Do Not Ruin Innocent Peoples’ Lives – Think Before You Listen To, Read and Spread ‘GOSSIPS’

It is being spread on social media (through gossips) that India’s father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi (http://www.mkgandhi.org and Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru   (http://pmindia.gov.in/en/former_pm/shri-jawaharlal-nehru/) were directly/indirectly responsible for death of Chandrashekhar Azad (Indian Freedom Fighter) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chandra_Shekhar_Azad, which is an allegation and without any evidence or proof.

It’s a matter of extreme contemplation that we “THE PEOPLE” are so gullible that we believe anything and everything without verifying the source. (TRUST BUT VERIFY)

Why can’t we think that our irresponsible attitude can cause character assassination of individuals, who never deserved it in the first place. It’s my sincere plea to one and all.

“KINDLY CONFIRM THE RELIABILITY OF YOUR SOURCE BEFORE SHARING SUCH POSTS ON SOCIAL MEDIA AND CAUSING IRREPARABLE HARM/DAMAGE TO PSYCHE OF PEOPLE CONCERNED (living or dead) TO WHOM WE OWE OUR INDEPENDENCE, LIFE AND ALSO OUR FUTURE “

There are certain selfish individuals who first create/develop trust by exploiting EMOTIONS and then using gullibility of the masses and use it to carry out their nefarious, illegal, immoral and unethical activities.

Similarly, these individuals would provide extremely trustworthy looking written/visual material, and then very shrewdly/cleverly intersperse manipulated information/visuals, in between.
It’s akin to a video which went viral on youtube, a few days back, where a man recently uploaded a video on his Facebook timeline that depicts how he likes to spend his free time – that is by hurting innocent animals. The man can be seen approaching a pack of stray dogs.

 He first starts petting a gentle white dog before grabbing the innocent animal by its legs,

 proudly hurling him around repeatedly, before eventually letting go and throwing it into a parked car. During all this time, the dog was howling in distress, as the man’s friend (the cameraman) can be heard laughing and spurring him on. All this without any reason. The video has since been removed from YOU TUBE.

Yes you will be shocked there are some individuals amongst us who feel enjoyment in suffering of others. ( SADISTS )

and some do for monetary profit and personal gains.

Sadistic personality disorder

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sadistic_personality_disorder

Sadism involves gaining pleasure from seeing others undergo discomfort or pain. The opponent-process theory explains the way in which individuals not only display, but also take enjoyment in committing sadistic acts. Individuals possessing sadistic personalities tend to display recurrent aggression and cruel behaviour. Sadism can also include the use of emotional cruelty, purposefully manipulating others through the use of fear, and a preoccupation with violence.

Sadism

(countable and uncountable, plural sadisms) https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/sadism

  1. (chiefly psychiatry) the enjoyment of inflicting pain without pity.
  2. achievement of sexual gratification by inflicting pain on others.
  3. gaining sexual excitement and satisfaction by watching pain inflicted by others on their victims.
  4. a morbid form of enjoyment achieved by acting cruelly to another, or others.
  5. (in general use) Deliberate cruelty, either mental or physical; also refers to cruelty inflicted upon animals, regardless of gratification

Now regarding controversy involving Chandra Shekhar Azad.

I will give excerpts from the book

Rana, Bhawan Singh (2005). Chandra Shekhar Azad (An Immortal Revolutionary of India)
PAGE 97

In some books we find this information (information regarding whereabouts of Chandra Shekhar Azad) was passed on by Veer Bhadra Tiwari. However according to some other persons, one Seth (a moneyed man) of Allahabad informed the police of his presence there. Shri Manmath Gupta has not directly named Veer Bhadra Tiwari performing the duty of an informer to the police, but his thoughts indicate that this mischief was done by Veer Bhadra. Shri Gupta writes:
‘It was 27th February 1931. It was 10 O’clock. Chandra Shekhar Azad was strolling on the road from Chowk in Allahabad to Katra, along with Sukh Dev Raj. He was all of a sudden taken aback. The fact is that he saw Veer Bhadra Tiwari, was arrested under the Kakori Conspiracy Case, but was released for some mysterious reasons. Since then, members in the party suspected him. But Veer Bhadra was such an experienced and clever man in talking that people were taken by him. Not only this he became a prominent member of the party. It is said that his style of conduct was such as both the party and the police treated him as their own. Azad, in a way, was a very simple man and was very easily taken in by his tricks. After being cheated by him on many occasions, he had finally decided to keep him off. Veer Bhadra also knew that in this way he had been turned out of the party. So when Azad saw Veer Bhadra in Allahabad, he became alert. Azad and Sukhdev Raj went to Alfred Park and sat at a place. In the meanwhile the police officers, Bisheshwar Singh and Dal Chand, came there. Between the two, Dal Chand recognised Azad.’

According to Shri Yash Pal Sharma and Shri Yogendra Sharma, the two authors of ‘Bharat Ke Teen Krantikari” (Three Revolutionaries of India), the role of informer was performed by a rich friend of Azad, who held in trust some money of the revolutionary party.

Source: https://books.google.co.in/books?id=sudu7qABntcC&pg=PA97&lpg=PA97&dq=veerbhadra+tiwari&source=bl&ots=xfK4scZw9z&sig=F36EE7VjIUNSRfR4ytQowdDzruM&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CCgQ6AEwAWoVChMI5IOq6IDdxgIVxwqOCh0a0ghp#v=onepage&q=veerbhadra%20tiwari&f=false

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Be Careful of People Whom You Help !

A picture is worth a thousand words. An illustration gives the reader a foundation to interpret the text. Source


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  • Yes that’s a shame”
  • “That guy is an idiot why didnt he cut his1st? why just why???”

Whom so ever first looks at this picture, most of them, irrespective of their caste, creed, religion, gender, nationality gives an immediate reaction, some of which I would like to mention here:

 

  • “The true meaning is get yourself right before helping others. Why is he not cutting himself down. Now he’s cutting down the person wanting to kill him and helping him will only make it easier when he’s free from his own problems.”
  • “Help yourself before you help others*”
  • ” It is a shame that we can’t trust people any more.there just seems there is a lack of love”.
  • “Y n the hell he didn’t free himself first?”
  • “Shoulda just been captioned ‘Politics’.”
  • “What a ugly way to show who you should help or not. If the person helping only had common sense.””Sad, but true!”
  • “Watch who you save!!!”
  • ” I’m sure yu learn yur lesson… Helping someone who really didn’t want it.”
  • “Put your faith in God/Jesus & YOURSELF! The rest will fall in place, God seems to wing out the bad in your life.”
  • “Is life all about cynicism and distrust, now? Do people only do nice things expecting the same in return? I will help anyone who asks, even if I know they want to screw me over, because I want to be a decent human being, period. How others behave isn’t going to change how I do. We’re all in this together.”
  • “plot twist left guy is stopping right’s stool from falling”
  • “Don’t judge a picture that you don’t know what is really happening. He might be helping him so he won’t fall while his cutting the rope.”
  • “Why is everyone looking at this picture at such perspective, look closely the guy who is trying to cut the rope is about to slip and the other is trying his best to stabilise the chair. Not all is what it looks like in this world 🌍….. Trust is important”
  • “Right guy off balance. Left dude stopping stool from toppling. Maybe he’s just holding the chair with his foot to keep him from falling”

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Now try and visualise the above picture in your mind

What do you think?

“The ladder in the above picture and the two individuals.”

As of now, what opinion would you consider to be the most appropriate reasoning with regards to the first picture?

This picture would create a feeling of hatred or helplessness, or insecurity, or cruelty depending on the environment a person is brought up, or with respect to the problems he/she is facing at the present moment; thereby, influencing (manipulating) his/her thinking when presented/shown the next picture.

Now let us observe yet another picture below,

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Now, how does your perception change with respect to the first picture?

As per human behaviour and psychology, empathy and compassion would overpower our thinking and our perception with respect to the same individuals in the first picture, and our perception with regards to the first situation would change accordingly.

Human being is a social animal. This is how a human being can be manipulated into doing whatever a person with much more stronger hold over his/her emotions wants a more gullible person to do. This can be used for the benefit of the society (through public education and through mass media) or for it’s destruction (brainwash or through propaganda) depending upon the intentions of the authority in power. 

The picture given below would completely change your perception with regards to the first picture and the individuals involved.

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The picture given below has been drawn as per my observation, logic, thinking, and reasoning.

The person A is not trying to topple person B down, but simply pushing his stool a little so that person B (with his stretched forearms, he cannot bend his elbow) is able to cut the rope cleanly and quickly, though the manoeuvre is quite a dangerous one, but effective. Now simply because of the position of his hands, person B cannot cut his own rope first, or may be the first person is trying to stabilise the stool on which person B is standing.

Every individuals has the right to interpret it the way they want to. I always prefer to give the benefit of doubt. 

10981510_10152742796032945_1396881083436905943_nThis forms the basis of TAT ( Thematic Apperception Test) or Psychological testing. These tests are employed as part of real life situations including day to day socio-economic problems in I.A.S (Indian Administrative Service), Indian Armed Forces, Medical institutions and establishments etc.

The mains character trait of an administrator should be of empathy i.e.thinking of others before oneself. (Selfless)

Feelings of empathy and compassion is an essential pre-requisite for individuals who want to administer and govern a large and diverse populace, as is case of India. 

Other qualities of candidates selected for Indian Administrative Service are talent (ability), honesty, integrity, courage, sincerity, trustworthiness, reliability, and carrying out one’s day to day activities with care, compassion, and responsibility.

I saw an interview of Miss Ira Singhal (https://www.facebook.com/ira.singhal?fref=ts) the IAS (Indian Administrative Service) 2014-2015, 1st rank holder yesterday at 9:00 pm IST(Indian Standard Time) on NDTV (Hindi) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZJZ30PpDzk).

Mr. Ravish Kumar is a TV anchor, writer and journalist who covers topics pertaining to Indian politics and society, and a person who knows how to moderate a debate; can differentiate between a debate and a commotion, though sometimes I get the feeling, he is biased for and against some people. (only a thought)

  • Courage –Someone with courage is bold and brave, unafraid to face tough challenges. Unlike the Cowardly Lion, who went all the way to the Emerald City to see if the Wizard had any courage to spare.In Middle English, courage referred to “what is in one’s mind or thoughts.” Today, anyone with courage has only fearless feats and courageous acts in mind. Having courage means acting when others are afraid of the danger, or simply acting without fear of failure. As the American poet Robert Frost advised, “Have courage and a little willingness to venture and be defeated.”
  • Integrity – Integrity is a personal quality of fairness that we all aspire to — unless you’re a dishonest, immoral scoundrel, of course.Having integrity means doing the right thing in a reliable way. It’s a personality trait that we admire, since it means a person has a moral compass that doesn’t waver. It literally means having “wholeness” of character, just as an integer is a “whole number” with no fractions. Physical objects can display integrity, too — if you’re going over a rickety old bridge that sways in the wind, you might question its structural integrity.
  • Honest – The adjective honest is perfect for describing someone who tells the truth. If you’re always honest, it means you’re truthful and sincere no matter what. Honest comes from the Latin word honestus, which means “honorable or respected,” and around 1300, honest was popularly used to mean “respectable and of neat appearance.” We don’t use it these days to describe the way someone dresses, but instead how truthful they are, and sometimes to emphasize how simple and straightforward something is, like “good, honest home-cooked food.”
  • Trustworthy – Trustworthy describes something you can believe in — it’s completely reliable. Your favourite newspaper can be trustworthy — they always print the truth — and people can be trustworthy too. You only tell your secrets to a trustworthy friend. Breaking apart the word trustworthy gives you a clue to its meaning. It combines the common word trust, which describes something you can rely on, and the word worthy, which describes something that deserves respect. So something — or someone — that’s trustworthy deserves your trust. In an election, you’ll likely vote for the most trustworthy candidate because you believe she’ll keep her promises. If you’re trustworthy, that means you’re reliable: you do what you say you’re going to do.
  • Empathy is the capacity to understand or feel what another person is experiencing from within the other person’s frame of reference, i.e., the capacity to place oneself in another’s shoes. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empathy. Use empathy if you’re looking for a noun meaning “the ability to identify with another’s feelings.”When Bill Clinton famously told people “I feel your pain” during his 1992 election campaign, some praised and others ridiculed him for displaying empathy, the sharing or understanding of feelings. Empathy is different from sympathy, which is pity or sorrow for others’ misfortunes. They share a common root in -pathy, from the Greek pathos, “feeling.” Where they differ is in their prefixes: sym- means “with,” while em-means “in.” If you can empathize with someone, it’s because you have been in their place: you’ve “walked a mile in their shoes,” as the saying goes.

 

  • Compassion is the response to the suffering of others that motivates a desire to help. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compassion. If someone shows kindness, caring, and a willingness to help others, they’re showing compassion.This is a word for a very positive emotion that has to do with being thoughtful and decent. Giving to a charity takes compassion. Volunteering to work with sick people or animals takes compassion. When you have compassion, you’re putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and really feeling for them. Anytime a disaster like a hurricane or earthquake hits, others will feel compassion for the victims. When you feel compassion for someone, you really want to help out.

 

Why do NCERT text books form the crux of preparation for Indian Civil Service Examinations ?

Because Administrators have to deal with wide range of people and environments (unity in diversity) so they should know the basis of each and every concept, people, groups, languages etc. and NCERT books are the best source to achieve and imbibe such knowledge, moreover, stress is laid on reading various journals, newspapers and online materials to improve our analytical skills, reading skills, and concentration power. Furthermore, empathy and compassion form an essential pre-requisite for an individual to become an administrator, because only then can an administrator solve problems of the masses (and environment in which they live) and, devise and formulate, policies for the same with CONSTANT REVIEW, as it is an ever changing world. When doing so, they (administrators) have to deal with multiple problems in one go without losing track of each. They should know how to control and make use of all their senses judiciously and appropriately. Slowly and gradually, after getting selected, the civil servants can be groomed into their areas of talents, skills, and expertise.

The Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) is a projective psychological test. Proponents of this technique assert that a person’s responses reveal underlying motives, concerns, and the way they see the social world through the stories they make up about ambiguous pictures of people. Historically, it has been among the most widely researched, taught, and used of such tests.

[ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thematic_Apperception_Test ]

[ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychological_testing ]

Purpose

Individual assessments

The TAT is often administered to individuals as part of a battery, or group, of tests intended to evaluate personality. It is considered to be effective in eliciting information about a person’s view of the world and his or her attitudes toward the self and others. As people taking the TAT proceed through the various story cards and tell stories about the pictures, they reveal their expectations of relationships with peers, parents or other authority figures, subordinates, and possible romantic partners. In addition to assessing the content of the stories that the subject is telling, the examiner evaluates the subject’s manner, vocal tone, posture, hesitations, and other signs of an emotional response to a particular story picture. For example, a person who is made anxious by a certain picture may make comments about the artistic style of the picture, or remark that he or she does not like the picture; this is a way of avoiding telling a story about it.

The TAT is often used in individual assessments of candidates for employment in fields requiring a high degree of skill in dealing with other people and/or ability to cope with high levels of psychological stress— such as law enforcement, military leadership positions, religious ministry, education, diplomatic service, etc.

Although the TAT should not be used in the differential diagnosis of mental disorders, it is often administered to individuals who have already received a diagnosis in order to match them with the type of psychotherapy best suited to their personalities.

Lastly, the TAT is sometimes used for forensic purposes in evaluating the motivations and general attitudes of persons accused of violent crimes. For example, the TAT was recently administered to a 24-year-old man in prison for a series of sexual murders. The results indicated that his attitudes toward other people are not only outside normal limits but are similar to those of other persons found guilty of the same type of crime.

The TAT can be given repeatedly to an individual as a way of measuring progress in psychotherapy or, in some cases, to help the therapist understand why the treatment seems to be stalled or blocked.

 

 

 

 

Read more: http://www.minddisorders.com/Py-Z/Thematic-Apperception-Test.html#ixzz3fI66XPAR

What is ‘SUCCESS’ ?

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Success has different meanings and connotations for every individual depending on their point of view which in turn depends upon their psychology, and their nature, which again has a lot to do with their past history.

Take, for example, in the above picture there are two bowls, the first bowl has a shoal of fish.

Now, as we can see, a fish is trying to swim out of the first bowl, without realising what’s in store for him/her, when she gets out of the first bowl.

The remaining shoal of fish might think So, foolish of her, the world outside is a dangerous place and she might get into a trouble of her own making.” From their point of view, the fish is about to be doomed.

Maybe the fish was thrown out of the first bowl by others, as a punishment, with a thought that she might die all alone, without realising, there is another bowl next to the first one, which is of a larger size compared to the first. (Maybe she was the only one to have seen that)

With fools, there is no companionship. Rather than to live with men who are selfish, vain, quarrelsome, and obstinate, let a man walk alone.

                                                                                                                                       Buddha

Another possibility is, maybe one by one, the others too will follow suit.
Then there is another point of view, that is of ‘US‘;

the people who would be viewing this blog, who very well know that there is a second bowl, also filled with water just next to it, and the fish would fall into it. Thinking of her to be foolish, because she would be all alone in the next bowl.

What a foolish mistake has she committed!

Again, here we are limited by our view and experience because we do not know for sure if there is still another bowl next to the second one, or are there a multiple series of bowls filled with fresh water side by side?

Or maybe there is a river or a pond next to a multiple series of bowls,

maybe the river leads to a sea or an ocean,

a probability which is obscure to us with a limited view, until we get the complete panoramic view or have a three-dimensional vision or a complete satellite picture.

It all depends upon  the following questions

Does s/he have the courage?

Has s/he got the will to explore?

If what we have discussed is ‘TRUE’, then it is the remaining shoal of fish inside the first bowl, who is about to be doomed, they too have an uncertain future;

to remain inside a closed environment for the rest of their lives,

may be someday the dissolved oxygen goes out or somehow the bowl is broken, or someone throws a bigger fish inside, which eats them all up. One will never know.

I have an interesting story, kindly read

  • Great Lesson for everyone to learn
    from this Fish TheoryThe Japanese have always loved fresh fish🐠 🐟🐠🐟
    But the water close to Japan has not held many fish🐠🐟 for decades.
    So to feed the Japanese population, fishing boats got bigger and went farther than ever.

    The further the fishermen went, the longer it took to bring the fish🐠🐟🐠🐟
    If the return trip took more time, the fish 🐠🐟🐠🐟 were no longer fresh.

    To solve this problem, fish 🐠🐟 companies installed freezers on their boats.
    They would catch the fish 🐠🐟 and freeze them at sea.
    Freezers allowed the boats to go farther and stay longer.

    However, the Japanese could taste the difference between fresh and frozen fish🐠🐟
    and they did not like the taste of frozen fish 🐠🐟

    The frozen fish🐠🐟 brought a lower price.
    So, fishing companies installed fish tanks.
    They would catch the fish 🐠🐟 and stuff them in the tanks, fin to fin.

    After a little thrashing around, they were tired, dull, and lost their fresh-fish taste.
    The fishing industry faced an impending crisis!
    But today, they get fresh-tasting fish to Japan.

    How did they manage…?

    To keep the fish🐠🐟🐠 tasting fresh, the Japanese fishing companies
    still, put the fish🐠🐟🐠 in the tanks but with a small shark🐋🐋

    The fish🐠🐟🐠 are challenged and hence are constantly on the move.
    The challenge they face keeps them alive and fresh!

    Have you realized that some of us are also living in a pond
    but most of the time tired and dull….?

    Basically in our lives, sharks are🐋🐋 new challenges to keep us active.

    If you are steadily conquering challenges, you are happy.
    Your challenges keep you energised.

    Don’t create Success and revel in it in a state of inertia.
    You have the resources, skills and abilities to make a difference.

    Put a shark 🐋🐋 in your tank this year
    and see how far you can really go.. 👍✌

https://www.facebook.com/sharer/sharer.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fdrprabudhgoel%2Fposts%2F1114476165232367&display=popup&ref=plugin&src=post
Same situation is encountered by humans in everyday life.

People who are creative, innovative, courageous, self respecting, work and live with integrity, and have the will to explore, achieve final success.

They do not know what future has in store for them;

for them every failure is a stepping stone to success.

They solve problems, as and when they encounter it,

rather than sitting in a cosy little room/environment, excluded and protected from the outside world.

What is Choice Based Credit System (CBCS) ? How is it Advantageous in Promoting Talent, Creativity and Research?

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This was the prevailing situation in most of our teaching institutions and establishments. There is lack of transparency and accountability.

VISION:

To evolve a higher education system, that is suitability blended with provision for knowledge values and skill practice where every student learns in without sacrificing his/her creativity.

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RATIONALE:

The current higher education curriculum does not impart the necessary skills that would make the students employable adequately. There is a lack of ‘Interdisciplinary’ approach as well as there is a very little scope for value based courses to be taught. In addition the evaluation methods are largely based on memory recall processes. In addition the students don’t learn to think and analyze on their own. Also, the system is not effective enough in meeting/ empowering students to think on matters/issues independently.

The 11th five year plan of India as well as the National Knowledge Commission have recommended revamping of higher education through academic and administrative reforms. The UGC particular in its 11th plan, has emphasized on such reforms and this was followed by the recommendations were made on similar lines by the Association of Indian Universities. (AIU)

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GOALS:

The ultimate goal is to bring reforms in higher education so that students develop thinking as well as analytical ability, s/he gets equipped with necessary skills ultimately making him/her suitable for an employment and to integrate values of our culture with education.

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The most important aspect of this system is that both teaching and learning should be ‘credit based‘ and not ‘time based‘. The new system also opens up the opportunity for student mobility, allowing students to transfer credits earned in one institution to another;

and for

programme portability, allowing movement from one degree programme to another. These will be achieved through unique system of counting credits (which replaces the “papers” system),

a uniform evaluation system based on grade points (replacing the “marks” system), and a

uniform semester based academic year (Which replaces the “year long” pattern).

This establishes parity within and across institutions; between ‘Indian Higher educational institutions’ and many international ones.

In principle, this new system should also provide employers and post graduate institutions, better standards to compare undergraduate students and their institutions.

The most positive aspect of CBCS is it’s student centricity. It recognises the importance of individual learning, wherever and whenever it is achieved.This is the defining idea behind the new system. It treats students as individuals who have independent academic needs and interests, and CBCS, if properly implemented, has the potential to empower them.[ and the nation as a whole ]

[Source: http://epaper.indianexpress.com/531556/Indian-Express/29-June-2015#clip/5709833/dad244f3-a263-4aaf-93f9-3c4811e73650/945.0000000000001:713.679245283019 ]

The Scenario:

Source: http://www.presiuniv.ac.in/web/exam_assessment.php

Currently an important concern which is strongly mentioned in recent times by the University Grants Commission (UGC), the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC), is the need to develop a Choice-Based Credit System (CBCS) in tune with global trends and the adoption of a proper grading system for measuring performance of the learner.

Recommendation of the UGC University Grants Commission in its Action Plan for Academic and Administrative Reforms

“……. Curricular flexibility and learners’ mobility is an issue that warrants our urgent attention. These can be addressed by introducing credit based courses and credit accumulation. In order to provide with some degree of flexibility to learners, we need to provide for course duration in terms of credit hours and also a minimum as well as a maximum permissible span of time in which a course can be completed by a learner…Choice-Based Credit System (CBCS) imminently fits into the emerging socio-economic milieu, and could effectively respond to the educational and occupational aspirations of the upcoming generations. In view of this, institutions of higher education in India would do well to invest thought and resources into introducing CBCS. Aided by modern communication and information technology, CBCS has a high probability to be operational efficiently and effectively — elevating learners, institutions and higher education system in the country to newer heights…”.

Definitions of Key Words:

UGC guidelines

1. Academic Year: Two consecutive (one odd + one even) semesters constitute one academic year.
2. Choice Based Credit System (CBCS): The CBCS provides choice for students to select from the prescribed courses (core, elective or minor or soft skill courses).
3. Course: Usually referred to, as ‘papers’ is a component of a programme. All courses need not carry the same weight. The courses should define learning objectives and learning outcomes. A course may be designed to comprise lectures/ tutorials/laboratory work/field work/outreach activities/project work/vocational training/viva/ seminars/term papers/assignments/ presentations/ self-study etc. or a combination of some of these.
4. Credit Based Semester System (CBSS): Under the CBSS, the requirement for awarding a degree or diploma or certificate is prescribed in terms of number of credits to be completed by the students.
5. Credit Point: It is the product of grade point and number of credits for a course.
6. Credit: A unit by which the course work is measured. It determines the number of hours of instructions required per week. One credit is equivalent to one hour of teaching (lecture or tutorial) or two hours of practical work/field work per week.
7. Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA): It is a measure of overall cumulative performance of a student over all semesters. The CGPA is the ratio of total credit points secured by a student in various courses in all semesters and the sum of the total credits of all courses in all the semesters. It is expressed up to two decimal places.
8. Grade Point: It is a numerical weight allotted to each letter grade on a 10-point scale.
9. Letter Grade: It is an index of the performance of students in a said course. Grades are
denoted by letters O, A+, A, B+, B, C, P and F.
10. Programme: An educational programme leading to award of a Degree, diploma or certificate.
11. Semester Grade Point Average (SGPA): It is a measure of performance of work done in a semester. It is ratio of total credit points secured by a student in various courses registered in a semester and the total course credits taken during that semester. It shall be expressed up to two decimal places.
12. Semester: Each semester will consist of 15-18 weeks of academic work equivalent to 90
actual teaching days. The odd semester may be scheduled from July to December and even semester from January to June.
13. Transcript or Grade Card or Certificate: Based on the grades earned, a grade certificate shall be issued to all the registered students after every semester. The grade certificate will display the course details (code, title, number of credits, grade secured) along with SGPA of that semester and CGPA earned till that semester.

Semester System and Choice Based Credit System

The Indian Higher Education Institutions (IEHI) have been moving from the conventional annual system to semester system. Currently many of the institutions have already introduced the choice based credit system. The semester system accelerates the teaching-learning process and enables vertical and horizontal mobility in learning. The credit based semester system provides flexibility in designing curriculum and assigning credits based on the course content and hours of teaching. The choice based credit system provides a ‘cafeteria’ type approach in which the students can take courses of their choice, learn at their own pace, undergo additional courses and acquire more than the required credits, and adopt an interdisciplinary approach to learning, It is desirable that the HEIs move to CBCS and implement the grading system.

Examination and Assessment

The HEIs are currently following various methods for examination and assessment suitable for the courses and programmes as approved by their respective statutory bodies. In assessing the performance of the students in examinations, the usual approach is to award marks based on the examinations conducted at various stages (sessional, mid-term, end-semester etc.,) in a semester. Some of the HEIs convert these marks to letter grades based on absolute or relative grading system and award the grades. There is a marked variation across the colleges and universities in the number of grades, grade points, letter grades used, which creates difficulties in comparing students across the institutions. The UGC recommends the following system to be implemented in awarding the grades and CGPA under the credit based semester system.

  • Letter Grades and Grade Points:
  • i. Two methodsrelative grading or absolute grading– have been in vogue for awarding grades in a course. The relative grading is based on the distribution (usually normal distribution) of marks obtained by all the students of the course and the grades are awarded based on a cut-off marks or percentile. Under the absolute grading, the marks are converted to grades based on pre-determined class intervals. To implement the following grading system, the colleges and universities can use any one of the above methods.
  • ii. The UGC recommends a 10-point grading system with the following letter grades as given below:

  • iii. A student obtaining Grade F shall be considered failed and will be required to reappear in the examination.
  • iv. For non credit courses ‘Satisfactory’ or “Unsatisfactory’ shall be indicated instead of the letter grade and this will not be counted for the computation of SGPA/CGPA.
  • v. The Universities can decide on the grade or percentage of marks required to pass in a course and also the CGPA required to qualify for a degree taking into consideration the recommendations of the statutory professional councils such as AICTE, MCI, BCI, NCTE etc.,
  • vi. The statutory requirement for eligibility to enter as assistant professor in colleges and universities in the disciplines of arts, science, commerce etc., is a minimum average mark of 50% and 55% in relevant postgraduate degree respectively for reserved and general category. Hence, it is recommended that the cut-off marks for grade B shall not be less than 50% and for grade B+, it should not be less than 55% under the absolute grading system. Similarly cut-off marks shall be fixed for grade B and B+ based on the recommendation of the statutory bodies (AICTE, NCTE etc.,) of the relevant disciplines.

Fairness in Assessment:

Assessment is an integral part of system of education as it is instrumental in identifying and certifying the academic standards accomplished by a student and projecting them far and wide as an objective and impartial indicator of a student’s performance. Thus, it becomes bounden duty of a University to ensure that it is carried out in fair manner. In this regard, UGC recommends the following system of checks and balances which would enable Universities effectively and fairly carry out the process of assessment and examination.

i. In case of at least 50% of core courses offered in different programmes across the disciplines, the assessment of the theoretical component towards the end of the semester should be undertaken by external examiners from outside the university conducting examination, who may be appointed by the competent authority. In such courses, the question papers will be set as well as assessed by external examiners.

ii. In case of the assessment of practical component of such core courses, the team of examiners should be constituted on 50 – 50 % basis. i.e. half of the examiners in the team should be invited from outside the university conducting examination.

iii. In case of the assessment of project reports / thesis / dissertation etc. the work should be undertaken by internal as well as external examiners.

Computation of SGPA and CGPA

The UGC recommends the following procedure to compute the Semester Grade Point
Average (SGPA) and Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA):

i. The SGPA is the ratio of sum of the product of the number of credits with the grade
points scored by a student in all the courses taken by a student and the sum of the
number of credits of all the courses undergone by a student, i.e
SGPA (Si) = Σ(Ci x Gi) / ΣCi
where Ci is the number of credits of the ith course and Gi is the grade point scored by the
student in the ith course.

ii. The CGPA is also calculated in the same manner taking into account all the courses
undergone by a student over all the semesters of a programme, i.e.
CGPA = Σ(Ci x Si) / Σ Ci
where Si is the SGPA of the ith semester and Ci is the total number of credits in that
semester.

iii. The SGPA and CGPA shall be rounded off to 2 decimal points and reported in the
transcripts.

Illustration of Computation of SGPA and CGPA and Format for Transcripts

i. Computation of SGPA and CGPA

Illustration for SGPA

ii. Transcript (Format):

Based on the above recommendations on Letter grades, grade points and SGPA and CCPA, the HEIs may issue the transcript for each semester and a consolidated transcript indicating the performance in all semesters.

The major system engaged in Higher Education in the global scenario is operating a system of credits. The European Credit Transfer System (ECTS), the ‘National Qualifications Framework’ in Australia, the Pan-Canadian Protocol on the Transferability of University Credits, the Credit Accumulation and Transfer System (CATS) in the UK as well as the systems operating in the US (discussed in detail in  https://jeevanshu.wordpress.com/2015/07/01/what-is-choice-based-credit-system-cbcs-how-is-it-advantageous-for-promoting-talent-creativity-and-research-part-i/ ), Japan, etc are already in a system of credit to measure the level of competency.

In tune of the above scenario Indian universities, institutions and establishments too should adopt a credit-based-grading- system for the purpose of assessment of the students, which will be acceptable to the global universities.

Image Credit

Advantages of the Credit-Based-Grading-System:

  1. Respects ‘Student Autonomy’. Represents a shift in focus from teaching based to learning education since the workload is based on the investment of time in learning.
  2. Records student’s workload realistically. It calculates not only the time spend by the students in lectures or seminars but also the time they need for individual learning and the preparation of examinations etc.
  3. Helps self-learning. Students may undertake as many credits as they can cope with, without repeating all the courses (papers) in a given semester if they are unsuccessful in one or more courses (papers).
  4. Offers more flexibility to the students allowing them to choose inter-disciplinary (known as Extra-Departmental papers) courses along with major courses, which makes education more broad-based.
  5. Facilitates students’ mobility. Providing opportunity to transfer the credit earned at one institution to another. Provide more transparency and compatibility between different educational structures.

Some Salient Features of Credit-Based-Grading-System 

(Presidency University, Kolkata, West Bengal, India)

  1. The amount of learning indicated by a credit value is based on an estimate using the idea of hours of learning. The number of hours of learning provides a rough guide to how long it will take a typical student, on average, to achieve the learning outcomes specified for the module or programme. The estimate of notional hours of learning doesn’t just include formal classes, but estimates the amount of time spent in preparation for these classes, along with private or independent reading and study, plus revision and the completion of course-work required on the module.
  2. The university shall also formulate policy for credit transfer that can allow a student to transfer credits which have already been awarded to the student (vide clause 37 of the Regulation).
  3. A student may be able to transfer credits to another programme within the university, or may be able to transfer credit towards a programme in a different institution with which the university has a formal agreement of mutual credit transfer. Credit transfer depends on whether the accumulated credit is relevant to the programme to which the student wants to transfer.
  4. Grade, SGPA & CGPA: Student shall be graded in each course with 7 deferent grades in a scale of 10. Based on marks obtained in aggregate in each paper of UG/PG degree course following grade and grade points shall be awarded (given in 5). Student(s) failing to obtain minimum D-grade in individual module/paper will be declared as unsuccessful irrespective of SGPA/CGPA value to qualify in each semester. Students will be awarded SGPA/CGPA values considering both honours and extra-departmental courses in bachelor’s degree course.
  5. Classification of grades:
    % marks obtained Grade Grade Point
    90 and above A++ 10
    80 to 89 A+ 9
    70 to 79 A 8
    60 to 69 B 7
    50 to 59 C 6
    40 to 49 D 5
    E0

    Computation of SGPA and CGPA:

    Source: http://www.ugc.ac.in/pdfnews/6925009_SkillNSQF.pdf

    Following procedure to compute the Semester
    Grade Point Average (SGPA) and Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) may
    be adopted:
    • The SGPA is the ratio of sum of the product of the number of credits with the
    grade points scored by a student in all the course components taken by a
    student and the sum of the number of credits of all the courses undergone by
    a student, i.e
    SGPA (Si) = ∑(Ci x Gi) / ∑Ci
    where ‘Ci’ is the number of credits of the ith course component and ‘Gi’ is the grade point scored by the student in the ith course component.
    • The CGPA is also calculated in the same manner taking into account all the
    courses undergone by a student over all the semesters of a programme, i.e.
    CGPA = ∑(Ci x Si) / ∑ Ci
    where ‘Si’ is the SGPA of the ith semester and Ci is the total number of credits
    in that semester.
    • The SGPA and CGPA shall be rounded off to 2 decimal points and reported
    in the transcripts.
    • The skill component would be taken as one of the course component in
    calculation of SGPA and CGPA with given credit weightage at respective
    level.

    Where n is the number of courses in the jth semester, mj denotes the numerical value of the grade obtained in the jth course of the semester, cj denotes the number of credit for the jth course of the semester. For example, consider the numerical grade and credit of a student given in the table below:

    Course CourseI CourseII CourseIII CourseIV CourseV CourseVI CourseVII
    Credit 2 2 4 2 2 2 2
    Numerical Grade 7 8 5 7 6 8 8

    SGPA for the ith Semester is calculated as –

    Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) for k semesters is given as:

    where Cj is the total number of credits in the jth Semester.

    For example, consider the SGPA’s obtained by a student in four semesters along with total credit in each semester is given as follows:

    Semester First Second Third Fourth
    SGPA 6.75 6.00 8.12 7.62
    Total Credit 16 20 18 16

  6. Extra-Departmental papers have the adequate relevance in the respective programme according to their credits. The credit points earned in Extra Departmental papers will be counted to calculate the final CGPA. So any Extra-Departmental paper has to be treated as relevant as Major paper.
  7. A student shall be provided with a final record of total marks obtained along with the final grade at the end of the respective degree course.                                                                                                                                                        For Example                                                                                                                                                                                          Choice Based Credit System                                                                               Image Credit                                                                                                                                                              Choice Based Credit SystemImage Credit
  8. Separate account in the form of a credit transcript for accumulated credits may be issued against application annually or on completion of the programme, or both for availing of the credit transfer options.
For implementing the CBCS, institutions of higher education would need to undertake the following set of rigorous elaborate steps:

Source:

  1. Review of curricular contents (study papers, term papers, assignment, workshop-assignment, experiments etc.) of certificate, diploma, under-graduate, post-graduate, M.Phil. and Ph.D programmes.
  2. For the sake of clarity of faculty, students and examiners, all the curricular contents are specified, and sub-divided into units and, if need be, into sub-units, which are subsequently assigned numerical values and termed ‘credits’.
  3. Faculty of the concerned ‘Department’ deliberates and decides on (a) core credits, and (b) elective or optional credits for different levels of academic programmes.
  4. Departmental faculty evaluates and decides on the relative weightage of the core and elective credits.
    Decision on the ‘total’ credits to be earned (or completed) by students undergoing certificate, diploma, under-graduate, post-graduate, M.Phil. or Ph.D. programmes.
  5. Generally core credits would be unique to the programme and earning core credits would be essential for the completion of the programme and eventually certification.
  6. On the other hand, elective credits are likely to overlap with other programmes or disciplines of study (for example, languages, statistics computer application etc.).
  7. Under this system, Students enrolled for a particular programme or course would be free to opt and earn elective credits prescribed under the programme, or under other programmes within the department, faculty, university or even outside recognised university/ institution of higher education.

While, the fixing of diversity in the evaluation system followed by different universities in India due to which students suffer acceptance of their credentials across the university system as well as the employment agencies, is a welcome objective. Making it all the more flexible & mobile in the same go is bound to create further chaos and confusion. When the University Grants Commission doesn’t have a working dashboard to monitor the existing as well as future implementation of CBCS, what kind of preparedness would the Universities in general would be having?

The UGC has simply mentioned an email id ugc.action@gmail.com for reporting the compliance of such an important initiative.

The University Grants Commission would need to be extra cautious and get further prepared in initiating such wide-based reforms so that they don’t backfire and lose their due meaning & credence.

Image Credit

Critique

When a teacher teaches in a class, it is like pouring water in a bottle. The problem with credits is — suppose a teacher pours 1 litre of pure water each day for 5 days a week, exactly for 4 weeks; now, this means 1 X 5 X 4= 20 litres of pure water is equivalent to 1 credit for a particular subject. The problem that lies here, is that – – should the student be given that 1 credit simply because s/he was present in the class when the teacher was pouring pure water, or it should be based on the amount of water that the student retains in his/her tumbler in those 4 weeks and also on what use does that student puts that water to, during those 4 weeks and thereafter.
The other problem that arises in the above credit system is that – how does one decide whether the water that the teacher is pouring is pure and exactly 1 litre in quantity.

Structure of the U.S. Education System: Credit Systems

First, let us discuss the same system which is being followed in The United States of America.

The Structure of the U.S. Education System:
Credit Systems

USNEI

International Affairs Office, U.S. Department of Education     Feb 2008

U.S. educators at the secondary, higher, and adult/continuing education levels use a variety of formulae to calculate, record, and interpret the amount of earned academic or training credits that students accumulate en route to earning certificates, diplomas, degrees, and other qualifications. In most cases, the earned credits are identified by the term “credit hours” or “credit units.”

Several important points need to be understood about credit:

  • Credit hours or units represent a mathematical summarization of all work completed and are not the same as the actual classroom contact or instructional hours.
  • U.S. institutions use credit formulae to record all types of academic work, not just taught courses. A U.S. doctoral student’s academic record, for example, will contain credits earned for independent research, often expressed as if the student had been enrolled in classes, even though the actual work was independent research.
  • Credits are a convenient numerical way to assess tuition and fee charges and determine student status. Even unsupervised doctoral candidates must be registered as students and pay tuition charges.
  • Registered student status is usually defined as being enrolled in a given semester or quarter for a specified minimum number of credit hours, which are assigned to any type of study recognised and required by the faculty, and tuition charges are usually calculated by the instructional cost per credit hour.

SECONDARY LEVEL CREDIT UNITS

The most widely used credit systems in U.S. secondary education are based on the Carnegie Unit system. Carnegie Units were proposed in 1906 as a basis for measuring school work. A unit would represent a single subject taught for one classroom period for five days a week. Fractional units would be awarded for subjects taught less frequently. The term “Carnegie Unit” is still used to describe this system as are other terms such as “annual credit unit.”

What is the Carnegie Unit?

The unit was developed in 1906 as a measure of the amount of time a student has studied a subject (originally designed as a standard for student exposure to subject matter). For example, a total of 120 hours in one subject—meeting 4 or 5 times a week for 40 to 60 minutes, for 36 to 40 weeks each year—earns the student one “unit” of high school credit. Fourteen units were deemed to constitute the minimum amount of preparation that could be interpreted as “four years of academic or high school preparation.” http://www.carnegiefoundation.org/faqs/

In essence, it was an opportunity-to-learn standard—assuring that students received at least some common base of academic study in the high school and post-secondary systems that were emerging early in the 20th century. Today the Carnegie Unit functions as a currency that organises a vast array of educational transactions: everything from academic calendars to faculty workloads and compensation, transfer and graduation requirements, athletic eligibility, and the distribution of billions of dollars in federal financial aid. “The Carnegie Unit was never intended to measure what students have learned,” says Silva, a Carnegie Foundation senior associate. “Measuring learning was left to the discretion of individual teachers and professors. Given the great diversity in goals and activities in the U.S. educational system and the autonomy enjoyed by faculty, particularly in higher education, creating an alternative to the Carnegie Unit poses formidable challenges. While the Carnegie Unit has many limitations, it does provide a minimum guarantee of student access to opportunities to learn.” http://www.carnegiefoundation.org/newsroom/news-releases/carnegie-foundation-releases-results-two-year-study-carnegie-unit/

Some secondary schools assign credits by semester.  These semester credit units are based on the formula that a semester credit unit equals a single subject taught for one classroom period for five days a week.  Still, other schools assign credit by the classroom period, or “hour.”  Since the standard secondary class load is five subjects, five hourly credits equal on semester credit unit, which is doubled for annual credit units.

POSTSECONDARY CREDIT SYSTEMS

Semester Calendar Credit Hours. Most U.S. higher education institutions operate on an academic year divided into two equal semesters of 15-16 weeks’ duration, with a winter break of 2-3 weeks and a summer session of 10-12 weeks, plus additional shorter breaks. The actual amount of academic work that goes into a single semester credit hour is often calculated as follows:

  • One lecture (taught) or seminar (discussion) credit hour represents 1 hour per week of scheduled class/seminar time and 2 hours of student preparation time. Most lecture and seminar courses are awarded 3 credit hours. Over an entire semester, this formula represents at least 45 hours of class time and 90 hours of student preparation.
  • One laboratory credit hour represents 1 hour per week of lecture or discussion time plus 1-2 hours per week of scheduled supervised or independent laboratory work, and 2 hours of student preparation time. Most laboratory courses are awarded up to 4 credit hours. This calculation represents at least 45 hours of class time, between 45 and 90 hours of laboratory time, and 90 hours of student preparation per semester.
  • One practice credit hour (supervised clinical rounds, visual or performing art studio, supervised student teaching, field work, etc.) represents 3-4 hours per week of supervised and /or independent practice. This, in turn, represents between 45 and 60 hours of work per semester. Blocks of 3 practice credit hours, which equate to a studio or practice course, represent between 135 and 180 total hours of academic work per semester.
  • One independent study (thesis or dissertation research) hour is calculated similarly to practice credit hours.
  • Internship or apprenticeship credit hours are determined by negotiation between the supervising faculty and the work supervisor at the cooperating site, both of whom must judge and certify different aspects of the student’s work. The credit formula is similar to that for practice credit.

A typical bachelor’s degree program of study on a semester calendar requires at least 120 credit hours to be earned by the student. Normal full-time registration is usually 15 credit hours per semester or 30 per academic year (shortfalls can be made up in summer sessions or independent study). This roughly translates into at least 30-40 courses (depending on the major subject and thus the proportion of types of credit hours earned) and represents at least 5,400 – and probably more – actual hours of dedicated academic work for a non-science or non-art concentration, and well over that total for graduates of programs in the sciences, engineering, fine arts, or performing arts. A master’s degree program requiring at least 33 credit hours and including a research thesis or project represents over 4,000 actual hours of supervised and unsupervised (independent research) study, while a doctoral program can represent 8,000 or more actual hours of advanced study and research beyond the master’s degree.

Quarter Calendar Credit Hours

Some U.S. institutions use a quarter calendar, in which the academic year is divided into three terms, called quarters, of 10-11 weeks’ duration plus a summer session (considered the fourth quarter, but optional), a short winter term and other calendar breaks. Quarter credit hours represent proportionately less work than semester hours due to the shorter terms, about two-thirds of a semester credit hour. Thus, a bachelor’s degree at an institution on the quarter calendar may require a minimum of 180 quarter hours, which compares to 120 semester hours.

Other Post-secondary Credit Systems.

The semester and quarter hour systems are only the most commonly used credit systems in the United States. Several institutions employ their own special systems for recording credits, ranging from unit systems similar to the Carnegie system (one course = one credit) to point systems based on various formulae.

Education leaders from eight American states and seventeen Chinese provinces shared ideas and discussed efforts to improve teacher professional development and to implement effective student assessments.

Education leaders from eight American states and seventeen Chinese provinces shared ideas and discussed efforts to improve teacher professional development and to implement effective student assessments.

U.S. leaders visited schools in Shanghai before the dialogue began and the American delegation was particularly impressed by the students and faculty at Shanghai Shibei Junior High School.

U.S. leaders visited schools in Shanghai before the dialogue began and the American delegation was particularly impressed by the students and faculty at Shanghai Shibei Junior High School.

Students entering the U.S. higher education system with credits from other systems have these credits converted to U.S. credit hours using formulas for the transfer of credit that each higher education institution has established. The principles that govern these formulas include:

  1. The assumption that the basic academic content and student academic load is similar across universities and higher education systems, even if the local policy on the award of credits differs from place to place; and
  2. Dividing the number of credits to be transferred from a home campus or system into the number of credits that would be awarded in the receiving campus or system for the same work.

This formulation can result in students from systems where the credit system awards more than 30 credits in an academic year seeing a reduction in the number of credits when translated into the U.S. credit hours system, and vice versa for students from systems where the standard academic credit load is less than 30 credits per year.

The Structure of the U.S. Education System:
Experiential Credit Conversion

Higher education credit can be awarded for experiences and training obtained outside the higher education system. Common examples include credit for military training programs, employer training and certification and refresher training done as part of the requirements of professional associations and licensing authorities. Credit can also be earned for self-study and other experiences that provide evidence of learning under some circumstances.

The requirements for being able to assign credit for such experiences, called Prior Learning Assessment in the United States, include the following 10 standards:

  1. Credit should be awarded only for learning and not for the experience alone.
  2. Higher education credit should only be awarded for learning at that level.
  3. Credit should be awarded for learning that demonstrates theory and practical application.
  4. Determination of competency standards and the decision to award credit needs to be made by appropriate academic and subject experts.
  5. Credit should be appropriate to the academic context in which it is considered for acceptance
  6. Credit awards and recording should be monitored to avoid duplication.
  7. Policies and procedures should be fully disclosed and available for review.
  8. Fees for credit award procedures should be for assessments and not based on the amount of credit to be awarded.
  9. Assessment personnel should receive adequate training and professional development opportunities.
  10. Assessment programs should establish regular review procedures and a continuous improvement process.

Continuing Education Units (CEU)

Continuing education units, or CEUs, are awarded by many education and training providers to signify successful completion of non-credit programs and courses intended to improve the knowledge and skills of working adults. Among the most common uses of CEUs are to record refresher, transitional, or knowledge improvement accomplishments for professional workers undergoing what is called continuing professional education.

The typical CEU represents approximately ten (10) contact hours of experience in a structured continuing education experience (class, seminar, retreat, practicum, self-study, etc.) that is supervised in some way by a qualified continuing education provider.

CEUs are similar in theory to academic credits but differ in two important respects:

  1. CEUs are not awarded for academic study and do not represent, or provide, academic credit; and
  2. They may be awarded for a variety of experiences in different settings whose only common criterion is that they be measurable, supervised educational or training experiences with defined starting and ending points.

CEU CONVERSION

Some CEUs can be converted into academic credit hours. This is done by both higher education institutions and special examining and assessment services. Academic credit can only be granted for CEUs if

(1) the subject matter and nature of the CEU experience is approved as applicable to consideration for academic credit;

(2) the continuing education experience has been analyzed for content and level and, if necessary, the person holding the CEUs has been examined; and

(3) a formal recommendation is made by competent academic authorities (faculty, review board, etc.) based on an agreed conversion formula. CEUs are most commonly converted via a formula that considers at least ten (10) CEUs to equal a single academic credit hour.

U.S. Grading Systems

A variety of grading systems are used in U.S. education. The decision on what grading system to use is a matter within the exclusive authority of the individual school or higher education institution, and usually up to the individual faculty member or disciplinary department within the school or institution.

 NOTE: There is no nationally mandated grading scheme in the United States. The examples described below are only some of the most frequently encountered grading systems.

NORM-REFERENCED GRADING SYSTEMS

Norm-referenced grading systems are based on a pre-established formula regarding the percentage or ratio of students within a whole class who will be assigned each grade or mark. The students, while they may work individually, are actually in competition to achieve a standard of performance that will classify them into the desired grade range. For example, a faculty may establish a grading policy whereby the top 10 percent of students will receive a mark of excellent or outstanding, which in a class of 100 enrolled students will be 10 persons. A norm-referenced grading system might look like:

A (Excellent) = Top 10 % of Class
B (Good) = Next 20 % of Class
C (Average, Fair) = Next 30 % of Class
D (Poor, Pass) = Next 20 % of Class
F (Failure) = Bottom 20 % of Class

The underlying assumption in norm-referenced grading is that the students are roughly equal in ability, and the goal is to select the best performers in the group. Norm-referenced systems are most often used for screening selected student populations in conditions where it is known that not all students can advance due to limitations such as available places, jobs, or other controlling factors. Highly competitive and oversubscribed programs of study, such as law and medicine, or related preparatory programs may use norm-referenced grading to reduce the class size that is allowed to enter or continue such programs. U.S. students often refer to norm-referenced grading systems as “grading on a curve,” a phrase that reflects the formulaic character of such systems.

CRITERION-REFERENCED GRADING SYSTEMS

Criterion-referenced grading systems are based on a fixed numeric scale, usually equated to a letter mark, from which the faculty assign grades based on the individual performance of each student. The scale does not change regardless of the quality, or lack thereof, of the students. For example, in a class of 100 students, there might be no one or any number of students who score high enough to achieve a grade of excellent, or who fail. Criterion-referenced systems might look like:

A (Excellent) = 95-100 or 90-100
B (Good) = 85-95 or 80-90
C (Fair) = 75-85 or 70-80
D (Poor) = 65-75 or 60-70
F (Failure) = -65 or -60

Criterion-referenced systems are often used in situations where the faculty are agreed as to a standard of performance but the quality of the students is unknown or uneven; where the work involves student collaboration or teamwork; and where there is no external driving factor such as needing to systematically reduce a pool of eligible students.

In many situations, faculty may wish to indicate that certain students, despite achieving a specific score, demonstrated qualities that cause the faculty to believe that the grade by itself does not reflect the student’s actual contribution or potential. In such cases they may attach plus or minus signs to the letter grade (examples: A+, A, A-, B+, B, B-, etc.) to refine their evaluation. These refinements can be important in calculating cumulative grades and awarding honors.

It is noteworthy that many U.S. criterion-referenced grading systems use the principle of subtracting points from a defined perfect score, which is usually, but not always, set at 100. This approach differs from that sometimes used in other countries such as the United Kingdom, where points are added from a defined lowest score (zero or another number). Understanding this difference can make comparing criterion-referenced grades easier, since grades representing similar achievement but calculated in these different ways can be as much as 20 or 30 points apart.

Dimension Criterion-Referenced
Tests
Norm-Referenced
Tests
Purpose To determine whether each student has achieved specific skills or concepts.To find out how much students know before instruction begins and after it has finished. To rank each student with respect to the achievement of others in broad areas of knowledge.To discriminate between high and low achievers.
Content Measures specific skills which make up a designated curriculum. These skills are identified by teachers and curriculum experts.Each skill is expressed as an instructional objective. Measures broad skill areas sampled from a variety of textbooks, syllabi, and the judgments of curriculum experts.
Item
Characteristics
Each skill is tested by at least four items in order to obtain an adequate sample of student performance and to minimize the effect of guessing.The items which test any given skill are parallel in difficulty. Each skill is usually tested by less than four items. Items vary in difficulty. Items are selected that discriminate between high and low achievers.
Score
Interpretation
Each individual is compared with a preset standard for acceptable achievement. The performance of other examinees is irrelevant.A student’s score is usually expressed as a percentage. Student achievement is reported for individual skills. Each individual is compared with other examinees and assigned a score–usually expressed as a percentile, a grade equivalent
score, or a stanine.Student achievement is reported  for broad skill areas, although some norm-referenced tests do report student achievement for individual skills.

Image Credit

ALTERNATIVE GRADING SYSTEMS

Pass-Fail Systems. Some U.S. faculties, schools, and institutions use pass-fail grading systems, especially when the student work to be evaluated is highly subjective (as in the fine arts and music), there are no generally accepted standard gradations (as with independent studies), or the critical requirement is meeting a single satisfactory standard (as in some professional examinations and practica).

Non-Graded Evaluations. A number of U.S. faculties, schools, and institutions do not assign numeric or letter grades as a matter of policy. This practice is usually based on a belief that grades introduce an inappropriate and distracting element of competition into the learning process, or that they are not as meaningful as measures of intellectual growth and development as are carefully crafted faculty evaluations. Many faculty, schools, and institutions that follow a no-grade policy will, if requested, produce grades or convert their student evaluations into formulae acceptable to authorities who require traditional measures of performance.

Good learning happens when:
…students are given a clear learning objective that states what they will learn and how they can show that they’ve learnt it successfully. (Learning intentions and success criteria)
…students are given feedback that is geared towards teaching them how to improve.
…students are given multiple opportunities to practice something.
…students are assessed using criterion-referenced rubrics which are written in clear, accessible language. Students understand the rubric and know what success looks like.
…assessment is designed to teach.
…the emphasis is not on exams, but on more representative tasks that show student learning, rather than their ability to rote memorize. [ http://thinkedu.net/blog/criterion-referenced-assessment_learning-objectives/ ]

North American GPA equivalents in other countries 

source: http://www.universitiesintheusa.com/american-education.html

Country  GPA 2.0 GPA 2.5 GPA 2.75  GPA 3.0 
Bangladesh 46% 55% 60% 65%
China 70% 75% 78% 80%
France 10 11 11.6 12
Georgia 3 3-4 3-4 4
Ghana 3/C 2/B 2/B 2/B+
Hong Kong 50% 57% 60% 65%
India 46% 55% 60% 65%
Indonesia 6 6 7 8
Iran 12 13 13.8 14
Japan 3 3-4 3-4 4
Jordan 50% 60% 66% 70%
Kazakhstan 3 3-4 3-4 4
Korea 2.0 – 70% 2.5 – 75% 2.5 – 78% 3.0 – 80%
Macau 60% 65% 68% 70%
Mexico 6.0 – 60% 7.0 – 70% 7.3 – 76% 8.0 – 80%
Nigeria 7 6 4 3
Pakistan 46% 55% 60% 65%
Qatar 3 3-4 3-4 4
Russia 3 3-4 3-4 4
Saudi Arabia 3 – 70% 3 – 75% 3 – 78% 4 – 80%
Spain 5 5.5 6 7
Taiwan 60% 65% 68% 70%
Thailand 2 2.5 2.8 3
Turkey 5 6 7 8
UAE 70% 75% 78% 80%
Ukraine 3 3-4 3-4 4
Venezuela 10 11 13 14
Vietnam 5 5.5 6 7