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Flaws of online assessment

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BY: Mohammad Anees Bhat

In order to engage students in the education process, the J&K administration took various steps and decisions from time to time since the lockown was imposed. The very first decision that was taken was to provide online classes and online study material to all the students. Providing online classes was in fact a good decision to provide education to all the students in J&K UT. Online classes would have been very productive if 4G internet would have been restored. There were so many problems faced by students during online lectures and students were not comfortably connected to their teachers. Some students used to learn from youtube lectures but we know well that playing a youtube video is hardly possible without high-speed internet.

In addition to the unavailability of high-speed internet there are a number of students who don’t have smart phones to get online classes and other sources of education. In this connection a number of students from weaker sections of society were given smart phones by Govt. But the number of students without smart phones is quite large so it’s impossible to provide each and every student a smart phone.

Examination is a part of education process almost everywhere in the world. A student appears in an examination in order to know about, whether he/she deserves a promotion to next level and also his/her knowledge about the subjects he/she had been studying. Considering the importance of examination, SIE decided to conduct online assessment test. Now, only those students appeared in the examination who had the availability of smart phones. In this way the participation of students in the online assessment test was but poor. Moreover during the examination some students also faced problems caused by the poor internet connectivity. Some students find it very difficult to even fill the details and to get the questions out in the link provided by SIE.

Another problem linked with this online assessment test is that after submitting the paper, students get to know which option was right and which was wrong before the end time of the examination. Some students copy the right options and tell them to their classmates, friends and others and in this way the test is not fair. Instead of showing the right options, the students should only be able to see the overall score and not the right options before the end time of the examination. The right options should be disclosed after the end time of the examination.

In order to engage those students who don’t have the availability of smart phones, SMS type assessment test should be started where students will get questions via SMS and they’ll write their answers via SMS too. This type of service was used when there was no internet available in J&K to announce the result of 10th-12th classes by JKBOSE.

Looking broadly at the two problems, unavailabilty of high-speed internet and unavailability of smart phones, online education can never be successful unless these problems are addressed.

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