On Tuesday, Central Board of Secondary Education released study material for Open Text Based Assessment (OTBA) from which the question papers will be prepared. With this significant move, CBSE has now completed all the formalities for conducting open book exams in CBSE affiliated schools.
OTBA will be held in March next year for Class IX and XI final exams only. OTBA study material for Class IX has been released for all main subjects like English, Hindi, Mathematics, Social Science and Science. While for Class XI this year, OTBA study material has been released for Geography, Economics and Biology only. The study material will be provided to student’s month before the final exam and students will also refer to them during the final exam.
CBSE chairman Vineet Joshi said that OTBA would have questions of higher order thinking skills (HOTS) and the questions maybe subjective, creative and open-ended. He further added that the study material may be in the form of an article, a case study, a diagram, a concept or a picture taught in the second term.
The question paper of each main subject will have OTBA section of 10 marks. There will be two to three questions in the section. The questions will be of higher order thinking skills (HOTS) which will require students to apply to the situations given in the article or case study. The questions will be open-ended type which will look at students’ ability to think and justify their point of view.
CBSE’s director Sadhna Parashar wrote to schools that the teachers ‘are expected to read, discuss and analyse the content.’ She said that the teachers must understand the objectives and outcomes of OTBA content.
According to a quote in TOI, Sadhana Parashar wrote to schools, "They (teachers) should assign this text material to their students in groups for further understanding, analysis and discussion. It is reiterated here that the main objective of introducing OTBA is to relieve the students from the burden of mugging up of content and provide opportunities in acquiring skills of information processing, comprehension, analysis and inference. The teachers should guide them, provide feedback and encourage open responses in solving situations. The text also gives some questions as samples. The teachers should develop more such questions which are based on the given text but require answers through application of concepts, further extrapolation, comparison and inference."
Sadhna Parashar summed up that the main objective of OTBA was to provide opportunities to students in acquiring skills of information processing, comprehension and analysis and finally to relieve students from the burden of mugging up the content.