Questions for Examination are Not Just an Assumption

Questions for Examination are Not Just an Assumption

Apr-08-2020, Case Studies

With new question paper quality requirements made by the Board of Studies and Board of Examinations of MGU, Assumption College – its affiliated institution – was looking for a perfect automated solution which would bring efficiency to the entire system as well as help teachers grappling with partial knowledge of the system.  When QnSmart was implemented in Assumption College in 2019 by ipsr solutions ltd, the results were multi-fold; the faculty gained a thorough grasp of how to effectively use the system for improved teaching and learning, it helped to avoid topic repetition, saved time and money and eased the question-paper creation process.

Discourages Rote Learning

Rev. Sr Cherukusumam CMC, Principal of Assumption College is all praises about the transformation that QnSmart has brought about as she said, “The new Question Paper system discourages rote learning as the quality of questions is really high. It encourages thinking and application. Earlier, it was based on previous years’ question paper patterns. Questions would be compiled from the previous five years’ question papers. The current QnSmart model nudges teachers to cover the syllabus really well and the students too cannot afford to skip any part of the syllabus.” She added that earlier questions were based on an individual teacher’s assessment of what was important. But now it adheres to several quality parameters that elevate the question paper to a higher level.

Better Distribution of Questions

“Distribution of questions in a question paper based on the syllabus and weightage set by Board of Studies (BoS) along with control on the repetition of previous years’ questions, was a major concern while preparing question papers. At the same time, it had to be ensured that the entire syllabus was covered based on different taxonomy levels suggested by Board of Examination (BoE)”, explained Dr Sherine Thomas who is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Physics and Assistant Controller of Examinations at  Assumption. She felt that key functionalities like Blueprint, Bloom’s Taxonomy, Importance level, and Repetition control available in the QnSmart model of question paper generation made this process efficient and easy. The software itself ensures that the proper distribution of questions is not only for the entire question paper but also for each section too, exactly as required by the BoS and BoE.

New Learnings

The process provides a lot of learning opportunities and has helped the faculty improve their engagement in question paper creation too.  The teachers understood how different parts of the lesson could be intelligently classified into units. Setting questions becomes easy as well as challenging and creative with the system.

Dr Jaisymol Augustine, the HOD & Assistant Professor of Department of Malayalam who earlier had doubts about whether one could allocate units when dealing with different genres like fiction or poetry, is happy with the outcome of QnSmart implementation now. She cited the example of Malayalam to demonstrate how: “Setting question papers is now really easy. One question that nagged me was whether you can set units while dealing with different genres like fiction or poetry. If someone believes that the allocation of units in genres like fiction or poetry can’t be done, it’s a fallacy. For example, the author of a fiction work is a unit. Each part of the work is distinctive and can be assigned into units; the same applies to the work as a whole. Poetry can also be tackled the same way.”

Dr Sherine  Thomas also added that it was during the training that they learnt about Course Outcomes and how important it is to map questions accordingly. Their work has lessened considerably and the quality has improved exponentially.

Comprehensive Syllabus Coverage

One significant feature of QnSmart is that with increased faculty involvement, a wider range of topics in the syllabus is covered as the faculty understood the perils of selective coverage.
“As teachers themselves are preparing the questions, the entire syllabus is being covered well. When we purchase questions from outside, at times only certain areas are covered. All these are being rectified now. We had a little difficulty in the implementation period. But now it’s smooth sailing,” commented Dr Sherine Thomas.

No Topic Repetition

Dr. Jaisymol Augustine was equally enthusiastic about how the question paper helps teachers to avoid repetition. Clever unit wise classification helps ease this process. The biggest quality addition that has come through QnSmart is avoiding repetition. “Let’s say, Part B of a question paper and Part C of a question paper deal with the same portions in a text. But they will not be the same question type; this is where the teacher’s inputs count. The learning areas would be different. A question from the same section of a lesson would have a different application in Part B and Part C. In B, it would be to Analyse, whereas in C it would be to Evaluate. Now, we are absolutely sure that only one question will come from one unit.”

QnSmart has brought creativity into the entire process especially because of Bloom’s Taxonomy model. Earlier, they were not practising this, but now the Question Bank software gently nudges teachers in the right direction; constantly guiding, challenging their creativity and reminding them how to frame better questions. Teachers become participants and this, in turn, improves the quality.

Great Training and Implementation Support

Dr Sherine has great things to say about the great support by the IPSR team as they left no corner unturned in helping the college faculty ease into the automation process. “The team is approachable. If we encounter any problems, those issues are solved quickly for us by the support team,” she says.

Easy and Quick Generation of Vetted Question Papers

Setting question papers becomes a breeze with QnSmart automation. The Assistant Controller of Examinations had positive things to say about the ease-of-process. “A week before the exams, the Question Bank is ready. As the vetting is already done, there is no need for further scrutiny. So it takes only a single minute to generate the question paper just before the exam.

The college principal, Rev. Sr Cherukusumam CMC, is confident that the winning features of QnSmart software and the determination and dedication of Assumption’s faculty members to making good use of it will definitely put them on the track to improving exam quality.

 

The editorial desk of IPSR AcademiX Knowledge Hub consists of academicians, writers and technologists, who put together information for the use of academic community.

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