College heads for conduct of open book exam

College principals are apparently open to the idea of orienting students on the concept of 'open book' exam for the ensuing academic year, now that online teaching-learning process has become a norm.

Citing fears raised by virologists about the possibility for third wave of pandemic in the coming months, college heads say the concept has to be explained thoroughly to students at the outset so that it would augur well with the online teaching-learning process.

The University Grants Commission had already given its nod to Delhi and Calcutta universities to hold open book exams for the final semester exams of 2020-21 academic year, and the Pondicherry University has also conducted exams under the system.

The UGC's emphasis was on uploading of answers soon after the exams. The UGC's guidelines issued during April 2020 state 'open book examination' ensures fair and equal opportunity for students appearing in online/offline/blended mode. During the exam, students will be allowed to refer to books, study materials and notes to answer the questions.

"There is a misconception among a section of students that the online exam and 'open book exam' are the same. Open Book Exam is not a cakewalk. Answers cannot be copied verbatim. Questions will altogether be of analytical type for which students need to be trained to refer and chaff out the content," S. Ismail Mohideen, Principal, Jamal Mohamed College, said.

Though it is possible to conduct online exams without hassles, the concept of 'open book exam' has, indeed, become the need of the hour. "There is no cause for hesitation for conduct of open book exam since it warrants a certain level of intelligence on the part of the students," V. Sujatha, Principal, Cauvery College for Women, said.

Implementation of Open Book Exam will, no doubt, prompt students to go through the entire content. "This is one way of making students who had all along been mostly dependent on class notes to read the entire textbooks," S. Albert Rabara, former Vice-Principal, St. Joseph's College, said.

However, teachers of government college of arts and science have their fears that students may not measure up to the requirement of the open book exam. "Even for direct questions, students, in general, struggle to locate the answers in the textbooks. This being the case, expecting students to interpret the textbook content and answer questions will be a tall order," Zonal president of Tamil Nadu Government College Teachers' Association David Livingston said.

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Printable version | Jul 25, 2021 9:40:27 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/college-heads-for-conduct-of-open-book-exam/article34823188.ece

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