From 2019 onwards, the engineering students of the All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) approved colleges might get an opportunity to appear for open book exam. In its latest examination reforms policy, the advisory body has suggested multiple guidelines on how to set questions paper to better assess students. One of the most interesting initiative under this framework is the open book examination wherein students will be allowed to refer to books in examination halls.
The move is expected to improve the quality of engineering education in India. Ashok Shettar, chairperson AICTE committee on examination reform and vice chancellor KLE Technological University told indianexpress.com “The way we conduct exams traditionally only assesses students based on their ability to reproduce knowledge. Through these guidelines, we aim to reform the way we assess our students. We are aiming to match the assessment system with the outcome-based framework our education and industry has adopted based on performance indicators.”
AICTE has advised colleges to either ask less number of questions that encompassed two or three concepts or allocate more time for the exam under open book.As per the policy, this will be less stressful for a student as it would focus less on the memorising ability and instead will tend to focus on the application of the information and develop problem-solving abilities in students.
“If we have to say 12 indicators for our engineering graduates,” said Shettar, “half of them do not belong to technical traits. Our traditional system is unable to acssess students based on these soft skills including teamwork, communication skills, et al.”
The policy also advises the academicians to “set the question paper in a way that requires students to do things with information available to them, rather than merely locate the correct information from the book”.
Shettar said, “Open book exams will be allowed in designed and systemic manner. It will not be allowed in all the exams.” The policy report stated that it will also motivate the question paper setters to design question papers in a way which assesses students on their application of knowledge.
To implement the same, the AICTE will train teachers from engineering institutes from all across the country, starting next month onwards. According to Shettar, the guidelines are expected to be implemented from the ‘next academic year’. Apart from the open book, the Examination Reforms Policy also states several reforms like mandatory internships, research, students projects etc.