LAWEH’S HISTORIC ONLINE EXAMS IN COVID-19 ERA
Laweh Open University College, the first accredited Open University in Ghana and the second in West Africa, has chalked another first by successfully conducting its end of semester examinations online. That the examination which took place between 4th -18th April, 2020 is very worthy of note : in the Lockdown period of COVID-19 era. The exams consisted of both multiple-choice questions and essay questions for undergraduates and essay type only for graduate students.
The feat was achieved by careful planning, digital examination responsive scheduling, sensitization of staff and students, support system for technical concerns and the effective implementation of a digital examination policy, guidelines and proctorial.
The Examination guidelines were released to students three-weeks ahead of the examination to allow them to familiarise themselves with the system and ask all the needed questions. Video presentations on how the system works were also released two weeks ahead of time.
The significance of the success of the online examination was the fact that it took place in the heart of the lock down when students far and near needed a proctored system to take the exams in their homes and scan and submit their essay with scanning apps already loaded on their phone.
The proctorium includes a plagiarism checker in the LMS and examination portal of every student and expertise to set questions that test critical thinking and application in a very unique way. Afterall in the real world where students are required to solve practical problems with knowledge acquired, no one is asked to close their book or computer to solve problems.This hands-on applied and useful learning philosophy is what sets Laweh apart from the rest.
At Laweh Open University College, lecturers are trained from the onset on how to assess learning outcomes, in a way that focuses examination on assessing the achievement of an expected learning outcome in an applied and useful manner.
Vetted and already moderated questions by our mentors, the Open University of Tanzania, are set up on the University’s cutting-edge Learning Management System(LMS) for students. Duration for each paper was programmed into the system. A student gets behind their computers at home and answers the questions as per the instructions provided.
For part A, students see their grades right after the exams and move on to the second part. Upon completion of the second part, they upload their answers onto the LMS and that is end of story. The system cuts off the moment the time is up for the student. Other strategies of examination include project based assessment, oral examinations and voice – over power point presentations submitted by students.
Ahead of the examinations, students were taken through the various steps needed to successfully write the exams. Besides, some few hitches on the first day, which were of course expected and duly addressed, the subsequent days were virtually free of any major challenges. In fact, a team was on hand to deal with students’ challenges. Below are testimonials from some of our students.
” I was marveled at the manner in which this whole thing worked. Laweh, indeed has arrived,” Kofi Dankwa Kota, a Level 200 student, observed.
Rita Adwoa Konadu Asare, a Level 400 International Business Management student, could not hold back her joy. She said, “ Laweh University College has a story that should be heard by all Ghanaians.”
On her part, Bridget-Ivy Ankoma, a Level 400 Human Resource Management student, declared, “Laweh is blazing the trail in E-learning. We have made it again.”
At the onset of COVID-19 in Ghana, Laweh University College, in a media statement, volunteered to offer Technological Infrastructural Support to other tertiary institutions who might want to begin Online and Distance Education.
With this unprecedented achievement in Online examinations, Laweh University College has proven beyond doubts that it has the capacity to deliver Online and Distance Education that meets international standards.