Dear Readers, we are amidst chaos right now. Slowly, everything was getting back to normal. The closed schools, colleges, business, events, restaurants, even local tourism were doing their best to operate normally. Unfortunately, this New variant of COVID-19 has hit Nepal now. Once again the schools and colleges are closed. Already all the academic sessions had to face a one-year loss. And, now again the schools and colleges are closed, exams are postponed, and no one knows till when. Definitely, this does not mean exams are canceled. To make things work now is the prime time for educational institutions in Nepal to experiment with alternative methods of examination.
As a matter of fact, we can all say that 2020 just came and went by in a blink. In fact, we don’t even remember how were the days between April till October. Now, again the same situation is here. But this time, we are prepared and know very well that this is not going to stay forever. So, people have started using different alternative ways for education, work, and business.
Not long ago, the online class was an unknown term. And now, teaching and learning through online mediums is not a new thing. Schools, colleges, dance classes, seminars, training, meetings, even graduation ceremonies, everything is online these days. Schools and colleges can use alternative teaching methodologies to make online classes more effective.
On the other hand, this lockdown is for our own good. It is one of the most effective ways to break the chain of virus spread at a huge mass. So, we should all follow the rules and restrictions from medical personnel.
Recently, most academic programs had completed their courses and the students were on the verge of or in the middle of their exams. Unfortunately, lockdown broke the rhythm. Closed schools and colleges around the world are really saddening to see.
These days schools and colleges cannot run physical classes. So, because of the current scenario, conducting physical/written exams is not possible. Moreover, we cannot just cancel the exams or postpone them until the next notice (a notice that no one knows when will it come). However, we can definitely experiment with different alternative methods of examination.
Here are some Alternative Methods of Examinations
All the alternatives for conducting physical exams may require the use of technology and the internet. Furthermore, the teachers can assess their student’s ability, performance through communicating with the students using technology such as computers, or mobiles. Here are some alternatives for conducting the exam.
Online Oral Exam
This method can be one of the effective alternative methods of examination. Teachers can take an online oral exam also known as Interview or VIVA. In simple, teachers can ask questions and give marks as per the answer given by students.
Teachers also can give various assignments to solve for the students within a certain time limit. Definitely, assignments are one of the effective ways for both students and teachers. Teachers can mail their questions and also other problems to the students. And, the students can submit their assignments through email after they solve them.
One of the popular alternative ways of examination is the case study method. In this method, teachers assign different topics for the case study to their students. And, the students analyze this case and share their reports or answers to the teacher using technology or the internet.
Online role-play or debate also can be the best alternatives for conducting the exam. Here, the teachers can divide students and can perform role play or debate. Moreover, the teachers mark according to the presentation and findings of the students. Further, the students can perform debates in a group or individually
Many schools and colleges are taking online exams these days. Schools and colleges are taking the exam using different forms and questionnaires. Students solve the given online questions and submit them within the given timeframe.
Also, some teachers provide students with questions via email. The students then solve the questions on the various communication apps such as Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, etc. under the observation of the exam supervisor.
Online PowerPoint Presentation
Presentation is one of the most effective ways of examinations followed globally. During this lockdown, teachers can assign different topics for online presentations. And, the teachers can mark students as per their online presentation skills, findings, and research on the topic.
The teacher can also provide project works as an alternative method of examination. Students do research, use different resources around them, and can gather information through the internet for their project work. After the research, students can share their results, findings with the teachers. Also, students can submit their project findings by preparing reports.
Now, Here is the Big Question
Will the Alternative Methods of Examination Solve the Problem of Postponing Exams Repeatedly?
The answer is YES! Definitely, the alternative methods of examination will solve the problem of repeatedly postponing the exams.
It should be noted, conducting exams physically at schools and colleges can create more problems during this pandemic. Also, we all need to take safety measures to stay safe from COVID-19. And, for now the safety measure is to Stay At Home.
By the same token, postponing exams repeatedly will create a problem for students. It is not a solution. So, to continue the academic programs and activities, adopting alternative methods of examination is the only way we are left with.
Just 2 years ago, we hadn’t even heard of Zoom, Teams, and online classes. Now, they are like household names. Despite all the challenges, most of the Nepalese students have somehow managed to attend the online classes.
In like manner, many Nepalese schools and colleges have adopted alternative teaching methods. So, we believe it is the right time to adopt alternative methods of examination to save the academic future of the students.
Moreover, there are different platforms such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, Google Class, Google Meet, Email, and even social media. Schools and colleges can use these platforms to conduct online examination.
Overall, the alternative methods will save the students’ academic and career. On the had hand, it will also help to prevent the spread of COVID-19 at the community level as well as the national level.
Another Question That Arises Is…
How can we make the Alternative Methods of Examination Effective?
As we all know, everything has its two sides. In the like manner, these alternative methods also have some cons. Most importantly, we still lack in good communication services. Most of the under developed rural areas have almost no internet facilities.
Also, we need to consider the economic status of the students and their families. Sad but true, most parents can not afford individual smartphones or laptops for their kids. And, as education is for all, we cannot leave behind the less privileged students.
In the case of online exams, there is more possibility of fraud and cheating. It is likely that the students may copy their answers from the internet and textbooks easily. So, here are some suggestions for making the online exam system effective:
A secure browser helps to supervise online exams. It prevents the students from opening any new window or switching between different tabs.
Remote proctor is very helpful for making the online exam system effective. It plays the role of an onsite supervisor in online exams. Also, it confirms the identity of the examinee and secures the discipline of the exam.
Exam Timer for Each Question
Examiner sets a time limit for each question. If a student cannot answer a certain question within the time limit, the timer moves to the next question.
Plagiarism means copying or stealing ideas from others and claiming them as your idea without the author’s permission. Examiner can also check plagiarism for the answers from students. Moreover, the Plagiarism Checker helps to check the percentage of the link of the sites that students have used to copy the answers.
On the EndNote…
All in all, postponing the exams time and gain can bring problems in the student’s academic year and career. So, to find a solution, now education has to do something. And by something we mean, for now, the only option we are left with is to adopt alternative methods of examination.
Thank you for reading.
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