Field Testing in Rajasthan: Trials and Tribulations
Two girls work at a classroom computer, gingerly moving objects from one box to another while listening to the audio with great concentration. They glance at each other with apprehension. One of them says in Hindi, “Let’s hear it once more and double-check our answers.” After listening to the audio a sixth time, they hit the Check Answer icon. They get a perfect score. They are ecstatic.
This is a scene from a field trial of a lesson in the English Beginner Unit 00 (EBU00), a new unit that the English team is designing. Schools in Jaipur and Sirohi began offering the CLIx English modules in October 2016.After field observations in these districts and discussions with state advisors, we concluded that the English Beginner Unit 1 was challenging for most learners and worked on evolving a design that would be a better fit for those learners.
After discussions at the MIT Design Camp in October 2016, we identified new features to add: mother tongue support for instructions, feedback on tasks, opportunities to retry assessments, and more picture-based activities. A lesson prototype incorporating these features was created and tested in GHS Gokulpura, GHS Kuthadakala and GHS Heerapath on 16–17 February 2017.
What we observed was heartening. Students looked engaged and attempted all the activities. Comparing the older lessons to the trial version, students said the new mother tongue support feature was helpful.
We received rich insights into many aspects of curriculum and instructional design by observing students work on the lesson and by interacting with them. We are now moving towards a better understanding of features that must be optimised to enable better student learning.
(Jennifer Thomas, Assistant Professor and Team Lead, English, CLIx)