Online examination system, possible solution to question papers leak: Former VC

Online examination system, possible solution to question papers leak: Former VC

Submitted by Kumuda on Sat, 2016-04-02 15:30 In the wake of leakage of II year PUC annual Chemistry examination question paper during March this year and the Pre-University board’s past history of question paper leakages year after year, it has become inevitable to explore possible solutions. For, sabotage by some unscrupulous elements leads to cancellation or re-examination of the subject at a later date. The innocent students bear the brunt by suffering from anxiety, fear, uncertainty and confidence in taking other remaining examinations also. The reputation of the PU board has gone for a toss. Parents and public at large lose faith and confidence on the examination board’s functioning and its credibility is at stake. The revised examination schedule leaves students with lot of inconvenience, mental agony and re-preparation. The PUC is an important stage where students may prepare for many professional competitive examinations which will ultimately decide their future career choice.Genesis of the problem:  PUC or 10 2 is a very crucial step in student’s career as this is the direction stepping stone into any of the undergraduate or professional programmes. The marks scored in PUC examination are counted with a weightage of 50 �n allocating rank in some of the professional entrance tests. Unscrupulous elements leave no stone unturned in leaking the question papers for reaping benefits of high scoring towards securing a good rank in various professional entrance tests. Question paper leakage can happen at any of the stages i.e. Question paper setting /scrutiny /printing /store room either at treasury or police station /transit from board to exam centers /at the examination centre itself. Who are those involved? It may be Students /Paper setters or Teachers /Coaching institutions/ Colleges/ third party agencies involved in logistics for monetary gains.Possible Solutions: Let us look at the possible solutions to pragmatically address the challenge in hand. The immediate solution that comes to mind is effective usage of technology in the examination system. Technology can address all the challenges of ‘traditional examination system’ by replacing it with online examination system.Traditional examination system that uses choice based approach of answering questions suffers from rote testing of memory and lacks testing of student’s analytical /critical/ reasoning ability. This major flaw can be overcome by using Computer networked online examination system.Online examination system can also adequately test students grasping, reasoning, analytical /critical thinking ability etc.The theoretical portion of testing student can be part of continuous evaluation system during regular academic session of the term in the form of assignments, projects, quizzes, seminars, laboratories, viva-voc etc. The faculty has the opportunity of assessing the student in the form of marks weightage given on continuous basis. This step will enhance student’s attendance in the class, quality of learning and bring in discipline.Question Bank Development: Each subject question bank must be developed with about 10000 to 20000 questions of various levels of difficulty (10 to 25 types) with the help of subject matter experts. Questions must be pre-tested and validated by experts before added to the question bank along with the solution separately.Randomized questions selection through examination management software to form each exclusive question paper with same difficulty level for each student. This step will entirely prevent leakage of question paper altogether.The examination is conducted online by the institution or an authorized third party on the same lines of SAT/ GRE/TOEFL/ BITSA etc.Third party can step in where ever the institutions lack adequate examination infrastructure facilities. Otherwise even the existing engineering/polytechnic college’s infrastructure can be made use of. One more alternative suggestion is that the question paper can be printed on codified OMR sheets. After the exam, results can be fed to the centralized computer system for evaluation and results analysis.Examination can even be conducted in batches (15 days time duration) since each of the question papers are selected by randomization.Each student can get a separate question paper thereby avoiding any possibility of copying /mass copying.Security can be ensured by linking Aadhar verification to admission ticket thereby avoiding impersonation. On these lines some examinations are conducted worldwide without a glitch for SAT/GRE/GMAT/TOEFL etc.Reliable and transparent system of students assessment system.Instant declaration of results which reflects greater transparency, accuracy and level playing field for all students is a great motivation to students.Students can take re-examination any time after satisfying regulatory requirements within a short period of time.Online examination can altogether remove the challenge of availability and fair evaluation by faculty.The greatest benefit is complete elimination of leakage of question papers along with ease of administration, speed of result announcement, avoiding transportation question papers and answer scripts, cost effective process, transparency and security.Change along with the development of Technology is the essence of any progressive Nation. Karnataka state must quickly adopt best bench marked and well proven practices of online examination system.The best in class live example is that of Visvesvaraya Technological University which successfully started using online examination system as early as 2004-05 onwards and the system was well appreciated by all the stake holders.  It is time that Karnataka Examinations Authority/ PUC board and Education department embrace the change for better towards use of technology towards introducing online examination system.Author:Dr. K. Balaveera Reddy,Former VC, VTU, Belgaum