Makerere University students reject online exams

Makerere University Main building

Makerere University Main building

By URN

Makerere University Senate has left individual college academic committee boards to decide how to conduct end of semester examinations.  

This follows findings by an online survey by the University Guild indicating that 50 percent of the students prefer physical exams as opposed to online exams

only 13 percent of the 3884 respondents selected online examinations while 37% supported take-home assessments. 

Those opposed to online exams cited the lack of smart phones and laptops, cost of data and poor internet connectivity as some of the major obstacles.     

While the university has not entirely ruled out the idea of conducting online exams, the Senate has resolved to let individual colleges explore the most suitable mode of assessment for their learners.

The University Vice-Chancellor in Charge of Academic, Professor Umar Kakumba, said that there are different modalities of assessment including take-home assignments, field assessment and presentations among others that the colleges can consider.    

“We are considering other modes of examining students and if physical exams proves difficult we shall consider other available alternatives,” he said  

He further added that lecturers have received training in the past three weeks on Open Distance and Electronic Learning (ODeL), which will guide their decisions while selecting the assessment modalities for this season.

The senate in their resolution noted that colleges would be given a period of six weeks to complete the assessment with students who can thereafter start another semester.  

The colleges have been tasked to look at their case applications for the first two weeks, draw an assessment schedule within the following two weeks, sensitize students to get familiar with the modalities for two weeks and then conduct the assessment in the last two weeks.       

Araphat Muwanga, the Guild Representative Council Information Minister from School of BioSciences noted that while their suggestion for a phased physical exam schedule cannot work, he hopes the academic committees will be considerate to student’s concerns like internet connectivity and costs of data.  

“We pushed to see that students are not limited to one particular mode of assessment. The practical examinations I do are not as the theory examinations political science students sit for,” he said.

Unlike finalists at the University, continuing students were to start their physical end of semester exams the very day the government enforced the 42 days lockdown.

Since then, on June 7th 2021, schools and higher institutions of learning have remained closed.

While this is Makerere University’s first attempt at alternative assessment to physical exams, some higher institutions of learning like Uganda Christian University, Nkumba University and Kampala International University were able to conduct online examinations for their learners during lockdown.            

Makerere University students reject online exams

Makerere University Senate has left individual college academic committee boards to decide how to conduct end of semester examinations.  

This follows findings by an online survey by the University Guild indicating that 50 percent of the students prefer physical exams as opposed to online exams

only 13 percent of the 3884 respondents selected online examinations while 37% supported take-home assessments. 

Those opposed to online exams cited the lack of smart phones and laptops, cost of data and poor internet connectivity as some of the major obstacles.     

While the university has not entirely ruled out the idea of conducting online exams, the Senate has resolved to let individual colleges explore the most suitable mode of assessment for their learners.

The University Vice-Chancellor in Charge of Academic, Professor Umar Kakumba, said that there are different modalities of assessment including take-home assignments, field assessment and presentations among others that the colleges can consider.    

“We are considering other modes of examining students and if physical exams proves difficult we shall consider other available alternatives,” he said  

He further added that lecturers have received training in the past three weeks on Open Distance and Electronic Learning (ODeL), which will guide their decisions while selecting the assessment modalities for this season.

The senate in their resolution noted that colleges would be given a period of six weeks to complete the assessment with students who can thereafter start another semester.  

The colleges have been tasked to look at their case applications for the first two weeks, draw an assessment schedule within the following two weeks, sensitize students to get familiar with the modalities for two weeks and then conduct the assessment in the last two weeks.       

Araphat Muwanga, the Guild Representative Council Information Minister from School of BioSciences noted that while their suggestion for a phased physical exam schedule cannot work, he hopes the academic committees will be considerate to student’s concerns like internet connectivity and costs of data.  

“We pushed to see that students are not limited to one particular mode of assessment. The practical examinations I do are not as the theory examinations political science students sit for,” he said.

Unlike finalists at the University, continuing students were to start their physical end of semester exams the very day the government enforced the 42 days lockdown.

Since then, on June 7th 2021, schools and higher institutions of learning have remained closed.

While this is Makerere University’s first attempt at alternative assessment to physical exams, some higher institutions of learning like Uganda Christian University, Nkumba University and Kampala International University were able to conduct online examinations for their learners during lockdown.            

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