Scrap Open Book Examination: 99 Physics Teachers Write To Delhi University
A group of teachers from the Department of Physics and Astrophysics wrote to Professor Vinay Gupta, Dean, examinations, Delhi University, asking him to scrap the online Open Book Examination (OBE) planned for the final year students.
A group of teachers from the Department of Physics and Astrophysics wrote to Professor Vinay Gupta, Dean, examinations, Delhi University, asking him to scrap the online Open Book Examination (OBE) planned for the final year students. The letter is among many other letters written to the varsity officials regarding the OBE plans announced by the administration in view of the measures taken due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The letter counted various reasons including lack of institutional help in carrying forward online teaching-learning, uneven teaching, lab work remaining totally compromised and lack of consultation among others to demand the cancellation of OBE.
“In pushing OBE”, 99 teachers from various colleges and Physics departments of the varsity said, “the University is abdicating its constitutional duty to provide equal academic and evaluation related opportunities to all students irrespective of their background”.
The teachers alleged that varsity did not conduct proper consultative processes and “the Working Group constituted by the University does not even include teachers' and students' representatives”.
“No statutory process has been held in arriving at a decision which will impact lakhs of students,” they said.
They also said experiences with online processes conducted by the University are far from being perfect. “When colleges find it difficult to deal with them, one can only imagine what such a system will do to lakhs of students who will be forced to prepare themselves to deal with last minute glitches”.
“Furthermore, an important consideration in assessment of any kind is ensuring that it is conducted in a fair manner without any unfair means. OBEs are potentially open to malpractices by groups of students as well as private agencies,” they said.
They also said pedagogy to prepare students for an OBE is completely different. “If changes in the examination pattern are forced at this late stage, there will be a huge mismatch between the teaching and testing”.
They asked the varsity, instead of exams, to take an average of previous semesters for the internal assessment and lab to grant grades for the semester.
“Students should be granted grades on the basis of their grades in past semesters with an opportunity that these can be improved through pen-paper examination at the earliest possible opportunity,” they suggested.
Earlier, in view of the prevailing situation of COVID-19 pandemic, Delhi University, after realising that the examinations cannot be conducted in conventional mode as per the existing government norms of maintaining social distancing and ensuring safety and health of students, decided to adopt open-book examinations (OBE) as a one-time measure. The OBEs for the final year students will start from July 1.
According to Delhi University, open-book exam don't entirely require online platform, rather only limited access to internet for downloading question papers and for uploading answer sheets after completion of the test, it said.
The examination branch shall e-mail the question papers to the college on each day of exam for every session 45 minutes prior to the commencement of the examination. Students shall answer the questions on plain A4 size paper.
The total duration of the open-book exams shall be of three hours of which two hours shall be given to students for answering the questions and an additional hour shall be utilised for downloading the question papers and uploading the scanned images of answer sheets.
Yesterday, the varsity announced that it will not conduct the semester examinations for first and second year students.