After University of Mumbai conducted a day-long training session on digital assessment for some of its teachers across affiliated colleges, it will now train the rest on the job.
This means, many examiners will learn how to assess papers digitally when they start the actual process next week.
“There’ll be no more training schedules for teachers, but we plan to train them on the job. Each assessment centre will have an expert from the online agency to guide teachers as and when required. The process is pretty simple so teachers should have no problems,” said MA Khan, registrar, MU.
According to a circular released by the university, answer papers will be scanned from May 4. Since it will take some time to scan more than 20 lakh answer sheets, MU officials hope to start the process by next week. As of now 142 assessment centres have been recognised by the MU for digital assessment and it has also invited other colleges with a capacity of more than 50 computers in their labs to register as micro-centres.
Under the new system, papers will be scanned and put up on a software on the computer screen. Teachers will mark them on the screen and upload the marks on a common system.
If sheets are assessed manually, the assessment should begin within three days after the exam is conducted, and results have to be announced within 45 days. This year, assessments which should have start in the last week of March have not yet begun. Keeping in mind the four-week delay, students fear that results are likely to get affected. College principals fear that results might not be announced till July, especially for faculties like BCom, BSc and BA, which have a large number of students .
“Not only is the assessment getting delayed, work will be slow even when it begins, especially as MU plans on training us on the go,” said a senior professor from a south Mumbai college. She added that several teachers have not yet been called for assessment training, and the list includes some very senior teachers as well. “Many who are not tech savvy will be struggling with the process because MU does not have time to train everyone,” she added.
Principals have also questioned the mathematics of this process that is put together by the university. Keeping in mind that over 22 lakh answer sheets have to be scanned, MU is planning to use 50 scan machines and 250 employees to scan 1.50 lakh answer sheets on a daily basis.
“Manually and technologically, it is a far-fetched idea, but looks like we have no choice. Most teachers are unhappy about giving away their holidays to this delay, which has been introduced by the university itself,” said the principal of a suburban college.