Panel 4: Online Examinations (HE 2010)

Madan Padaki, Co-Founder and CeO, Meritrac Services, said he distinctly gets the sense that online examinations will become commonplace a few years from now. With that comes a responsibility to make sure that we not only provide the rights systems and processes, but also the right methodologies. In a survey they conducted with heads of institutions, 77% of the heads wanted to implement technology in assessments. 99% of students were aware of technology led assessments and some felt that this was a mark of the degree of professionalism of the university they were interested in enroling in. He thinks the process is one of 12-18 months and needs to be meticuluously planned. Apart from that online exams could benefit from a wide variety of devices and systems, not just an internet based portal.

Prof. Sudhi Ranjan Dey, Executive Director & Dean and Chairman, Academic Senate of IBMR Business School talked about the need to go online and the possible uses of open source in the examination system. It could be used for internal assessment as well.

Dr. Sarabjit Singh, Principal, Apeejay College of Engineering, came next and talked about his experience running two programs from a university in London and the steps involves from the assessment perspectives. He also talked of redeployability of teachers given the standardized content that is available on their network.

R Dhirendra, President, Eduquity shared the sense of daja vu with Madan. He had tried convincing the Ministry as far back as 2001. He believes that examinations are a high stakes business, conventional and socially oriented. The challenges are manual intervention of multiple examiners, time consuming and arduous. The challenge also is to move to a more personalized assessment methodology, how to make examinations more friendly and how we should measure other skills using technology. In India, the ground realities shift day to day, and we need to learn to cope with this reality. Technology is changing all the time and there is no one size fits all solution.

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