Mumbai University final year exam being held online despite challenges
Colleges are trying to ensure that no student misses the final examinations.Updated: Oct 04, 2020, 14:25 IST
Interruption in internet connectivity, power outages and other disruptions like computers and mobiles hanging in the middle of the examination are some problems faced by students appearing for University of Mumbai final year exams, being held online due to coronavirus crisis.
Colleges on their side are trying to tackle some of the issues faced in organising online examinations by allocating more manpower to operate helplines, conducting a series of mock tests and continuous invigilation during the tests.
“We selected a software provider who assured us that the exams will be conducted through a cloud server requiring minimum bandwidth, so that students, no matter what part of the country they are in, can appear for the exam without getting bogged down by low internet connectivity,” said Hemalata Bagla, principal of K C College.
She added that while the fresh candidate exams are scheduled to begin on October 7, the college is currently handling backlog--allowed to keep term (ATKT) exams.
“Our helpline works in a way that during an exam, students can directly clear doubts about a question with a teacher from the department. We also have some students complaining about load shedding in some parts of the state, which is why we devised a method to send reminders to students, hours before the exam, asking them to charge their phones/laptops in advance and keep it ready,” added Bagla.
D G Ruparel College has conducted mock tests to ensure all students get a good understanding of the system before final exams.
“Still, we’ve had cases where students could not access the exam link because either they had provided a wrong email id or their mail inboxes were full and therefore, couldn’t appear for the paper. We have considered such cases and assured rescheduling of examination for such students,” said Tushar Desai, principal of the institute.
On Saturday, a small batch of students from the institute received a wrong question paper due to a technical error. The college will conduct a re-examination for the subject once all other exams are over.
“No one will miss out on appearing for the exams,” said Desai and added that on the first day of the exam, 1,128 students appeared without any complaints.
While several affiliated colleges to Mumbai University started online exams from October 1 itself, others have decided to conduct exams starting the coming week.
Most colleges are using a combination of software and applications in order to ensure invigilation during the exam.
“The software continuously tells us if a student is writing the exam or not and when we find a student isn’t appearing for the paper, we contact him/her immediately to find out the reason,” said Anushree Lokur, principal, Ruia College.
Most colleges have opted for randomisation of questions and answers in order to avoid any form of cheating during the exam. “We had a case of a student automatically logging out of the exam due to very low internet connectivity.
Once he re-started the exam, the remaining questions had been reordered including the options of answers to each question. With technology at hand, we are trying to do our best to conduct exams as fairly as possible,” said a senior professor of a south Mumbai college.
Final year (summer 2020) exams for all state universities have to be conducted online this year due to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis. Close to 2.3 lakh students from the University of Mumbai will be appearing for exams online this year.