RS Rawat, dean, Examinations, says the decision was based on the recommendations of the working group for examinations. “First semester exams will be in the third week of March in online OBE mode once physical classes disperse on March 10. Following government directives and reopening of the campus for physical classes, the first-year students will be expected to attend only 17-18 days of offline classes. Physical exams for this group of students would have required days of proper planning, involving paper printing, answer script preparation etc. Online OBE seems like the best option for them.”
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The physical exams will begin from May onwards, which is when the even semesters begin. “The final and second year students who are already attending offline classes will be attuned to the idea of physical exams. Few students making a plea for online exams in May that has been summarily dismissed,” Rawat adds.
DU is prepared to conduct OBE as this would be the seventh such exam in online mode. “The first OBE was started in August 2020, followed by a series of exams in 2020 and 2021, some of which provided the second chance to students.”
Talking about the recent exam patterns, vice-chancellor, DU, Yogesh Singh, says that first year students are being given all the flexibility they need with the option to attend online/offline classes prior to their online OBE. But second year and third year students must necessarily attend offline classes which can help them get used to the physical mode in May. All students are being given sufficient time to prepare for the different exam formats,” he adds.
The physical reopening of the campus and the online OBE has however become a contentious issue for the students. “Principals have been asked to exercise discretion to ensure students are not inconvenienced as the current developments may not be to every student’s liking. Consequently, we are not going to make attendance an issue,” says Manoj Sinha, principal, Arybhatta College, DU, adding, there are some students who are abroad or in different parts of the country, and the college is making arrangements to facilitate their needs. “We are not forcing those students to attend physical classes but making alternate arrangements for classes in hybrid mode. Faculty who are tech-savvy are being provided with exclusive high-speed internet in the classroom to broadcast their lectures. Students also have the option to watch video/audio recordings of certain lectures as per their convenience. The only oddity in the exam plan is the online OBE for which preparations are already in progress.”
DU, says Sinha, would like to go back to its original physical mode of examinations, since its teaching-learning process is in sync with the physical system of evaluation. The recent directives are moving in that direction, he adds.