Why Online Examinations, Evaluation And Assessments Are Future Of Indian Education System

Quality of education in the future will be measured not just on the calibre of teachers but also digital infrastructure.

The COVID-19 outbreak brought lives around the world to a virtual standstill. The pandemic is expected to have enormous economic consequences and has dramatically transformed the traditional model of learning. The global health crisis has created a new normal for the higher education sector, revolutionizing the online learning landscape. Engaging a vast number of students, teachers and relevant stakeholders through virtual portals and education-technology platforms has made information and learning accessible to the vast majority of the country. According to a study by ed-tech platform Schoolguru, pre-COVID-19 about 800 colleges were utilizing online learning (1.5 per cent of the 50,000-odd colleges in India) and now about 10 per cent have begun delving into online options. These statistics alone reflect how remote learning is revolutionising the education sector.  

A step towards online examinations 

Most higher education institutes effortlessly shifted to online classrooms and are now exploring alternative methods to efficaciously conduct exams. Institutions are taking significant measures to ensure learning continuity and minimal academic loss. Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) has begun their mid-semester exams online, Delhi University has approved the conduction of exams online, and OP Jindal University will be holding the year-end assessment online. Bangalore University is also contemplating organising online examinations for undergraduate and postgraduate students.  

Technology is not only an essential subject and platform for learning, but it’s a catalyst for a much larger transformation of the education sector. There’s no doubt that technological solutions for learning, proctoring and assessments are efficient, timesaving, accurate and secure – only a shift in mindset is required for this to be wholly accepted and successfully implemented.  

Importance of online examinations, evaluation and assessments 

While we find a way to successfully manoeuvre the Covid-19 situation, we need to analyse and establish new methods to impart knowledge, securely conduct exams, and accurately assess and evaluate performance.  

The online provision to conduct examinations allows the convenience to set exam schedules, manage candidate validation and authentication, securely carry out exams, and monitor candidates online. It guarantees data integrity by giving authorization only to approved personnel.  

Online evaluation (e-marking of answer scripts) curtails the chances of losing answer scripts as they are uploaded on a cloud platform, and it also reduces the chances of delay in declaration of results. The system also alarms the evaluator in case any answer segment has missed review. Scientifically designed remote assessments to protect the honesty and reliability of the examinations. They eliminate biases in evaluation and decision making. The students or proctors/invigilators can be in different geographical areas without compromising the integrity of the examinations.  

Technologically, remote automated coding assessments have the capacity for full-stack development. They also provide voice biometrics through remote screening and testing thus making the entire process secure, effectual and cost-effective. 

Hurdles in the way of digitization 

Quality of education in the future will be measured not just on the calibre of teachers but also digital infrastructure. Acquainting teachers with digital teaching technologies is crucial for success. For this to be authentic, academia needs to be fully aware of their options and open to a radical transformation of the education sector. While many educational bodies are moving towards conducting online examinations, many experts are against it citing lack of framework and technology support as major reasons.  

Recruitment of teachers should be based not only subject proficiency and their educational qualifications but also digital competence and keenness for technology acceptance that will eventually help them connect with students online.  Many institutions in rural areas have closed down due to deficient or complete lack of digital infrastructure. Quick measures must be urgently taken to provide decent IT infrastructure so students all over the nation have access to education and learning resources. Be it remote learning, examinations, evaluation or assessments, each step will help bolster the nation’s digital learning foundation in the long run.  

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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