Mount Carmel College issues paperless exams

September 4th, 2014 | Posted by Kevin Corley in Information Management | Workflow

Students at Mount Carmel College in India received a different sort of exam earlier this week.

The two-hour test the final-year business management students received was the women's school's first experiment with paperless exams, according to the Times of India. The students received the experimental test as an effort on the part of MCC to become more environmentally friendly.

"A total of 120 students took the exam in international human resource management, financial markets and services and product and brand management subjects," S Rajkumar, associate professor in the MCC Department of Business Management , told  the New Indian Express. "The exam was part of our continuous internal assessment and the experiment of doing away with papers to use the digital pads was a success. Students' feedback is very positive."

A tablet made for tests
The tablets' document management software can automatically freeze the device once the students' time is up, the publication explained. Students used a stylus to write their answers on the tablet's 11-inch screen, which are stored securely in the cloud in order to prevent cheating.

Teachers can then access the answers online for grading, the Times of India noted. Graders can log-in to the content management service where answers are stored and review the students' exams remotely. The tablets were specially designed so that students would feel as though they are taking paper exams, and the device allows them to highlight, underline, erase or color on the screen as if it were a regular test.

This makes MCC the second school in the Indian state of Karnataka to begin utilizing paperless exams, the New Indian Express reported. The first was the International Institute of Information Technology, Bangalore.

Students generally found the experience positive, despite some initial difficulties they overcame. Screen size and scrolling were issues, one student told the New Indian Express. Despite this, many found the electronic exams easier to work with. The screen only works with the stylus, which means a hand rested on the tablet won't make any unwanted changes, and erasing mistakes is much cleaner. Soon, the experimental exams may be given to more than just final-year business management students.

"We were looking at ways to reduce wastage of paper. That's when this technology was brought to our notice. College authorities will look at the logistics, and if feasible, scale up the project," Rajkumar explained to the Times of India.

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