The COVID-19 pandemic has been nothing short of a tectonic shift in our once-normal lives, with its repercussions spreading across all sectors. Particularly for the education sector, it has called for drastic changes, ranging from student attendance to adaptive teaching methods. It is more than a year since our noisy classrooms and awaited end-of-period bells moved to video conferencing platforms on computer screens and ‘The meeting has ended’. While educators struggle to navigate through the crisis, IIT Goa recently came up with an innovative way to conduct examinations. Read on to know more about this rather unusual method that has been turning heads around the world.
IIT Goa’s New Examination Method
Last week, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Goa, conducted its term-end paper for the ‘analog circuits’ course, which is a part of its second-year electrical engineering curriculum. Ditching the traditional ‘answer the following questions that students generally encounter, the examination was conducted in a unique manner. We’ve heard of open-book tests, but IIT Goa took things a notch higher through this method.
Students were asked to frame their own questions and then write the answer to them.
Decoding this New Examination Pattern
The paper was segregated into two sections with a total of 70 marks (30 + 40),
- The first section required the students to formulate questions (of 60 marks) from the lecture study resources, and material is given. This section accounted for 30 marks of the examination.
- The second section asked students to answer the same questions they prepared. This section accounts for 40 marks of the term-end examination.
Reasons Behind IIT Goa’s New Examination Method
The Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Engineering Department at IIT Goa, Sharad Sinha, explained that the paper was formulated after a series of experiments with different teaching pedagogy methods.
The central idea behind the paper was that educators at IIT Goa want students to enjoy their learning and not treat examinations like a burden. He emphasised that IIT Goa does not fail any student in the first semester for the same reason. This is because the institute understands that students take time to cope with the new academic environment and curriculum.
The teachers of the Computer Science and Engineering department wanted to try this examination method to see how students react to it. Professor Sharad Sinha believes that this kind of paper is expected to spotlight the students’ understanding of the course material.
At the same time, the department has warned the students to avoid discussing the paper with their classmates as similarities found will lead to penalisation.
Paper Analysis Method
Now that this experiment has been successfully conducted, the submissions have been sent to the pedagogy senate committee of IIT Goa. The committee will review and conclude the experiment’s outcome, and the matter will be dealt with internally.
While there are concerns over the integrity of the evaluation process, the professors have kept these worries in mind. They are formulating a grading system that shall suit the examination method best.
The results of the paper will be shared with the students after evaluation, and clarity regarding the entire evaluation process will also be provided. Students will be able to contact their professors to understand things better and identify their personal areas of improvement.
The Director of IIT Goa, BK Mishra, commented that he found the examination method ‘novel’ and suited for a time when educators are struggling to find ways to teach online and conduct examinations.
Reactions to the Innovative Method
The unusual examination method tried by IIT Goa has ignited discussions worldwide. From spectators over the internet to professionals and educators around the globe, there has been much discussion and debate about this examination procedure.
As the examination has grasped attention worldwide, IIT Goa’s review process is underway. They are yet to unveil the grading system used, which shall play a massive role in determining the effectiveness of this novel system. Stay tuned to Leverage Edu!