At present, the average primary class in OECD countries has more than 21 students per teacher. That’s a lot of students for one teacher to observe and keep track of. Moreover, while students in secondary and upper education are able to self-evaluate, primary education students have not yet developed such a skill and are, therefore, unlikely to self-assess and realize that they are struggling and need to seek the teachers’ help.
Though tests do provide a sense of what the student knows, they give no insight into how the student feels. Positive emotions, such as happiness and surprise are linked to a better learning experience as they boost students’ interest and, thus, engagement. Despite this, emotional wellbeing is seldomly used as an assessment tool in education.
The Covid pandemic has brought a lot of these problems to light. Distance learning made it impossible for teachers to be able to look over their students’ shoulders to find out how long it was taking them to complete an exercise, to observe their students in class in order to be able to pick up on which of them were struggling. Distance learning made it clear that we need to start using new technologies that go hand-in-hand with existing e-learning resources in order to be able to best adapt them to each individual student.