Conducting examination for any University or College is one of the most tedious tasks looking at the variety of exams and number of students undertaking these exams in India. The question mark still persists whether the actual objective of conducting the examination is achieved. The lockdown due to Covid-19 has resulted in more stress on the examination system than any other branch of the education system. As now classes can be conducted online and students can find good material on internet, there won’t be much difficulty for students and teachers in engaging themselves within the framework. But conducting examinations online is a big task and bit too risky with kind of online penetration and literacy we have in our country. That too again maintaining it centrally will be more curse than boon for the system. Also, the experienced teachers are not always happy with the assessment of students only on the basis of Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ). The entire examination pattern needs to be reconsidered. Lot many theory persists with few in favour of old or existing pattern and few interested in following foreign universities.
Let us reconstruct new system which will reduce the burden of examinations from the entire education system.
- Accessory Assessment: This method provides greater degree of flexibility which enables the evaluation of a variety of skills and not just memory retention skills usually tested by the conventional examination system.
- Responsibility of the Individual Teacher: The process of continuous assessment must be the responsibility of individual teacher under the supervision of head of the department and examination department of the college/university.
College Examination system: The individual colleges must develop their own examination system. Such systems are indeed required for the autonomous colleges. However, the university must promote the development of college examination system to all the colleges. Just like learning management System (LMS) the college examination system will be able to conduct all the exam process online. This will save the time, money and energy.
Credit based evaluation system:
The continuous assessment for credit based evaluation system can be based on (but not limited to)
- Group Project or Assignment
- Class test (MCQ)
- Skill development evaluation
- Overall conduct
- Active Participation
- Special Activity
Centralised Exams Only for Last Year Students:
The centralised exam can be conducted only for last year students and continuous assessment process can be utilized for previous years. This will drastically reduce the burden of exams from Universities and Colleges and shift the pattern of evaluation from rot learning to skill based assessment. These exams can be designed in such a manner where the student’s entire knowledge about the specialised subject he/she undertakes can be tested.
Since there are no exams for previous years, the continuous assessment marks along with final year marks can be added while creating the students’ performance grading.
Keeping the track record:
Every student’s track record can be maintained by the college examination system till the student appears for the centralised exam to be conducted only in the last year of his/her graduation. This record can then be further submitted to the University for Certification.
The certification of an individual student must include Skill developed, Projects carried out, Apprenticeships and special activity carried out during the entire period of his graduation along with grades/marks obtained. It will help the employer to find the best suitable candidate for their job profile. It will also enhance the employability of the students as more colleges and universities will try to improve their skill development index.
The system requires rigorous brain storming before implementation as lot of ground realities must be checked. We must understand that the focus of higher education should not be on conducting examination. Rather it must focus on skill development and employability. The scenario is worst when even the main stake holder’s (students) also concentrates just on examinations and are least bothered about skill development and employability. Sadly the examination system does not cater these needs of students. We find the companies and most of the recognised institutes are conducting their own entrance tests or some kind of screening. This is because they do not have faith in our examination system.
Let’s us all collaborate with experts, industrialists and skill developers in proper implementation of examination pattern.