Topical Assessment: The Key to Unlocking Personalised Learning


In the dynamic landscape of modern education, the one-size-fits-all approach is rapidly becoming obsolete. Recognising each student’s unique learning path, educational institutions and resource providers are increasingly turning to topical assessment as the framework for personalised learning. This revolutionary approach is tailored to accommodate individual strengths and weaknesses, encouraging students to excel by understanding where they stand within a given realm of knowledge.

This blog post will explore how topical assessment redefines the educational paradigm and why every student, from timid first-graders to ambitious high-schoolers, should grasp its significance.

Understanding Topical Assessment

At the heart of topical assessment is taking a ‘topic’, breaking it down into ‘subtopics’, and assessing an individual’s understanding of each ‘concept’. By focusing on these granular elements, educators can create a comprehensive map of a student’s knowledge, identifying areas of mastery and those requiring further development.

One of the critical components of topical assessment is the ability to be hyper-personalised. Each student’s review is unique, catering to their learning style, pace, and individual goals. Students are no longer pitted against one another on a single bar; rather, they are encouraged to grow from their current position at their own speed.

Why Topical Assessment Is Effective

The traditional model of an exam or test serves a general purpose, gauging a student’s overall understanding of a subject area. Unfortunately, it often fails to provide actionable insights that can lead to real improvement. In contrast, topical assessment is:

  • Personalised: By breaking down subjects into manageable units, educators can focus on the areas that matter most to the individual student, leading to a more personalised learning experience.
  • Informed: Educators can better inform and guide students and their parents about a student’s precise academic needs and progress, leading to more informed decisions about their educational path.
  • Motivating: Students who can see and understand their progress at a granular level are more likely to be motivated to improve.
  • Continuous: Assessment becomes an ongoing process, allowing students to track their development over time and providing educators with constant data to inform their teaching.
  • Adaptable: It allows for adaptive learning techniques – if a student struggles with one concept, the system can automatically provide additional learning resources until the concept is mastered.

These advantages combine to create an environment where learning is not just a challenge but an adventure tailored to the individual.

High-stakes Tests and Topical Assessments

Topical assessment is particularly beneficial in high-stakes areas such as the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE). With PSLE marking the end of a Singaporean student’s primary education and acting as the primary determining factor for placement in secondary schools, the pressure is immense. Topical assessment can:

  • Alleviate stress by clearly understanding students’ strengths and weaknesses before the official exam date.
  • Enable more focused revision and learning of specific topics that require improvement.
  • Help educators to offer more targeted support where necessary, ultimately increasing the student’s chances of success.

Implementing Topical Assessment in Online Tuition

The tuition world has swiftly adapted to the benefits of topical assessment. Online platforms like Explico have integrated topical reviews into their learning programs, making them even more effective. Explico begins with a series of diagnostic tests to evaluate a student’s understanding of various topics. After the assessment, the platform creates personalised study plans based on the results, ensuring time is spent where needed.

The beauty of online tuition with topical assessments is the flexibility it offers. Students are not bound by time or location; most importantly, the feedback is immediate. They can utilise resources such as on-demand videos, practice questions, and immediate response helplines, ensuring they are continuously moving toward their educational goals.

Visualising Progress with Topical Assessments

The most significant advantage of topical assessment for students is the ability to visualise their growth. Through detailed reports and analytics, students can see how their scores have changed over time, offering tangible evidence of their hard work and learning. This compelling aspect reinforces the students’ understanding that learning is a continuous process.

Explico’s approach is to break this down even further, providing graphical representations demonstrating the student’s progress in a clear, easy-to-understand format. These visuals are crucial motivators, highlighting the road ahead and celebrating the ground they have covered.

Parental Involvement and Topical Assessment

For parents, the involvement can be just as valuable. In Singapore, where the education system is highly regarded and competitive, knowing where their child stands can empower parents to make informed decisions about their child’s educational path. Engaging with topical assessment outcomes can lead to more supportive and effective discussions with educators about their child’s progress.

Explico’s approach includes regular updates and summaries that keep parents in the loop, encouraging a collaborative environment where the student’s best interests are at the forefront.

The Future of Personalised Learning

Topical assessment is not just a trend; it’s the future of personalised learning. With its roots firmly established in adaptability, intelligence, and motivation, it promises a revolution in how we approach education. It signals a shift from the traditional teacher-led model to one where the student is at the centre of their educational experience.

The significance of this shift cannot be overstated, especially in the face of challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic, which has accelerated the adoption of online learning models. In such times, ensuring that education remains effective, engaging, and personal should be a top priority for all stakeholders.

Take the Next Step With Topical Assessment

Are you a student looking to take control of your learning? Are you a parent determined to give your child the best possible tools for success? The next step is clear – explore the realm of topical assessment. It is a beacon of light in the educational landscape, guiding you toward a brighter, more fulfilling academic future.

The advantages of topical assessment are clear, and the potential for growth and understanding is immense. Knowing where you stand on the knowledge map allows you to chart a course toward success, one milestone at a time. 

Personalised learning is not just an educational philosophy; it is a movement. Topical assessment is the engine that drives this movement forward, empowering students with the tools, motivation, and understanding needed to succeed in a rapidly changing world. Together, they represent a bright vision of what education can be — an exhilarating, customisable adventure that unlocks the full potential of every learner.

Topical Assessment: The Key to Unlocking Personalised Learning
  • Who we are

    Explico Pte LTD
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    Explico provides a unique platform to help students identify weaknesses and strengths for them to grow. The Assessment-Based Learning (ABL) system allows teachers, parents or guardians, and the student to find out where they need extra focus so that their potential is maximized.

    Are you looking for a way to help your child prepare for their PSLE?
    The best way to prepare for any examination is with practice papers or workbooks – but they can only take you so far. That’s why we also offer mock examinations that will condition your child to perform under an examination environment and emotional readiness sessions that will help them manage some level of expectations during the actual examination.

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