Delhi University History Department raises concerns over open book exams

Teachers say many students are stranded away from their reading materials and even the minimum required stationery for an OBE

Delhi University History Department raises concerns over open book exams

Photo for representation

New Delhi, May 22

The faculty members of the Delhi University’s Department of History have joined the chorus against the administration’s decision to conduct online open-book exams in case the situation due to the COVID-19 outbreak doesn’t normalise.

DU’s Sociology and Economics departments have already voiced their disagreement with the move, while the teachers’ association and students’ union held an online campaign against the decision.

The faculty members of the Department of History wrote to DU VC Yogesh Tyagi against the move and suggested alternatives.

The Combined Committee of Courses (CoC) for postgraduate (PG), undergraduate (UG) honours courses and programmes of the Department of History held a meeting on May 19 via Zoom.

The CoC also discussed the written responses received from a large number of PG History students regarding online open-book examinations.

It noted that the COVID-19 outbreak and the lockdown led to an unprecedented situation.

“People are dealing with several issues, including infrastructural constraints, technological obstacles, economic hardships, dislocation of students and/or their families, and the challenging environments in many households,” it said.

A significant number of students do not have access to a stable WiFi/4G internet or a smart device with a camera/scanner, the faculty members said.

“Moreover, many students are stranded away from their notes, reading materials and even the minimum required stationery for an OBE,” the CoC said.

The students have categorically voiced their opinion that offline/online open-book examinations scheduled in July will not be fair since they were taught for an altogether different mode of assessment.

The CoC suggested that for undergraduate students in the sixth semester, an average of the marks of previous semesters can be accounted for the 75 per cent marks of the total marks and the remaining 25 per cent will be the internal evaluation marks of the final semester.

For postgraduate students in the fourth semester, an average of the marks of the previous three semesters can be taken for the 75 per cent marks while the remaining 25 per cent can be the internal evaluation of the fourth semester, it said.

The CoC also stressed that those who were not able to submit assignments due to problems during the lockdown be given additional time in July to do so. PTI

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