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Source: Telegraph India

Economics Teachers From Delhi University Oppose Online Exams, Suggests Alternatives

Delhi University teachers have issued a joint letter opposing the prospect of online examination. This joint letter contains views of over 170 Economic professors at Delhi University. They have also suggested some alternatives to conduct the semester-end exams.

The letter says that based on strong student feedback and their own experience of the unsatisfactory and restricted scope and coverage of online classes, the teachers realize that there are very serious hindrances to time-bound online open book examinations in the pattern proposed by the university.

The teachers highlight the issue of slow or no internet connectivity and refer to the issue they experience while teaching classes online. The teachers further added that the situation may be worse for students in the containment zone.

In the letter, they also mention obstacle that students may face in sitting for an online exam is in scanning and uploading answers. It is well known that due to the web traffic, the server may take hours to upload and many students’ internet connection may be weak to maintain this process.

Delhi University students went back home during the midterm break do not have proper study material and not whole study material is uploaded online. Moreover, most of the students do not have a computer at home and they cannot be determined to prepare for exams using a phone and the domestic environment may not be facilitative for writing exams for some students

The teachers also highlighted their concerns about the sanctity of exams which will be executed in this manner.

The letter states that as this is planned to be online examinations, how will the university confirm that the answers that the students are uploading are not duplicated from each other (through parallel internet communication) or dictated by someone else? This trouble cannot be avoided by making it open book because open book exams are open about source material but they strictly bar communication with anybody else, which can be easily disobeyed here.

However, it is clear that the course could not be completed when the University closed down and if you say online classes, they have been extremely uneven and inaccessible to many students, the range of choice given to the students should be much more than normal. The teachers have also highlighted the concern about the choice of questions to be provided to the students, as per the University guideline the students will be given 6 choices put of which they have to answer 4.

Moreover, having a basic format like 4 out of 6 and that too without parts is a very mechanical approach to aiming examinations when we have extremely dissimilar courses, whose specific nature and mode of testing varies greatly.

Apart from this, the teachers have suggested some alternatives for the promotion of students. For the final semester, they referred that the students can be assessed based on internal assessment and no grades should be assigned for this semester papers at all. Many Universities in the USA are obeying this similar method of passing students based on the respective internal assessments and no grades for these courses will be mentioned in the grade-sheet.

Department of Sociology also repeats a suggestion to include the grades for this semester based on students’ overall existing GPA of the previous semesters along with the addition of internal assessment for this semester.

Once the situation normalizes the University can choose the option for appearing in the exam to improve grades.
The letter also says that the unique situation of ex-students who were due to write their exams has also been overlooked in the directions issued by the University.
The teachers have also raised issues of the ex-students, who were due to write their exams has also been overlooked in the directions issued by the University.

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