CBSE is all set to shift focus to a new “open book” approach, says rote learning is a closed chapter.
In what could be termed as a revolutionary shift in the way exams are conducted across the country, the CBSE has said that it is currently focusing on a new “open book” approach.
The Central Board Secondary Education (CBSE) said that it is embarking on a new “open book” approach of conducting exams, arguing that rote learning in today’s context has turned into an obsolete method.
In order to implement these proposed changes at the earliest possible, the board has already instructed all affiliated schools to conduct Open Text Based Assessment (OTBA), or more commonly referred to as the open book exam, from March 2014.
CBSE has already made available course material on which the open book exams for Std IX and XII will be conducted next year in March.
For Std IX, the board has released study materials for all main subjects, including Mathematics, Hindi, English, Science as well as Social Science. Similarly, the material for Economics, Geography and Biology were released for Std XII.
The OTBA will be application for all of the aforementioned subjects from the 2013-14 session only.
However, unlike popular misconception, open book exams do not imply that students will be allowed to carry their books to the exam hall. Instead, it merely refers to a prior declaration of the study materials (4 months in advance) on which the different exams will be based.
According to many prominent education and career experts, this innovative step by the CBSE should help students boost their theoretical and analytical skills by doing away with rote learning approach.
As per wikipedia – Rote methods are routinely used when quick memorization is required, such as learning one’s lines in a play or memorizing a telephone number. Rote learning is widely used in the mastery of foundational knowledge. Examples of school topics where rote learning is frequently used include phonics in reading, the periodic table in chemistry, multiplication tables in mathematics, anatomy in medicine, cases or statutes in law, basic formulae in any science, etc. By definition, rote learning eschews comprehension, so by itself it is an ineffective tool in mastering any complex subject at an advanced level. For instance, one illustration of Rote learning can be observed in preparing quickly for exams, a technique which may be colloquially referred to as “cramming“.
“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,” reads a CBSE circular, the Times of India reports.
Also See Open Book Exam by CBSE