Final-year postgraduate students of microbiology department of Calcutta University will be monitored through online invigilation by teachers during the fourth semester examinations to be held next month.
The students will have to keep the video cameras on in devices like smartphones, laptops or desktops at the time of taking the test, a teacher of the department said.
One or two teachers will be on duty on all the examination days who will invigilate the examinees through an online process, the teacher said.
The examinations will be conducted using a virtual platform like Zoom or Google Meet and the students will have to log in and out according to the time to be prescribed by the university.
A mock test will be held soon to ensure that students get used to the system and they do not face any problem when they take the exams.
The final (fourth) semester examinations will be conducted by all the 68 postgraduate departments of the university in October. No other department has taken the decision on invigilating the examinees online till now, an official of the university said.
The university had recently announced that the individual departments would send the questions through emails or WhatsApp to the examinees half an hour before the start of the examination. After the exam, the students will have to upload the answers in PDF format through emails or WhatsApp.
But the individual postgraduate departments enjoy the autonomy to conduct their examinations using their own system, the official said.
The board of studies of the microbiology department of the university has taken the decision on online invigilation not because it does not trust the students, the teacher said. The main intention is to maintain the “sanctity” of the examinations, the teacher explained. “The decision has been taken to ensure that our students do not suffer in future.”
The university had no experience of teaching students through the online process when it started doing so after institutions had to be shut because of Covid-19 in March, said Alok Sil, the head of the department of microbiology .
“We are conducting the online classes successfully. We are hopeful that we will also be successful in invigilating the students online,” he said.
Postgraduate microbiology is taught also by at least two colleges, including Lady Brabourne. Shiuli Sarkar, principal of Lady Brabourne College, said she had received a letter from the microbiology department. “We are expecting detailed guidelines from the university,” Sarkar said.