Online assessments here to stay

  • Education
  • Sunday, 02 Aug 2020

The Higher Education Ministry is looking at alternatives to effectively measure outcomes during these unprecedented times.

FIRST, Malaysia’s university students were confined to their campuses when the movement control order (MCO) was announced.

Then, with a huge sigh of relief, they were allowed to return to the comforts of their own homes but must continue their studies virtually since the semester was still ongoing.

Later, these same students were informed that their final assessments would also be conducted remotely.

With no real end in sight to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Higher Education Ministry is in discussion with relevant parties regarding online teaching and learning, as well as online exams post-MCO.

Its director-general Prof Datuk Seri Dr Mohamed Mustafa Ishak said they recommended all public institutions of higher learning (IPTAs) to conduct all their academic programmes, including final examinations, online during the MCO.

Under normal circumstances, Prof Mohamed Mustafa said higher education institutions are required to apply for the ministry’s approval to conduct academic programmes online.

“However, when the MCO was implemented, the ministry saw the need for the institutions to conduct the teaching and learning activities online to ensure that education is not disrupted, ” he told StarEdu.

“The implementation of final assessments depends on the requirements of the respective courses, ” he added.

He explained that if a student is required to perform practical, clinical or laboratory training, among others, the ministry proposed that the final assessment be postponed until students are allowed to return to campus.

“IPTAs are allowed to make adjustments and modifications to the methods of continuous assessments or final assessments with assurance that they align with the learning outcomes of the course, ” he continued.

Prof Mohamed Mustafa said alternative methods are needed in order for learning outcomes to be effectively measured in these unprecedented times.

“The ministry prioritises safeguarding the security and welfare of students.“In order to reduce the risk of Covid-19 transmission, especially among students, precautionary measures must be taken.”

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