How examinations can be made secure using digital tech and automation

Last Updated: Wed, Oct 03, 2018 17:27 hrs
Exams

The education system and the examination process in India today need a revamp. In the recent times there have been many threats to this system from various quarters and also the ever-rising vulnerabilities and threats. The threats and challenges being faced by the examination process, from start to end is mainly because the process is conducted manually and has room for errors and interventions.

To ensure minimal human intervention and assured safety and security to the examination process, employment of advanced technology in every step is the need of the hour.

There’s no denying the fact that technology has permeated all aspects of the education sector and it has changed the landscape of education in India over the past few years now, to enhance the student’s learning experience. Despite the technological advancements, there remains room for errors in some cases and technical glitches in others.

Question paper leaks: In the recent past, instances of question paper leaks have been making the headlines regularly across the country. Some of the major boards across India have faced this challenge. The threat of errors and possibilities of delays in declaring the results, have been a perennial challenge to the successful administration of a descriptive examination on a large scale.

Beginning with setting the question papers, there are vulnerabilities. As we have seen in the past, the rampant cases of question paper leaks have caused turmoil in the examination bodies, institutes and among students.

As opposed to the traditional methods, a digitalized process of setting question papers, wherein the questions are collated through an algorithm would limit human intervention and thus, inhibit human error.

Also, transporting the papers from one place to all the examination centers across the region is vulnerable. If question papers can be printed at the examination centers itself, rather than being transported, then leaks can be avoided.

Candidate impersonation: The other challenge that often dodges the examination boards is that of impersonation in examinations.

Impersonation in examinations is a common occurrence during the examination process. It has had an adverse effect on the credibility of these high stakes examinations.

Presently, the measures employed in curbing impersonation have not been successful. A scientific method of identifying candidates is necessary to successfully identify an impersonator. This can be done through biometric registration of the candidates.

The biometric information of the candidates (fingerprints) would be collected and stored in a database and the candidates would register their attendance through their fingerprints.

Automation as solution: Using automation in examinations will not only help curb these problems, but also ensure a safe and healthy environment for education among students.

There have been instances of wrong evaluations and miscalculations too that weaken the assessment process. In the conventional method, this process has the largest amount of human intervention.

To reduce this, the process of on-screen marking can be employed. This process ensures the answer scripts are scanned within the institution’s premises and shared with the evaluators on secure platforms that can be accessed using the Internet. Through on-screen marking or online-evaluation, the evaluators will mark the answer scripts through the software and there will be no physical markings on the answer scripts. This will enable the evaluator re-evaluating the answer script to start afresh with minimal influence of the previous evaluation.

Application of these technologies can help in ensuring unbiased and safe examination process which would be beneficial to both the students and the examination boards.

Mr. Gopal Devanahalli, the author of this article is the CEO of MeritTrac, which is a premier pure-play Testing & Assessment services company, which provides innovative services to leading Educational Institutions, Government Organisations and Corporate entities for 17 years now. The firm has garnered significant expertise in Test Research and has successfully associated with over 400 organizations like NCERT, RAS (Rajasthan Administrative Services) and RGUHS (Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Science) and has delivered over 40 million assessments.