Is it a major challenge for students to write the final exams online?

In the testing times of a pandemic, the health of all citizens is of the utmost importance. In such times the students’ health is of top priority to the nation. The schools and colleges are least likely to open until the pandemic is in control. The lock down began in March and was likely to end by July. The colleges were to take their examination then. However, due to the increase in cases the universities were notified to not reopen until August 15.

Some universities took online examinations, while others have still postponed their exams. The universities are taking their exams as take-home assignments. They are using various platforms to do the same as TCSion, kahoot, LMS noodle, among others.   

The online exams present a lot of challenges in itself.

  1.       Internet connection and devices– to give final exams online, the students need a stable internet connection and a laptop or tablet. Many students do not have such facilities. They will face such difficulty. The issue of the internet and electricity cuts which will lead to an interruption in the examinations.
  2.       No supervision – In online exams the major obstruction is supervision. The students can easily copy as there is no supervision.  The results can be inaccurate in such cases.
  3.       Methods – one has to carefully choose the methods of examination.  one way is giving take home assignments. Another approach can be quizzes. They need to be time bound so as to avoid copying. However, as we cannot check who is actually appearing for the exam it becomes a challenge when using such methods. 

At the same time, it is an easier way of testing.

  1.       Quick results – The results for online examinations are quick and calculated easily. The online applications for conducting exams themselves calculate the results. The faculty only has to check the take home assignments.
  2.       Fewer efforts – Writing the final exams online, requires much less effort as the need for supervisors is not necessary. The professors also have less work as the results are self-generated. 
  3.       Saving resources – The online exams can save resources like electricity, paper, and stationery. the reduction is in the cost and environmental impact of printing the papers, answer sheets as well as electricity used in the examination hall.
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The students and teachers are facing a lot of trouble with this shift from traditional methods to the new online system. The teachers find it difficult to set an online paper. In addition the paper should be challenging and time bound. 

Many colleges couldn’t complete the syllabus. It is a major concern of students. Communication with teachers is also difficult which leads to a problem in doubt solving. Lastly, some students are of the opinion that the exams are a mere formality as the questions are direct. The answers to them are easily available in books and online . There was no increase in the knowledge of students. Hence, a more application based paper would have challenged the students and helped them grow. 

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