Ushering in a new system of conducting examinations,the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has told schools across the country to implement open book examinations from March 2014 and has also released study material for the same.
The Open Text Based Assessment (OTBA) will first begin for classes IX and XI from the academic session 2013-14. For Class IX,study material has been released for all main subjects including English,Hindi,mathematics,science and social science,and for class XI,the material is for geography,economics and biology. OTBA will be applicable only to these subjects in the next session .
However,open book examination doesnt mean that students will be allowed to carry textbooks inside the examination hall. CBSEs version of open book implies that students will be informed four months in advance about the study material on which the exam would be conducted.
The main reason behind implementing this new system is to strengthen students analytical and theoretical skills by moving away from the trend of rote learning.
The CBSE recommends that multiple modes of assessment need to be provided to cater to the varied abilities of individual strengths of learners. It is,therefore,decided to introduce an element of Open Text Based Assessment for Classes IX and XI in the March 2014 examination. These are meant to incorporate analytical and theoretical skills,thus moving away from memorisation, the CBSE circular states.
The Board has also reworked the marks distribution to accommodate OTBA scores in the main subject marks. The question papers in main subjects under Summative Assessment (SA)-II will be of 90 marks (70 marks for English and 20 marks for assessment of speaking and listening skills) based on prescribed syllabus and question paper design. The question paper in each main subject will have a separate section (10 marks) for OTBA.
The OTBA section will comprise text followed by two or three questions based on it. The questions will require students to apply concepts to situations given in the article,report,or case study and draw inferences or conclusions. The questions will be open-ended,extrapolative,inferential and will look at personal response justifying a point of view.
CBSE has also advised the teachers associated with the new system to read,discuss and analyse the text material closely. Teachers should guide students and encourage open responses in solving situations, the circular said.