer and score formative assessments, and analyze/use assessment results for reteaching and revision of curricular activities.
RMC Research Corporation served as external evaluator for the project. About 10-20% of project participants participated in a quasi-experimental study of implementation and outcome. Methods included principal, teacher, and student surveys; state, block, and cluster official interviews; field facilitator and resource person interviews; and analysis of achievement data. The study was comprehensive. Selected results show:
• Student participants scored statistically significantly higher than comparison school students on measures of self-efficacy, expectations for success; ability to handle difficult content, and help-seeking. Effects were moderate to large.
• Student participants had significantly higher test scores than comparison students on standardized measures of academic performance.
• Student participants were significantly less anxious about test-taking than comparison students.
• Student participants were perceived as much more active and engaged learners than comparison students.
• Teachers dramatically increased their instructional skills in discussion, classroom management, assessment, life skills, ability to provide constructive feedback to students, lesson planning, and collaboration.
• Support systems were rated as helpful by over 80% of teachers and principals, with instructional resources and field facilitators rated as most important.
• Teachers improved their ability to work in multi-grade, multi-level classrooms.
• No differences were found to be related to student or teacher demographics. Results varied somewhat by state, though each state had positive outcomes.