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Lack of experience restricts education institutes as they consider online exams, says report

Education institutes have been concerned about the "sanctity of high-stakes exams in online mode" with 70 per cent participants saying cheating prevention is the most pressing concern for them. Further, 51 per cent of respondents list a robust candidate authentication system as the foremost priority when evaluating an anti-cheating solution for semester exams.

By: Education Desk | New Delhi | Updated: August 4, 2020 3:06:31 pm
online exam, ugc, ugc revised guidelines, final year exam, education news, Cheating and integrity of exams a major concern of education institutes (Pexels/Representational image_

The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted the education system. While the classes are being held digitally, there is an ongoing debate on the examination and assessment being moved to digital platforms. A majority of (85 per cent) education institutes wish to go ahead with their exams citing a bigger disruption if the exams are further deferred, as per the latest ‘State of online examinations 2020’ report by education technology company – Mercer Mettl.

While currently most educational institutions are used to traditional centre-based exams, they are considering the online mode of examination as a solution, however, most (77 per cent) of institutes do not have experience of conducting online entrance examinations, as per the report.

Despite the disruption, 85 per cent of respondents said they would go ahead with their exams. Nearly half of the participants (48.81 per cent) have already incorporated online solutions at their institutes and over two-thirds (67 per cent) are seeking online solutions for the timely conduct of exams.

However, education institutes have been concerned about the “sanctity of high-stakes exams in online mode” with 70 per cent participants saying cheating prevention is the most pressing concern for them. Further, 51 per cent of respondents list a robust candidate authentication system as the foremost priority when evaluating an anti-cheating solution for semester exams. The ability to lock down exam browsers and access to any external websites or apps on computers has been selected by over 46 per cent of respondents.

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Over 63 per cent of respondents have listed accessibility and connectivity in remote areas as their second most important challenge in digitising exams, as per the report.

The report claims, “Technology is perceived as an add-on and not the central tenet for driving sectoral initiatives. This delayed response to technological advancements and its placid assimilation into processes have exacerbated the challenges faced by institutions amid the ongoing disruption”

The education institutes believe, “Online solution must provide a seamless interface, requiring minimal training and familiarization. It would enable all students to partake in the process, with similar comfort levels. These solutions must function on minimum possible internet bandwidth to ensure connectivity and access in remotest of locations.

Read | Why are students across India opposing online exams?

“Traditional means of examinations have been favored because they are perceived to offer direct quality control over the examination process, allowing educational centers to monitor the examination process in real-time. Therefore, it enables them to preserve the integrity of the exam-giving process. Also, despite the ubiquity of the internet, the academic community and students have continued to prefer traditional means as they are perceived to offer enhanced ease in giving and taking exams,” claims the report.

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