NOTE: Pulse conducted this survey purely voluntarily to understand the various student opinions and not on behalf of the Senate commitee for the Academic Year 2019-20. The suggestions mentioned below are solely based on the responses collected through the PulseCheck by means of Google Form.
The COVID-19 crisis has led to a lot of uncertainties for the college community. It has created furrows of doubts in the minds of students regarding projects, placements, internships, and the remaining coursework for the Even Semester of the academic year 2019-20. The joining dates of the full time employees are being extended in certain companies, while few others have cancelled their placements. As per internships, there are efforts being implemented to shift to work from home with regards to most companies.
Even Semester Evaluation Update
A senate meeting was held on 14th May 2020 regarding the evaluation and grading of Even Semester of the academic year 2019-20. They decided on some important updates regarding coursework, projects, MTech and PhD research work and examinations for PhD students.
The following circular was issued to the students regarding the even semester evaluation plan taken by the Senate:
We conducted a PulseCheck to understand the various student opinions regarding evaluation of coursework this semester, attracting 250 responses. The respondents were allowed to choose one or more favorable options. The results of the survey -:
The primary concern among the respondents was regarding the mode of teaching. Since the extension of the lockdown, various efforts have been made by professors to upload their content on Moodle. An overwhelming majority prefers the online content put up by the professors, and are hopeful that they continue uploading the material as many find it necessary to complete the coursework. Although there is a clear difference of opinions regarding the evaluation of coursework. 48.4% respondents chose to go with the MHRD recommendation of considering 50% of the internal marks of this semester along with 50% of previous semester’s SGPA. Some were skeptical about grading based on the performance so far as it neglects the opportunity of improving their grades in the end semester examination. There were also plenty of remarks favouring online assignments over quizzes with the argument that many students will find it difficult to complete the test/quiz in the speculated time.
One of the repeated suggestion for evaluation among the respondents was to consider 50% of their best SGPA so far along with 50% of the internal marks of this semester. Many feel this would prove to be a fairer way to evaluate than the MHRD recommendation. However, as per the current update from college, the theory papers will be graded based on the continuous evaluation components completed so far (quizzes, assignments, surprise tests etc), mid semester examination and an additional quiz/assignment on the remaining topic of the syllabus as per the convenience. Appropriate weightage for the online evaluation components will be assigned and total of the above three components will be scaled up to 100. The students who fail to appear for the online tests / assignments have an option to take the makeup test when they return to college on approval of Course Instructor and Head of Department. (Refer Official document).
A majority of the respondents (62.8%) preferred prorating the grades based on their current performance, while 41.2 % opted for distributing S grades to all the students.
Some of the suggestions received for evaluating labwork are:
- Online labs for programming courses during the current break.
- Grades could be given on the basis of attendance along with online tests / assignments.
- Conduct labs after the college resumes and extend it to the next semester if needed.
As per the update from Dean Academic, the grading of the lab courses will be based on the marks obtained in the continuous evaluation components that have been completed, scaled up to maximum of 100. However, online assignments / tests may be conducted wherever possible.
The students who fail to appear for the online tests / assignments have an option to take the makeup test when they return to college on approval of Course Instructor and Head of Department. (Refer Official document).
Availability of reliable internet connection is an issue raised by quite a few students. 27.2% respondents expressed trouble in downloading videos while 7.2% are unable to download any kind of material. This raises a concern regarding the accessibility of the online content uploaded. Several students from remote are facing trouble in accessing the content due to unreliable internet. If this semester is to be continued online, PDFs and presentations should definitely be a priority over online lectures. Apart from this, multiple students expressed unavailability of their materials and laptops.
48% respondents showed displeasure learning online. Some of them cited that they were occupied with internships, and were unable to find time to work on assignments. Few others are committed to preparing for higher studies, hence find it difficult to manage coursework along with it. The resentment isn’t surprising since summer vacations are indeed when students allocate time for such activities.