Another dot in the blogosphere?

PSLE T-score crowdsourcing

Posted on: November 25, 2016

Let us say that you had thousands of potential volunteers to contribute their time, effort, and collective intelligence. What would you do?

Four years ago, scientists created a game about shaping RNA. About 38,000 players contributed human intuition to what technology could not figure out by itself.

Here in Singapore, we had our annual ritual of find-out-the-highest-PSLE-T-score effort and hunt for the schools with the highest proportions of T-scores of 250+.

Not all of the 125,000 members of kiasuparent.com participated. But enough did so that it “caused the website to crash at times due to capacity problems”.

All this happened despite the rhetoric and early efforts of our Ministry of Education (MOE). According to this article:

The fascination with aggregate scores still continues although it has been five years since the Ministry of Education stopped announcing PSLE’s top scorers and their T-scores to remove the spotlight on academic grades.

Just what does this effort contribute to?

It perpetuates the focus on scores and grades. It does nothing to determine what else makes a school good. It prevents schools from reinventing themselves and escaping from this expectation.

There is a thin line between good and bad forms of crowdsourcing. One form distills the wisdom of the crowds; the other manifests the madness of the mob.

How do we stop this PSLE T-score madness? Is there a game that can help us synthesise artificial RNA that will code for protein that might change our neural structure? That sounds like science fiction.

The T-score system will go away in 2021 only to be replaced with another scoring system. Will that change mindsets, expectations, and behaviours? I do not think so.

So how about crowdsourcing alternatives for assessment and evaluation?

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