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In second round of open book exams, most Delhi University students opt for online over offline mode

This time, the university will be conducting the exam for third- and fifth-semester undergraduate students and third-semester postgraduate students in a “blended mode” — which means students can either opt to write the exam from their homes or their respective colleges.

Written by Sukrita Baruah | New Delhi | December 6, 2020 4:51:04 am
In second round of open book exams, most Delhi University students opt for online over offline modeThe Delhi University is set to commence its second round of Open Book Examination (OBE) on December 12. (Express File Photo by Amit Mehra)

With Delhi University set to commence its second round of Open Book Examination (OBE) on December 12, tweaks in the exam guidelines have been made to make the process smoother.

This time, the university will be conducting the exam for third- and fifth-semester undergraduate students and third-semester postgraduate students in a “blended mode” — which means students can either opt to write the exam from their homes or their respective colleges, where ICT facilities will be provided.

According to data shared by university officials of exam forms submitted so far, only 5,700 have opted for the physical mode, while 1,49,345 students have opted for the online mode.

In August, DU had conducted the OBE for final-year undergraduate and post-graduate students completely online, which saw technical glitches, and a second phase of the exam was held in a “blended mode” in September for those who had missed their papers. When results were released, many students found they were marked absent for papers which they had written.

This time, the university’s exam guidelines state that students can only upload and submit their scanned answer sheets through the OBE examination portal. Last time, students could either submit through the portal or send through email, and many students had made multiple submissions of the same paper through both channels.

“We made this decision based on the fact that 92% of the submissions last time had been made on the OBE portal. Through the course of the exams, we had received 5.5 lakh emails which had to be streamlined, segregated and uploaded to the portal on our end for evaluation; this was a time-consuming process, for which we had to hire 40 additional people. The confusion over students being marked absent was also because of this,” said Dean, examination, D S Rawat.

Like last time, students will be given three hours to write their exams and one hour for IT-related activities such as downloading the question paper and scanning and uploading answer sheets. This time, there is an additional window of an hour for submissions in case of technical issues.

Some teachers are also giving students tips on writing the exam to avoid errors of last time. “Our teachers told us to prepare our answer sheets before the exam by writing our roll numbers on every sheet to prevent confusion. They have also advised us to have someone else with us to scan and convert each completed page into a PDF, while we are still writing the rest of the paper, to save time,” said a student of Kalindi College.

Said a teacher in Hindu College, “Till today, we are dealing with errors of last time. This time, there will be two batches of undergraduate students writing the exam instead of one, so the load will be even greater.”

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