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First Blended Examinations come to an End

In spite of the challenges posed by the covid-19 pandemic, it has led to innovative ways of doing everyday things. In the area of education, adherence to the covid-19 protocols has led to new approaches to content delivery and assessment.

For the first time in Valley View University, the end-of-semester examinations for all courses were held in two modes: online and in person. This meant that a section of every paper was written online and another section done offline in examination halls.

According to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof Peter Agyekum Boateng, the blended examination model was introduced as a mechanism to reduce prolonged physical contact among students during the period of the examination in line with the covid-19 safety protocols. He also noted that this was an opportunity to further enhance students´ skills in maneuvering online as this has become an important tool in the world of business in the current dispensation.

The Exam Controller for the University, Mr. Godfred Mawutor also added that the blended examination was to give students a feel of online activities especially for nursing students who for the first time, will be taking their licensing exams online this year.

To ensure the smooth running of the examinations, training sessions were organized for fresh students whereas continuing students and faculty members were taken through refresher training sessions.

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The administration also made sure that generators were on stand-by in the event of power interruptions. The Information Technology Services Staff, staff from the Finance Office and Registry were also on hand to offer on-the-spot support to students or faculty members.

All these measures ensured that the examinations went on smoothly, save a few instances of power fluctuations.

According to Mr. Mawutor, some other challenges that arose with the examinations included students´ reliance on friends for information on the examinations; students´ tardiness to examination venues in the name of online engagements as well as challenges with the timing for some of the online examinations.

Some students expressed their satisfaction with the examinations.

 “To be honest, the blended exams—face to face and online was unexpected but in the end, it went on smoothly as expected,” Robert Okpoti of the School of Business said.

Other students had mixed feelings about the examinations. For instance, Jeffrey Danso and Ernest Tetteh Nani, both of the School of Business said the online segments of the examinations went very well however, they found the in-person segments difficult.

Some students also touched on a few challenges they encountered during the examinations. Robert Okpoti for instance expressed concern with changes in examination venues.

Gekpara Simon Prince, also of the School of Business expressed concerns with the very limited time in between the online examinations and the face-to-face segments. He also urged the ITS to continue to improve on the stability of the Wifi on campus.

The Pro-Vice Chancellor, Prof. Agyekum Boateng had this to say regarding the few challenges that arose “ The need for change has always come with discomfort, especially where alternatives are limited, ” he said, “ I consider access to VVU´s online tuition and assessment system an opportunity for sharpening one´s  skills for effective navigation through our erratic environments.”

The University´s Exam Controller also asked students to note that examiners are their friends who want to assist them in their academic work and not to harm them.

Some faculty members also expressed their satisfaction with the model of the examination.

“It is good as the system marks part of the examinations and this helps lecturers with big class sizes”, said Dr. Stephen Arthur, a lecturer at the School of Business. Dr. Arthur also noted that the system has a built-in mechanism to prevent cheating among students.

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