Saturday, April 1

Schools look for ways to curb cheating

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A month into remote teaching, schools are now seeking ways to evaluate the students while ensuring they do not take recourse to unfair means while writing their tests.

While web-camera has emerged as the virtual invigilator, schools are also working on other means to ensure a fair assessment.

“For block tests, exams will be held at fixed time for fixed duration. We’re working on a platform that allows teachers to create a question bank and test papers format. Start and end time will be set in advance,” said Janet Gasper Chowdhury, president, St Augustine Education Society which runs St Augustine’s Day School, Barrackpore and Shyamnagar.

“Tests will throw up random questions that are different for each individual, so students can’t confer with each other,” Chowdhury said.

New Town School is using proctored exam platforms where the camera captures the child from every angle making the process foolproof, explained principal Shatabdi Bhattacharya. Loreto Elliott Road has a platform called “digital class revision” where pages get locked automatically after writing and the kid can’t unlock them.

But others are mostly using the classroom staple: the timed-closed-book exam and the MCQ (multiple choice question) formula for physics, chemistry and biology. Teachers are still trying to figure out how to do English, mathematics and other subjects.

DPS Ruby Park has come up with a more holistic approach. “We’ve sent behavioural advisories, requesting parents to create an exam hall atmosphere as their wards write the test. This brings some sanctity into the test and prevents students from resorting to unfair means,” vice-principal Indrani Chattopadhyay said.

Instilling a sense of pride in the students is the best solution, said Hilda Peacock, former principal of La Martiniere for Girls and currently director, GEMS Akademia International School. “We need parental support also. In this new normal, our teachers are already burning midnight oil to ensure effective learning,” Peacock added.

“Much as we try, we will never be able to stop cheating in online tests, just like we’ve failed to do it offline,” a teacher pointed out. Clinical psychologist Gunjan Tewari reasoned, “Let’s just trust the students. They are already burdened by the fears of living through the pandemic. Teachers, many untrained in online learning, are struggling to manage classes and juggle family responsibilities. The online education is keeping kids occupied,” Tewari said.

Also, parents are being counselled not to be overzealous about evaluation.


Source: Times of India

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