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Covid-19: UAE schools get ready for new-normal examinations

Nandini Sircar/Dubai
Filed on September 25, 2020 | Last updated on September 25, 2020 at 06.34 am
uae, schools, exams, covid

(File)

Online assessments are being explored more in certain schools with MS Forms and assignments in Microsoft Teams.

A number of UAE students will be taking their first exams for the new-normal academic term soon. And for some schools, there will be no pens, no paper - everything digital. Schoolkids may even opt to sit for their tests at home.

School heads noted that virtual exams are entirely different from the tests people were used to, from the questioning style to the instructions that must be followed.

The general rule for all online test-takers is that: Cameras must be turned on, no excuses. Schools have been investing in online proctoring solutions to implement a fair, foolproof system.

"Video proctoring was new to teachers, students and parents and brought some challenges. The angle of seating, for instance, had to be adjusted so that the work surface is visible to the proctor," said Punit MK Vasu, CEO of the Indian High Group of Schools.

At Springdales School Dubai, students had to follow a set of guidelines, with a video showing the correct camera position and room set-up. "This will ensure that there will be no cheating during the exams," said its principal Dr Brain Gray.

Online assessments are being explored more in certain schools with MS Forms and assignments in Microsoft Teams.

Digital exam in the classroom

At Amity School Dubai, all exams will be digital for both distance learners and those who sit for classes on campus.

"Students that have opted for distance learning will complete their term assessments at home, while students in school will use the same digital tools to complete their assessments in class with a teacher present," said Sangita Chima, the school's principal.

Assessments are divided in two parts, she explained. The first include objective questions that students will need to complete within a fixed time limit, while the second will be subjective, allowing students to develop "meaningful and skill-based knowledge".

"Our students self-assess and set targets in order to scale their learning graph," Chima added.

Another Dubai school, where exams will begin in the last week of October, will have the same set-up. Deepika Thapar Singh, CEO-principal of Credence High School, said: "We will conduct the online exams on a tried-and-tested platform, which the students will carry out on their own digital devices. The online exam software also has a feature that enables students to attach images of handwritten work to the exam."

Appeal to parents

Teachers are appealing to parents for help in monitoring their kids while taking the exams.

Lalitha Suresh of GEMS Our Indian School said: "Our students in younger school years will take the exams online. My earnest request is to allow children to attempt examinations on their own. Therefore, we are asking parents to talk to them about the ill effects of using malpractices. The outcome of the examination reflects what the children know and do not know. We need to assess learners' progress to identify learning gaps and offer remedial and accelerated learning and assessment."

nandini@khaleejtimes.com


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