Mumbai university’s semester exams begin, but no clarity on online assessment
Even as thousands of BCom students appeared for their semester examination which began on Monday, the University of Mumbai is yet to appoint a service provider for online assessment of answer sheets.mumbai Updated: Apr 04, 2017 00:54 IST
Even as thousands of BCom students appeared for their semester examination which began on Monday, the University of Mumbai is yet to appoint a service provider for online assessment of answer sheets.
The university decided to digitalise the process to cut down malpractices during assessment. The plan was to have an ‘on-screen assessment’ that would involve scanning of answer booklets and their assessment on computer, completely doing away with the pen-and-paper format of evaluation. Currently, the method is used only for assessment of engineering examinations.
Vice-chancellor Sanjay Deshmukh had announced that the university will introduce online assessment for all courses starting this semester. But, some officials and teachers said it was impossible for the university to put in place a system in time for the assessment, which usually begins a few days after the examination starts.
“We will decide in a couple of days the mode of assessment to be used,” said ST Gadade, faculty coordinator for commerce at MU.
The university had earlier floated a tender inviting bids to put in place the software and networking system for scanning and assessing papers. But, with only one company showing interest, the university extended the deadline and relaxed some of the tender conditions.
According to MA Khan, the university is yet to open the financial bids. “A technical committee is scrutinising the technical bids. They will submit the report,” he adds.
A source from the university said that the process of finalising a service provider and installing the necessary infrastructure may take months, implying that online assessment is unlikely to start this semester.
The teachers are also clueless. “I have been hearing about online assessment, but it won’t be very easy for many of us. The teachers will have to be technically sound and there’s the risk of cyber security breach. There has been no training from the university,” said Khoj Agarwal, a visiting professor at Reena Mehta College, Bhayander.