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As second wave forces universities back to online mode, here’s how colleges, industry came together to conduct online exams

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Entry to laptops or computer systems can also be a serious problem for conducting on-line exams. (Representational picture)

Coronavirus pandemic and on-line examinations: COVID-19 pandemic has introduced training on-line, however when the primary wave ended, a number of universities thought that whereas lessons have been on-line, they’d be capable to conduct exams in an offline method. Nonetheless, the second wave of the pandemic within the nation disrupted these plans as soon as once more, forcing universities to as soon as once more return to a web based type of examinations. Whereas transitioning from offline to on-line mode when it comes to lessons and lectures has its personal challenges, it’s nonetheless manageable. However in relation to conducting college examinations on-line, there are a number of new challenges and difficulties which can be confronted.

Chatting with Monetary Categorical On-line’s Bulbul Dhawan, PGP Chairperson at IIM Lucknow Prof Ajay Garg mentioned that the institute has partnered with Mercer | Mettl and makes use of its On-line Evaluation Platform. “The portal permits you to remotely proctor all the scholars and clearly on the similar time you’ll be able to have the display view of the candidates. Additionally, what the particular person is doing on the time of examination. So, all these issues are taken care of. No matter is feasible on-line, inside these limitations, now we have been in a position to set questions and there are not any restrictions relating to the kind of questions that may be set.”

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He added, “The one factor that turns into a problem is that regardless of asking the coed to indicate a full view of the room, some college students are in a position to play sensible, particularly as a result of there are a few blind spots, however that’s okay as a result of that can not be helped. Aside from that, different issues are wonderful, like if the candidate is shifting round or isn’t trying up, then the portal flags that. With the portal, I even have your entire video footage that I can return to in case I think that one thing is improper there. Apart from that, we additionally ask the candidate to take a seat in entrance of a mirror in order that we are able to additionally see what is occurring behind the laptop computer.”

Speaking about transitioning between the offline and on-line mode of examination, he mentioned that they’ve now switched between these two modes fairly just a few occasions, and the primary time that they switched, that was a studying expertise. Nonetheless, now, they’re conscious of how the platform works and intricacies concerned in it, and so, they don’t have a lot a problem anymore.

One other factor that performs out in favour of IIM Lucknow is that every one the scholars have entry to laptops. That is in all probability one thing that large universities and schools should their benefit, as college students at quite a few small universities won’t have entry to a laptop computer, which might create a problem for them if these universities have been to change to on-line exams.

Speaking to CEO of Mercer | Mettl, Siddhartha Gupta, FE On-line understood how the portal labored. He shared that they first started the portal as a web based evaluation device for expertise acquisition, through which they’d sit with shoppers and design checks that may be sure that the candidates that may filter by way of the written take a look at can be appropriate to work on the shoppers’ firms.

It then determined, just a few years in the past, to make use of this similar mannequin and work within the subject of training to energy the net exams of institutes, primarily curating entrance checks for the assorted programs which might be monitored remotely. Nonetheless, some professors discovered this portal useful, and about three years in the past, they started to make use of this portal for even conducting semester exams and inside papers like quizzes.

Whereas within the company sector, Mercer | Mettl is normally making the content material, within the training sector, professors make the query papers that’s then uploaded on the portal. Nonetheless, a serious level of hesitancy amongst folks relating to on-line evaluation is the doubt whether or not the particular person giving the examination is similar one that is meant to present it, which is why the corporate created an AI algorithm to video stream over 3 million candidates taking an evaluation. The algorithm is able to catching any digression that any candidate may be attempting to hold out whereas taking the take a look at, as additionally identified by Prof Garg.

“So, for instance, when you’re a scholar and also you actually choose up the cellphone, the AI has the intelligence to recognise the form of the cellphone and they’ll put a flag there saying that the candidate has a cellphone of their hand or they’re attempting to kind one thing,” Gupta mentioned. “Equally, in case your eyes are shifting away from the display otherwise you your self transfer away from the display, otherwise you transfer to date that the digital camera isn’t catching you – these are several types of digressions that any candidate would possibly do. We’ve skilled an AI algorithm to make sure that it catches such digressions and offers a flag, and this flag can then add as much as a credibility rating for that examination in case we wish to enhance the authenticity. As soon as the AI places the flag up, the professor monitoring the examination can carry up that scholar’s video stream, take a look at the query that the coed is taking a look at and might really remotely pause the evaluation and have a chat with them.”

He additionally added that ranging from March 2020, the corporate witnessed an enormous spike in its enterprise within the training house, and in India alone, they’re now working with round 250 instructional establishments. “The adoption has been pretty intensive, so the primary movers have been B-Colleges as a result of I believe their college students and college each have been very well versed with the digital property.” In 2020, the corporate carried out assessments of three million college students.

Dr. Meena Chintamaneni, Registrar, SVKM’s NMIMS mentioned, “With the arrival of the pandemic, the training system witnessed a paradigm shift in the direction of digitized programs with expertise changing into the one middleman of educating studying course of. To avert a situation that endangers college students’ profession, we as a college took immediate measures to safeguard the scholars’ pursuits by conducting the examinations on time. With the adoption of a new-age digital platform and streamlined examination method, we efficiently carried out the digital examinations for our programmes throughout centres. The transition to a web based examination system enabled us to keep up the training continuity and provided college students the much-needed respite and suppleness. Aside from conducting common coaching classes for the scholars in addition to the academics, we additionally took a number of steps within the curiosity of the scholars the place we not solely addressed their apprehensions on the examination format or scheduling but additionally gave due consideration to their real points. We additionally continued with our schedule for the doorway exams to our numerous UG applications.”

Speaking in regards to the challenges the faculty confronted, she mentioned, “The pandemic introduced unprecedented challenges. As a college, we needed to deal with each the quick and long-term challenges thereby creating the emergency preparedness and response plans. The regulatory framework too introduced sure guidelines and rules which slowed down your entire admission course of. College had minimal time to revamp the pedagogy for structuring educating supplies for digital supply. The opposite problem that has had an impression was educating near 70 % of the outstation college students who reside outdoors of the campus of the cost of charges. The college incurred appreciable expenditure in arranging and sustaining the required digital infrastructure for easy functioning.”

“At NMIMS, we took a number of steps to make sure a easy transition for each the scholars and properly as the college. In an effort to plan and implement the skilled growth alternatives, firstly, we analysed the components like the college’s technological pedagogical information and competence pertaining to digital educating and studying as these have been instrumental in adapting to on-line educating. To handle the technical points, we ensured to obtain the licenses of each Microsoft and Zoom. For efficient use of the software program, we organized a ten days coaching session by Microsoft for the college members. Along with studying new applied sciences and pedagogical strategies, we additionally carried out a collection of school growth and coaching applications to assist them put together top quality lessons to create a greater studying surroundings for college students. We had virtually 18 applications at completely different stations for all our academics throughout the college. It boosted their confidence in utilizing the breakout rooms and began having the proctoring being completed. Each scholar was additionally given entry to the licensed software program for lessons to be delivered successfully,” she added.

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