November 26, 2020.
TED NewsDesk, Mumbai. Institutes across India have been struggling with conducting exams for students, in light of the unprecedented conditions at present. With some institutes wavering with releasing results on time, some face lack of monitoring and other loopholes while conducting semester exams. IITs are no exception as educational institutions all over the country struggle together, striving to help make education easier for students and faculties alike.
Following incidents of cheating by students, officials and institute Director Dr Subhasis Chaudhuri, the IIT-Bombay recently cancelled an examination conducted on November 22. As per sources, the examination for ‘mass transfer’ for students of chemical engineering was un-proctored or not invigilated online by faculty, and students were expected to attempt their exam abiding by the honour code of the institute.
“A batch of students was split in two for conducting the exams. While proctoring was conducted for the first batch, it was absent for the second. It was evident that students were cheating. Unfortunately, this is more rampant than reported,” said a student from the institute. Late on Sunday, Deputy Director (Academic and Infrastructural Affairs) S Sudharshan sent out an email to all students reiterating the honour code as well as instructing students to create screen recordings with audio and retain or upload recordings.
“It was brought to our notice that cheating has occurred in one of the end semester exams, in violation of the honour code. Accordingly, that exam has been cancelled by the director of IIT-B, and a re-exam will be held after the end semester exam period,” said the email. The semester exams, which began on November 21, are scheduled to continue until November 28 in the online mode. An email was also sent to all faculty members underlining the importance of exam proctoring. “There has been an incidence of copying in a recent sem exam in a section of a core course that was left un-proctored due to an emergency faced by the instructor. The Director has, therefore, ordered a re-exam of that section of the course. Online exams mustn’t run in a mode that is vulnerable to cheating. The proctored exam guidelines shared with you all must be strictly followed, and particularly so for medium to large courses,” stated the email.
It added that in case faculties are planning to conduct their exam in any other manner than suggested, they must get the process vetted by the online semester committee. For each exam, a screen recording with microphone field must be done by all students, and earphones should not be used. If the student takes the exam on a mobile phone, only the ‘Safe’ app (created by the institute) should be used as. Otherwise, students can easily cheat using WhatsApp.
The set of rules on the conduct of online exams were sent to faculties on October 31. Ensuring the integrity of exams has proven a challenge for all institutions, including IITs, faculties have pointed out. Faculties have been asked to get an alternate method of conducting exams vetted, whereas students have also been asked to pass on information about loopholes.
A proposal to develop an AI (artificial intelligence) model for automated proctoring of IIT-B students had recently received approval from the institute authorities. At present, IIT-B faculty invigilates exams conducted through remote proctoring, requiring students to sit in front of the camera in full view. AI proctoring would enable automatic identification of cases of cheating. With this initiative in action, perhaps such incidents shall prove surmountable for institutes in India. With students and faculties conveniently sailing through higher education, it could be a welcome change if adopted by institutes across India.
Source: The Indian Express