Mumbai: Software glitches mar college-level online exams

Professors of First Year (FY) and Second Year (SY) Undergraduate (UG) programmes have highlighted technical issues and difficulties experienced in ongoing college-level online examinations. Professors revealed the internal software system takes five attempts to login before every exam and there is no way of proctoring the exam thoroughly to check if students are cheating. Students said the systems often hang up as servers go down.

Currently, degree colleges are conducting FY and SY exams via online using proctoring software developed internally.

Archana Rao, a professor of history at a South Mumbai college, said, "I have to try at least five times to login on the internal proctoring software developed for online exams. Every day I go through this ordeal where I gain access through the admin login only after five failed attempts."

While, Chetan Pednekar, a professor of marketing at a Borivali college, said, "During every exam, I receive at least five complaints from students saying they are unable to login. Many students join the exam portal 10 to 15 minutes late because they are unable to login on time due to technical issues."

In addition, professors said they cannot check if students are copying, browsing through the internet for information or seeking help from a friend while appearing for the exam. Manju Iyer, a professor at a Bandra college, said, "I can only see static images of students on screen because they are supposed to keep their webcam on during the 1-2 hours of examination. But I am unable to gauge whether students are copying, browsing through the internet or seeking help from a friend. What is the purpose of such an exam where students can cheat easily?"

On the other hand, students have highlighted technical errors in the online examination system. Vivek Chauhan, a SY student of English Literature said, "The online servers are generally down which hangs the entire examination software. Often, I have to keep refreshing the website to login and appear for the exam."

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