Students of the Institute of Distance Education, University of Madras will find it easier to apply to universities abroad, from the coming academic year. Under a new system, the University will also mark students on their credits earned, making it easier for them to calculate their Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA).
With this in place, the University is now among the few open schools to have introduced such a system of evaluation. Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) was one of the first open schools to introduce the choice-based credit system.
According to V. Thangaraj, director (in charge), Institute of Distance Education, University of Madras, they have been getting many requests from students to mark credits on their certificates. This immensely helps students who want pursue higher studies abroad, where credits are preferred over marks. While most of the features of the credit-based system have been put in place, the difference here is that students do not get a choice of subjects to choose from. Their certificates would have ‘letter grades' with the performance of the students marked as good, outstanding or satisfactory in credit points.
Academic members are ready to prepare the syllabus. A three-year programme would have 120 credits; a two-year programme 80 credits; a one-year diploma 40 credits and so on. Credit points will be determined depending on the difficulty level of a subject. “One credit will be equivalent to 30 hours, of which 20 hours will be what the student clocks in as self-study time,” said Mr. Thangaraj.
While the credit-based system will be a boon to students who can experience a level playing field, experts say the University is restricting students' choice by not making the system choice-based.
Not many open schools have introduced such a system, because of the challenges. “Credit-based systems have a certain element of continuous evaluation, which can be difficult to practice when students attend contact classes occasionally,” said D. Victor, academic council member, IGNOU.