Progressive Examination Measures for The University amidst COVID-19 PandemicZuhair Ali
Indeed, COVID-19 is a viral pandemic that affects all of us, all around the world. It has impacts on the individual and society at large. The health crisis has quickly evolved into an economic, cultural, and social crisis. Immediate responses have been developed primarily to control and curb the spread of the infection and led to the closure of entire countries, the reestablishment of borders for both people and goods.
The spread of COVID-19 has drastically impacted all the major sectors and economies on an internal level.COVID-19 has changed the landscape of the entire world and on a global scale, alternative sustainable strategies were adopted to progress in such challenging times.
This report comprises of the key strategies to conduct examination whilst this pandemic and ensuring social distancing and essential measures to avoid the risk of spreading COVID-19.
Background of COVID-19:
The virus that surfaced in the late December 2019 in Wuhan City, Hubei province, China later on 2nd January 2020 China CDC reported SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing COVID-19 and by 20th January reports of confirmed cases from three countries outside China; Thailand, Japan and South Korea were surfaced and the virus was exported from China. Due to the virus high transfer rate, it was spread across the various international countries rapidly and on 30th January, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared this virus outbreak as a “public health emergency of international concern”. Due to the various series of a severe epidemic across the globe, on 11th March 2020, Director-General of World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a global pandemic.
Impact of COVID-19 on Educational Institutions:
The COVID-19 pandemic, which within weeks has led to the unprecedented health and socioeconomic crisis which we live in and which will mark our times for long, has severely impacted the entire higher education sector around the world.
According to UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), on 1 April 2020, schools and higher education institutions were closed in 185 countries, affecting 1542412000 (one billion five hundred forty-two million four hundred twelve thousand) learners, which constitute 89.4% of total enrolled learners.
At the beginning of May, some countries, experiencing decreasing numbers of cases and deaths, started lifting confinement measures. However, on 7 May, schools and higher education institutions were still closed in 177 countries, affecting 1268164088 (one billion two hundred sixty-eight million one hundred sixty-four thousand eighty-eight) learners, which constitute 72.4% of total enrolled learners.
Strategies Adopted by Educational Institution Worldwide:
With the end of the academic year fast approaching in many countries, one question is on the mind of every student, parent, teacher, and education ministries: what about exams as school closures are prolonged?
With the temporary closure of educational institutions across the world, rapidly distance learning concept was implemented to avoid disruption in the education system and moving towards formative online-based assessments.
Proposed Examination Strategies for The University:
I hereby like to shed light on the coping strategies that we can adopt considering managing final examinations by blending the final examination into the below stated online assessment.
- E-quizzes driven from the students selected subject’s curriculum
- Assignments reflecting the realistic scenarios to measure the student’s conceptual knowledge.
- Graded board discussion to evaluate the critical subject matter expertise of the students.
- Online based assessment with the blend of MCQs, short and descriptive questionnaires to cover the complete course.
Post examination, students to be promoted to next semesters according to their results. Whilst adopting these strategies we can enable sustainable results for the students to pursue their academic qualifications and curb the spread of the COVID-19 infection.
In such unpredictable and disturbing times, adopting safe and sustainable measures to minimize the COVID-19 impact nationwide. Considering the future of the students is at stake and our university is well equipped with all the essential technologies to rollout online formative assessments for our students. The proposed strategies are completely driven on the concept of safeguarding the nation from COVID-19 spread and innovative education system focused to cater to the future of the youth.