What are Amrita Cards?
Amrita Cards are simple, cheap and scalable paper based in-class assessment tools used by students to answer multiple choice questions. With the help of a mobile app, teachers can scan answers of students and provide immediate results.
Hundred crore plus class hours lost in India!
There are nearly 6.25 crore school students in India learning about 215 crore learning hours in total. 
Typical attention span of a student is 10 to 15 minutes. A class hour lasts between 45 to 50 minutes. 
That means, 70% of class hours are lost due to inattention in classrooms.
This would amount to an estimated 150crore class hours lost due to inattention in schools per year in India.
High time for Active Learning
The most effective way to reduce inattention would be to bring about Active Learning in the classroom. This way, students are not being passive consumers of teaching content, but actively participating in the learning process. They have something to do, instead of passively sitting and receiving teaching. Active learning involves students in “doing things and thinking about the things they are doing”. 
Some common ways of bringing Active Learning in classrooms are:
- In-class assessments
- Group Activities
- Rewards after finishing tasks
- Strategies such as peer instruction and think-pair-share
Amrita Cards focusses on In-class assessment mode of active learning. Our research shows that usage of Amrita Cards increases student attention span by 15% through interactive learning.
How do Amrita Cards work?
Each Amrita Card consist of a pattern which can be recognised by an Image Recognition application. On each side of the card is printed a roll number (5) and an answer option (A, B, C and D). When a teacher asks a multiple choice question, each student is required to raise their respective Amrita Card with their answer on top. In the above illustration, the student with roll number 5 has raised his answer choice A.
When a question is posted on the board or a presentation device, all students raise their Amrita Cards with their answer choices as shown above. Often teachers give students very little time to raise their cards so that there is often no time for copying answers from other students and we get a true representation of students’ understanding about a particular topic.
Once the class raises the Amrita cards, the teacher would scan their Amrita cards using the Teacher app. This application would read the pattern on the cards and provide immediate result to the teacher as to how many students got the right answer and how many did not answer correctly.
The teacher would see the application in the above manner. She can check if all the students’ cards have been scanned and how many go the right answer.
In the above image, we can see that 8 students have got option A (which is the correct answer) and 6 of them have got other options.
Amrita Cards: Insights for better teaching
Along with providing Active Learning for students, Amrita Cards also provide a lot of insights for better teaching. For instance, in some topics most of the students may perform well and there may not be too much space for confusions. This could be the case for basic and fundamental concepts that students need to remember.
In topics that need critical thinking and application, students could get confused and teachers may not even identify the fact that students may not be getting the topics as desired. Amrita Cards will provide real time insights into how many students are lagging behind some critical topics. Teachers need not wait till final examinations to understand that students are lagging. Often final exams may not be the right time to evaluate student understanding. That might just be too late.
We recommend teachers to use Amrita Cards every 15 to 20 minutes in a class of 60 minutes. At least, the cards must be used once at the end of the class, so that we know how many students were paying attention. Also, since all the scores of students are saved in a central server, it is possible to carry over these scores to continuous evaluation metrics of the students.
Such measures will encourage students to pay more attention to class and participate more in classes. This would provide better student outcomes at the end of the programme and hence raise the quality of students graduating.