DIFFERENT STROKES Colleges

They support the CIA

Prajwal  

Remember the “monthly unit tests” in schools? Not many of us would enjoy studying every month for the frequently held tests and couldn’t wait to finish college just to rid of them. Some others would use the opportunity to study keeping the final exams in mind. But as soon as the semester system kicked into undergraduate courses, the tests were back in the form of continuous internal assessment (CIA), evoking mixed reactions in students.

The internal assessment tests are miniature forms of the mid-semester and annual exams. Usually brought in during the time when faculty complete the first section or the initial part of the course, they are aimed at continuous assessment of students. The internals are usually administered three times in a semester, after completion of every major section in the syllabus. The bonus for the students lies in the fact that the performance in the internal tests is considered at the time of the final evaluation. With the system of internals being followed differently in many institutions, there is a need to look at its relevance, the role it plays and what the student community thinks of it.

Suhasini Srihari, first year M.A. in English Literature, Jain University, Bangalore

Speaking of a few advantages, the first internals take place when at least a quarter of the portions are completed and the questions given are set in a similar pattern as that of a final exam question paper. Each subject has 50 marks for internals allotted to it. According to me, internals gives a student an idea of what sort of questions they will be asked and how exactly a student must structure his or her answers. This gives students an outline of how the questions in the main exam will be and how they can structure answers for better results. Though this is a good method, I feel due importance should be given to practical skills of a student as well, where he/she is asked to work on projects, write reports or prepare PowerPoint presentations. There is a certain amount of pressure felt, especially in the case of first internals, when one does not know if classroom teaching has to be replicated in internals or further study has to be made by a student.

Manjunath Muralidhar, seventh semester B.E. in Computer Science, Dr. Ambedkar Institute of Technology, Bangalore

As observed in all the engineering courses, the internal assessment is for 25 marks in all the subjects. We will be given three tests and the average marks of the two best scores will be considered as the internal assessment mark. The key point to be noted here is that once the internal assessment has been made for a subject, the marks cannot be changed. What this means is that if a student gets arrears in a subject, his internal assessment marks will remain the same. If you ask me, the internal assessments tests act as perfect checkpoints to test the student’s knowledge in the subject. They ensure that the students study the subjects. The internal assessment tests are planned in such a manner that the student will study the entire syllabus if he/she writes all the three tests. But the time limit allotted for the internals is less when compared to the nature of the question paper, which demands lengthy answers. There is no pressure felt if your lecturers complete portions on time.

Rakshith M.K., second semester, Vidya Vikas Institute of Engineering and Technology, Mysore

I believe internals allow us to do a certain level of selective studies in the prescribed syllabus. They are an opportunity to test our methods of studying and the perception we hold on each subject, as we apply our skills in the tests. With this, the expectations from teachers can also be understood along with the identification of ways for writing answers. Currently, I feel internals must take place with considerable amount of time gap. It becomes difficult to handle back-to-back internals, which takes place in a short span of time.

Vinay Kumar Katuka, first year M.S. in Communication, Christ University, Bangalore

The internal system in Christ University is called CIA (Continuous Internal Assessment). It plays an integral role in a student’s overall performance in that particular semester. The CIA 1 and 3 are conducted by subject teachers in their own formats and rules, thus leaving no space for a standard rule. This I feel is a very good method. Each subject has its own unique feature. Thus, the CIAs conducted are high on practical knowledge, needing extensive study and research. With this, we become closer to each subject and we are opened to the minor nuances of it. The level set by the questions requires extensive work. Hence, with more trials and practice, it becomes easy to handle. Every student must pass in CIAs and the performance will be considered in the final evaluation process.

Prajwal P., first semester M.Sc in Electronic Media, Bangalore University

In Bangalore University, we have five subjects in our postgraduation. For the purpose of internals, 10 marks are allotted for each subject, thus leading up to 50 marks on an overall basis. The internal marks are divided under three criteria: five marks are awarded for the submission, two marks are kept aside for attendance and three marks meant for participation and discipline during classroom. Hence, it is one of the all-round approaches towards a student’s growth and learning through the concept of internals.

As a student of electronic media, we need to interview people from different walks of life which in turn develops our communication skills and helps in building rapport, which is necessary. As the internals are usually field work, it comes as an advantage for students to know their subject well. To me, internals can build pressure, when one needs to play different roles.

Taher Ahmed, first year M.S. in Communication, Christ University, Bangalore

Having completed my engineering before joining Mass Communication, I did have a slight idea about internals. Owing to my experience with the internal system, I feel it is basically a chance to improve his or her grades in an overall scenario. Good internal marks can compensate poor external performance to an extent. Internals should concentrate on quality than on quantity.

They should be held in a friendly environment, where a student must not feel undue pressure. It should be about tasks and challenges, where a student can apply what he or she has learnt. The pressure with internals is inevitable and my opinion is that exams and internal tests must not exceed the saturation point of a student.

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Printable version | Apr 22, 2021 3:08:52 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/education/college-and-university/They-support-the-CIA/article15616479.ece

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