Published on July 5th, 2020 | by drkkr0
Examinations tested, and tech is the answer.
Education has witnessed the rise of a completely new challenge with the pandemic. The extraordinary impact of the pandemic prompted policy-makers to call for an extensive shutdown of places of mass gatherings. Seeing this as a logical necessity, the order has also been enforced on schools and centers of higher education. The extended lockdown and the social distancing have presented every campus with a challenge: the conundrum of whether to continue with examinations or suspend them. Interaction technologies have proved to be the very same kind of enabler that has been revolutionizing the corporate world. Proctoring and Platform solutions are the latest developments promising great potential in enriching the learning and teaching experience for students and educators alike. International business has already begun employing similar solutions for a profitable experience. India’s corporate dimension, too, is greeting these technological advantages.
The pandemic stymied 1.5 billion learners across 88 countries without any access to their committed curriculum. As much as educators want to be a constructive and contributing part of curtailing the spread of the outbreak, there are serious concerns about educational continuity. They’re all waiting for the curve to flatten while speculating on the appropriate time to bring in the next generation of learners into the classrooms.
In the meantime, by sheer trial and error, I believe we will be able to bridge many challenges associated with online education. The challenge will be to create an enabling environment for learning. Digital is also a divide so we have to ensure worthy studios for quality training and content generation. Post the pandemic and the recovery phase, the education ecosystem will transform by leveraging technology to solve many of these issues.
Technology will concentrate on improving itself and adapting to the new requirements so they will also achieve a more interactive and fulfilling for the education industry. Connection and cohabitation will alter the DNA of digital learning. By capitalizing on the digital habits of students, web-based, app-based, and tv-based learning can be used to foster rewarding and inspiring virtual environments.
At the same time, the need to conduct online exams will also give rise to its own solutions across learners and examiners. These solutions will, like all such solutions, be immune to distance, will be secure, and absolve all, reliable.
320 million Indian learners are currently out of school – 143 million in the primary sector, 133 in the secondary, and 34 million in the tertiary education sector. The need to have solutions in place and functioning is acute. While regular classes are one thing, the entrance exams that have had to be rescheduled with no clarity on the revised schedules. Multiple career development exercises at various levels have also been put on hold with the ongoing churn.
The question of ‘when will we return to business as usual,’ is overshadowed by ‘will there be business as usual post-COVID?’ Because this crisis isn’t the last of it. Planet Earth will be free to say it is able to move forward only after a vaccine has been successfully deployed and people enjoy the advantage of herd immunity. We are bound to face periodic disruptions for a long time to come. Right now we have to embrace an ever-morphing ambiguity and the quicker we master online tech the better we will be able to face the future.
One of the most significant present-day concerns for reputed institutes in achieving credibility for examinations. It should guarantee a learning outcome and ensure trust. Traditional examinations involve question paper setting, physical invigilation, and manual evaluation. There is of course the physical aspects: an exam center, students writing on answer paper, and then wait to get the results. Online exams promise to bypass all this: exams need only be ‘configured’, and invigilation and grading are all a matter of inbuilt tech. In the future, online examinations will have to solve the challenges of being quick, scalable, and authentic.
Today exams can be conducted remotely with either an AI-based algorithm or an AI-assisted human proctor. This means a professor will be assisted by our AI algorithm to invigilate his class’s credibility.
The tailoring of auto-grading is the second assured breakthrough tool. After understanding learning and measurable outcomes for the exam, grading can be automated to increase scale, effectiveness, and accuracy in measuring assessments.
At exams, authenticity is critical. Tools can be introduced that can track and prevent cheating in an online exam. AI can monitor and measures students’ actions. Ports can also be disabled for external devices, restrict navigation control, block internet browsing, and the use of unauthorized software. If the AI proctor finds any suspicious activity, it will raise a flag that will reflect on the professor’s screen in real-time. Time for Innovation and change towards Exams and the way in which we exam.
The future is being thrust upon us. Education is a key area and a frontline area of change. We should not be found wanting.
MY THOUGHTS ON THE SAME TOPIC IN TIMES OF INDIA https://bit.ly/2YFqE7w