Education

Covid-19 pandemic prompts Indian colleges to rush to online exams

Due to Kovid in most colleges, the exam season this year has not been the same. Despite concerns of keeping close vigil, many are looking at tech-enabled proctoring solutions.

Siddharth Gupta, chief executive officer (CEO) of online assessment platform Mercer Metal, said that the company has seen a 70-80% increase in demand for its platform during the Kovid-19 crisis.

Another company mUni Campus said it has about 35 universities during the pandemic and expects to sign 15 more in the next month.

“Exams and assessment are more important than teaching,” said Gupta, Bhupesh Dahria, founder, Maini Campus. .

As the Kovid-19 lockdown escalates, colleges are forced to consider other ways of conducting examinations. Online proctoring was one of the three models for student evaluation suggested by a previously appointed expert committee by the University Grants Commission (UGC). Under the PM eVidya program, the HRD ministry has allowed the top 100 Indian universities to automatically start online degree courses from May 30.

Ankit Khandelwal, director of the think exam, said, “The demand is not just about universities, it is also about schools and other institutions. Khandelwal said that his company has been asking 10-15 questions to universities, schools every month for the last three months. more.

The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), which conducts the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), previously allowed students to take home exams this year due to the epidemic. The Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Kashipur conducted its quarterly examination digitally for first year students. The college polled 60% for the exam. The National Institute of Industrial Engineering (NITIE) earlier this month tied up with mUni Campus to conduct online exams for students in certain courses.

Despite the demand, there have also been protests against using such services. Many think that the model is not necessarily suitable for all students, because of lack of bandwidth, availability of equipment or lack of connectivity may harm students. Cheating is also a possibility. Another question is many.

University of Delhi (DU) students protested the hashtag #DUAgainstOnlineExams on social media last week. The Delhi University Teachers Association (DUTA) has also written to the university’s Vice Chancellor to write the online examinations, “discriminatory for all students who do not have access to technology in all its forms”.

Khandelwal of the Think Examination himself also said that remote proctoring solutions, while useful, cannot be effective for all scenarios. Especially the scenario where all the students are trying the same questions at the same time.

He posed questions about whether each student took the exam under similar circumstances, which can be difficult to answer with such solutions, especially for competitive examinations at the national level, where a student may allege that power Cuts, network loss or more were lost on one occasion.

Gupta of Mettal said that despite increasing demand, some people still have questions against such a system. “He has a hiccup to go online in educational institutions. They feel that it is easy to deceive artificial intelligence (AI) based proctors. “He said that universities also worry about what kind of question format such exams can accommodate and support at once.

At the same time, attempts have been made to minimize problems such as lack of bandwidth or Internet connectivity, avoid cheating and excess. For example, Mettal’s solution looks for candidates’ movements, recording whether they are looking elsewhere, whether they are interacting with someone else, if someone else is in the room, etc. The system uses a mixture of AI and human proctors to reduce cheating. As much as possible.

Similarly, the solution at MUNI Campus also allows students to answer questions without the Internet, uploading them once the device is re-connected. It also works on mobile phones. The company has created a hybrid solution, where students can view a question on the phone, write it on paper and upload it to the system as a PDF. Proctoring solutions can reduce fraud during assessment by hiding a student’s name and roll number, so that teachers’ cases do not attract bribes to pass on to students.

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