The new normal has gripped us all for more than a year now. It’s been more than a year since we have duly acknowledged the importance of the internet in our daily life. As schools were initially shut down in March last year, parents grew very concerned regarding the potential loss of one school year. But gradually, as online started, everyone was slowly growing confident with the online method of teaching. Students sure had problems initially but with time, online classes were the new normal.
The pandemic did not seem to go anywhere. This meant that the exams could not be delayed any longer as gatherings were still a big threat. Soon enough, online exams followed. But more than being taken seriously, online exams were seen to be dismissed as unimportant, and often as a ploy for cheating.
In order to explore the importance of online exams, Ezyschooling, in association with Borad EduGames, conducted a panel discussion on 'Why online exams should be taken seriously by students?' The panel discussion had the following esteemed panellists:
The debate regarding online vs. offline classes has been going around since online classes first started back in 2020. There was a flood of theories and concepts flying around, trying to prove one better than the other.
No doubt children found it easier to attend offline classes as it is their traditional acquaintance. They are conditioned to learning in a classroom, in the physical presence of teachers and classmates. Surely, online classes will feel abnormal given these instances. But that doesn’t mean that online classes amount to nothing.
To begin with, online education involves the same teaching-learning process but with the exclusion of the physical presence of teachers and students. Yet, online classes still allow students and teachers to communicate, interact and clear doubts and concepts. Added to that, online classes give students and teachers a chance to keep themselves free from the grip of the virus that has affected the entire world.
The debate revolving around online and offline classes is nonsensical. Both of them are modes of learning and hence, equally important. Also, we are in a pandemic and don’t have a choice to opt for as, given the situations, online learning is the only practiced form of learning in these trying times.
As Ms. Nikita mentioned, Google Forms, quizzes, online projects, and Microsoft platforms have become the only mode of examining students in these tough times. There's also a lot of hard work involved on the parents' part.
As Sumati ma'am rightly mentioned, parents too had to learn about the mechanics of conducting an online exam. It was through them that children had access to the question papers as they were the only invigilators present. Hence, it also becomes important to conduct online exams as otherwise; it could mean the loss of one academic year. So, how can we term online exams as unimportant?
Online exams are surely very important. Below are some pointers that can help you understand the importance of online exams.
● The Pandemic: We are in the midst of a pandemic right now. The 2nd wave of Covid-19 has led to much worse situations in the country. In such a situation, going out for exams, that too in the presence of scores of other students, is a threat to the life of the students and their families.
●Secure Question Paper: We have often noticed the question papers get leaked moments before the exam. This causes many speculations as deserving students feel cheated. However, online exams provide flexibility and security to the examination process and thus, minimize chances of cheating.
● Exams from Home: Online exams do not require students to be seated at examination centers. Instead, they can write their exams from the comfort of their own rooms. This also reduces the time required to travel to an examination center, giving students a little more time to prepare.
● It is easier proctoring online exams: Students are supervised with the help of the webcams attached to their computers in online exams. This supervision ensures that the person sitting for the exam is the one that is actually verified to sit for the exam. It also helps to reduce cheating as the students are under constant supervision.
● Role of Teachers: We can all agree that teachers here are not that well-equipped with the online learning scenario. Yet, they put all their heart into taking classes and conducting online exams for their students. Not taking these exams seriously is, thus, letting their hard work go to waste.
As Jasjit Ma'am mentions, schools are taking utmost care to conduct online exams with 100% efficiency. The teachers are working hard, learning things that they were earlier not learned about, all to secure the future of their students.
Alka ma'am has also duly mentioned how teachers are learning the entire process of conducting online exams, right from how to set the papers to collecting them back from the students. Hence, it is high time that we start taking online exams seriously, at least to recognize the hard work that the teachers put in.
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As Dr. Varghese has pointed out rightly, it is a time of learning for all of us. Thus it becomes important that we recognize and consider the hard work that everyone puts into the online learning scenario. It's high time that we start taking online exams seriously as they too are a justified mode of assessing our progress.
Preparing for an online exam can get tricky, especially if it is your first time. So, here are some tips that can help you prepare for online exams.
● Internet Connection: Make sure that the Wi-Fi or Internet connection is running smoothly. Check the Internet speed before you sit for the exam and if you do not find it satisfactory, connect your computer to another source.
● Connect Charger: Get your computer completely charged before you sit for the exam. You can also keep it plugged in if you feel like the charge available is nearing exhaustion.
● The Right Environment: See to it that the spot where you are going to write your exams from is free from external disturbances. If not, shift your computer to a quiet corner of the house.
● Keep Things Ready: Remember to keep all the things required for the exam by your side. You can write a list of all the needed things to make sure that you do not forget anything.
● Have a Fresh Mind: As Ayush Sir said, doing activities at home is also an essential step to help kids have a fresh mind and prepare for online exams. Interactive board games can be a good option in this regard.
Board EduGames produces a line of educational board games that are aimed at making learning fun for children. As of now, Board EduGames has developed four different games to help children with four different subjects of study, i.e. English, Geography, History, and Mathematics.
Borad EduGames was initially developed by its co-founders - Mr. Ayush Anand and Mr. Rahul Utamchandani as a college project. The two co-founders believed that learning can be a fun process and hence, designed these games to do away with the monotony in learning. The college project went on to receive rave reviews and gained podiums in many start-up competitions. That is how it grew on to be the successful Borad EduGames, working all the more to make acquiring education fun for children.