It is believed that the 21st century has brought a lot of technological development in human endeavor which has left especially the aged people (digital immigrants) with no option than to embrace change.
For people that were born at this technological age (digital natives), no matter how sophisticated the nowadays technology is, they will surely manipulate it because it is their era, but there are multiple technological ideas that have implications also.
At the early months of 2017, the University of Maiduguri adopted an E-exam policy that undergraduate students should be assessed through the computer based test (CBT).
The students were happy about this policy because it doesn’t take more than 50 minutes to write an examination especially that some populated departments do conduct their tests while remedial students (sciences) do both test and examination via computer.
Also on the other hand, the policy minimises a lecturer’s effort to mark hundreds of scripts within some few weeks under the pressure of deadline. Likewise from the management too, it reduces the efforts put in place for supervision, security, moderation among others during and after the pen and paper examination.
I agree that this is a development especially looking at how universities were being scaled by such factors in terms of distinction among all. With that, I am pretty sure that the University of Maiduguri was recongnised for this too.
But the faculty of Law wrote to the former vice chancellor that this is not favourable to their students, and fortunately he was convinced by some concrete reasons which among them was that “their students will not be accepted in the Law School with a result that was assessed via electronic examination.”
However, many departments in the university solicited to be exempted from such policy but they have no backup as in the case of the Law faculty. That indeed followed with consequences.
The e-exam reduces students writing skills despite that all sort of questions can be asked during the Continue Assessment (C.A) but there are many that cannot be programmed in the computer, thus students only read to identify correct answers rather than to acquire knowledge that can give them room for scholarly argument as it was done before the commencement of the E-exam.
It will be very embarrassing in the future for a graduate that spent four to six years without writing over eight full pages of papers in the name of examination. I have seen some of my colleagues from other departments that underperform in terms of good writing skill. This could be as a result of not having consistent avenue to write .
Therefore, I am calling on the present vice chancellor of the university, Prof. Aliyu Shugaba, to rethink this policy and consider the future of our students.
If the e-examination can be programmed in a way and manner traditional examinations were being conducted in the past, fine. It is welcome; but anything contrary to that, students in some departments may not be able to compete favourably with the others in the outside walls of the University of Maiduguri.
Hence, my sincere urge to the vice chancellor to look at the issue critically and allow any department that wishes to go for written examination.
– Imam is of the Department of Mass Communication, University of Maiduguri.