I am still saddened by the decision taken by the management of University of Education Winneba to still hold on to grading students with online quizzes and examinations. It looks as if management have entirely forgotten the purpose of examinations.
The examinations we write in school are just like training field where we earn tips to face the bigger exams life presents to us after studies. Examinations help to test students’ knowledge and let them know their mistakes, weaknesses and strength. They are also necessary in nurturing the ability of a student.
I want us to look at this scenario. You asked a professional pilot to teach you how to fly an airplane and he agrees to share the knowledge and experience he has. However, after a certain amount of time and knowledge sharing, the pilot needs to ascertain how much you have learnt. This is to ensure that you don’t hurt yourself and others while flying an airplane in the future. The only option the pilot has to ‘check' this is by means of a test or exams. A test or an exams reflect the level of understanding one has developed in a topic.
Marks earn in an examination may not be a very true indicator of a student’s intelligence, his or her knowledge or skills but they do determine his hard work, discipline and determination. And often, these three are much more vital in determining one’s success than innate talent. Life is very big and once one is done with his or her studies, he or she is identified more by hard work, discipline and determination.
This is the sole reason, aside other difficulties, I am against the idea of using online quizzes and examinations to grade students. I do not pretend that I know better than the school’s management but I write for the betterment of our noble institution.
Foremost, management may not have realized that every student is eager to pass an exams and would take every possible means to score an ‘A’. In the case of this online quizzes and examinations, some students could employ other good students to do these quizzes and examinations for them. This is very simple; a student would sit at the comfort of his home and text his or her user name and password to a fellow course mate who is academically good for these exams and quizzes to be done for him or her. This could even become a lucrative business for some of these brilliant students where they would charge a fee for this heinous act. I do not believe this is the kind of examination a well respected higher educational institution like UEW would want to have. These online quizzes and examinations totally defeat the purposes of examinations.
Again, management also did not realize that students could also arrange and come together to do these quizzes and examinations as a group work. So you see! The tool being employed here to measure and evaluate the capabilities of students is weakened and becomes dysfunctional.
I am not against the E-Learning which even the devil himself sees it as the best alternative now. But I am highly against grading students with online quizzes and examinations which has so many holes in them aside the difficulties.
UEW is known for quality education and has over the years produced individuals who are doing well in Ghana and beyond. Yes, we are in difficult times but we cannot sacrifice quality for anything. We are not in normal times but let us stand for what we are. To be awarded a degree by UEW is a great fortune. Let us maintain this dignity.