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It’s time to shift towards online examination

With digital revolution, education is turning affordable, accessible, continuous and experiential.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
March 30, 2017 5:56:54 pm
online exam, ssc cgl, rrb ntpc, indian railway jobs, online exam how to do, how to online exam system, how to online civil services, education news, indian express An online exam not only tremendously reduces the time and effort put into conducting an examination but also provides security of data

The world is going digital and India is no exception. As India becomes a part of the digital mainstream and convenience becomes an important parameter, one finds everyday products including grocery to high-value purchases such as property sold online. This transition to the digital world is also finding resonance in the field of education which offers significant advantages to both the students as well as institutions.

From the biggest professional institutions in India to the largest government employer like the Indian Railways, all are recognising that conducting online examinations is better. It not provide them the opportunity to handle a large number of candidates but also ensure easy access to eligible candidates across India. The old way of education is slowly giving way to more adaptable and customisable forms of learning.
Why online exam is better than written exam?
The traditional assessment model is generally manual and a time-consuming process that suffers from multiple challenges like student mal practices, impersonations and paper leaks. An online exam not only tremendously reduces the time and effort put into conducting an examination but also provides security of data, delays in result declaration, logistical ease, and is definitely environment-friendly with limited use of paper.

If we pause and think what could be driving this sudden surge and interest in a virtual classroom or course module, we might discover many big shifts that are actually re-defining the way people learn, when they learn and why they learn.

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Learners have changed
There’s no going back to old ways. Their attention spans, devices, tools, mind-maps, and even the purpose of learning have changed tremendously. People want to learn, they are not opposed to it but they want it to be self-paced, engaging, multi-dimensional, fast, outcome-based, and participative, accelerated, on demand et al.

Pew Research has noticed that 87 per cent of personal learners feel more capable and well-rounded, 69 per cent opened up new perspectives about their lives, 64 per cent made new friends, 58 per cent say it made them more connected to their local community and 43 per cent got involved in volunteer opportunities.

In short, education is now turning affordable, accessible, continuous and experiential. With this impetus for what a learner actually needs, it is also becoming granular, contextual and pull-based so that it is designed from the perspective of a learner and not based on what the instructor wants or knows.

Knowledge has ceased to be a stock asset for this generation. They have made it fluid, personalised, blended, inquiry-based and consistent. This is in tandem with an overall shift in the mindset of modern-age learners who are giving all the space and momentum to a new breed of classrooms.

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Need of one testing agency for higher education
When the Union Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley outlined vocational training (with a proposed Rs 2,200 cr investment), skill development (600 districts and 110 centres envisaged) and the concept of one testing agency for higher education. He articulated this year’s posture on the education sector well: overarching, seamless and in the right direction.

Wrapping our heads around the real digital puzzles would now commence. Similarly, concepts like one-testing agency would furnish the second wave of opportunity to the government as rationalisation of multiple aspects and fortifying a true single ownership roof would have to be sorted out as we proceed on this huge transformation. To this end, entrance tests for courses in higher education and other professional tests will soon come under the NTS fold making it the country’s largest exam conducting body. This goes to show, that education boards across India are rapidly riding the digital wave as it is easy to administer and helps curb malpractices to a large extent.

This is the age of exostructures, digital assessments, OERs (Open Reading Materials), and adaptive learning that dynamically shapes up the way instructional content is presented to students as per their responses or preferences. Nothing can be left closed or mysterious anymore, the demand for openness is seen across all dimensions of learning.

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The article is authored by Venguswamy Ramaswamy, Global Head, TCS iON

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