Engineering to get Open-book exam

AICTE Reforms

For engineering programmes, the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) instituted committee on examination reforms has recommended open book examination. The report is being examined by the AICTE and the HRD ministry. Open book exams will allow students to take notes, textbooks and resource material into an exam hall if accepted.

Open-book exam

The panel said the open book system was being proposed as the traditional pattern of examination often led to rote learning. The apex regulator of technical education is undertaking curriculum changes. It has to be mentioned that it had undertaken only recently which is, of course, an integral part of the systemic changes.

According to the report, the academic quality of examinations and question papers in the Indian engineering education system had been a matter of concern for a long time.

Suggestions of the committee

The changes suggested by the committee include an introduction of educational experiences to teach and assess professional outcomes including open-ended experiments in laboratories and project-based learning modules and internship experiences, among others.

“A wide range of assessment methods (term papers, open-ended problem-solving assignments, course/lab project rubrics, portfolios) need to be employed to ensure that assessment methods match with learning outcomes,” the report said.

The committee was of the view that open book system was especially useful in testing skills in application, analysis and evaluation. “While answering the question, students are allowed to refer class notes, textbooks or other approved materials which implies that open book examination is similar to time constrained written examination and they are less demanding on memory and hence less stressful, questions can emphasize on problem-solving, and higher order thinking,” it said.

According to the capabilities of students, testing their different cognitive skills apart from the open book exam, the committee also recommended varying difficulty levels of question papers

Contents of the Open-book exam

In an open book exam

You are evaluated on understanding rather than recall and memorization.

With questions seen or unseen before exam time

The preparation needed for an open book exam is of paramount importance :

Your time will be limited, so the key is a proper organization in order to quickly find

Data, quotes, examples, and/or arguments you use in your answers.

Preparation tips

Keep current -on readings and assignments in class

Be ready for a brief presentation – Detailed notes on ideas and concepts being tested

Carefully select -what you intend to bring with you to the exam, and note anything significant about what you do not

Never forget to add your own commentary on the information that will provide fuel for your arguments, and demonstrate that you have thought this through

Anticipate with model questions, but not model answers- Challenge yourself instead with how you would answer questions, and what options and resources you may need to consider.

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