University exams 2021 – UGC suggests 40% focus on online learning, continuous evaluation of students

New Delhi, 25 May 2021: The University Grant Commission (UGC) has proposed a draft to the Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) stating that they can opt for ‘blended teaching’ mode i.e. they are allowed to teach 40 percent of any course online and the remaining 60% can be taught in the offline mode. 

This concept note is drafted for the varsities and colleges due to the increasing dependence of education on technology in the current pandemic situation. 

The panel of experts set up by UGC has sought suggestions from various stakeholders on this decision by June 6, 2021. 

UGC’s Draft on Online Learning – Key Points

  • The concept has been introduced in accordance with the New Education Policy (NEP) 2020, which suggests promoting digital learning and education. 
  • The draft proposed by UGC states that blended learning refers to a well-planned combination of meaningful activities in both modes of education – online and offline. 
  • Blended learning demands consideration of several factors which are mainly focused on the learner-centered instructional approach and learning outcomes.

UGC’s New Assessment and Evaluation Pattern

The UGC has asked to implement blended learning as a new mode of teaching and learning in higher education; the pattern of assessment and evaluation will also need to be changed. Hence, the UGC is encouraging a Continuous Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) process in universities and colleges. 

The UGC also recommended various summative evaluation measures including group examinations, open-book examinations, and on-demand examinations. Besides, for formative evaluation, the UGC has suggested strategies like the use of creative products, e-Portfolio of students, online classroom, or quizzes.

Teachers’ Opinion on UGC’s Proposal

  • Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) has strongly opposed the proposal stating that such type of initiative will create a negative impact on the education system and might create a situation wherein many students will opt out of higher education. 

They added that this new proposal will deteriorate the quality of education for the students and also reflects the government’s desire to reduce the expenditure on higher education. 

  • In a media statement, the Delhi University Teachers’ Association president, Rajib Ray, opposed the proposal on the ground saying that many students “from underprivileged families or rural areas” lack computers or high-speed Internet, key to accessing online education.
  • He also added that this plan has clearly been proposed by the UGC with the intention of reducing the need to hire teachers in the institutions. As per him, it is a matter of concern as it will cause a reduction in teaching jobs since the e-content of online education will be shared among students of most institutions. “It will also put the profession of several DU professors at risk and will create consequences for the classroom experience of the students in the future,” he said. 

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