Free Press Journal

Despite criticism, online assessment by Mumbai University will help in eliminating errors



Mumbai: A lot of criticism has been voiced against the new system of Mumbai University (MU) for checking examination papers online. The fact that the system is completely new and the difficulty in understanding it has led to the delay in declaration of results. But are there any positives in this process? Why did the MU introduce this online system?

Till this year, the assessment of the examination papers was done offline where teachers would check the papers physically at various colleges and institutions. Now, the entire assessment has been shifted online from May 2 where teachers are allotted centres to check the papers through an On-Screen Marking (OSM) system.

This OSM system has been introduced to minimise the errors that were most common in the physical assessment of papers. It also aims to speed the process of declaration of results and bring about transparency in the system.

Physical method vs new system

The major errors are totalling, bubbling mistakes and missing out on answers. Deepak Wasave, Controller of Examinations of MU, said, “The main error creeps up in totalling. In physical checking, teachers have to give marks for each answer and then total it in the end. They have to calculate that themselves where often they tend to miss marks. But in the online system, the marks are automatically totalled by the computer so there is no question of missing any mark or any possibility of the calculation going wrong.”

Other errors that will be eliminated are bubbling errors and cancellation errors. Bubbling error is when students mark the wrong option (or bubble in the OMR sheet). While, teachers checking the papers cannot do multiple cancellation of marks unlike in physical papers. In OSM the teacher will have fill the final marks for a particular answer thus cancellations are avoided.

Speed up results

Apart from eliminating these physical errors, this new system will fasten the process of checking papers which will in turn speed up the process of declaration of results. “A teacher will not waste time totalling marks and calculating every single page of the answer sheet. This will reduce the time spent behind every answer sheet and help to complete the assessment faster. Since it is the first time, the system will take time but from next year we will be able to speed up the process considerably. Teachers will also get used to the system by then,” said Wasave.

Bring about transparency

Students are always apprehensive that their answer sheets might be misplaced or damaged. Or the teacher might accidentally skip some of the pages of their answer sheets. Suchitra Pagare, Deputy Registrar of MU, said, “Now students can relax as each page of the answer sheet has to be scanned and uploaded in the OSM process as the system will detect even if a single page is missed out. Second, a teacher can access the paper online from the centre so there is no trouble for the teacher of carrying the hard copy of the answer sheets or misplacing it anywhere.”

Students, teachers and even MU is waiting to declare the results through this process which will decide the fate of this new system based on its efficiency.