Published: 26th August 2017
Ever attempted a digital exam? These guys could be behind it
TCS iON’s chief tells us how they’re making digital evaluation as addictive as Facebook, to teachers
We might associate exams with writing furiously away on sheets of paper, but there is a likely chance that the next generation might associate it with computer screens. Advocating for this is TCS iON, a unit of Tata Consultancy Services that focusses on education. And though they are clearly riding the wave early, with almost 80% of India’s competitive examinations facilitated by TCS iON, the Global Head, Venguswamy Ramaswamy still feels that they have a long way to go. They recently took another step towards digitisation and developed their own iOS for assessments called IDEA OS (iON Device for Evaluation and Assessment).
“We thought that if we take complete control of the computing device conducting the exam, we can avoid hacking and other malpractices,” that are often associated with virtual exams, says Ramaswamy, adding, “We don’t only want to boot the computer with this OS, we want the OS installed in the machine itself, so that no one can tamper with it.” Talking about flipped classrooms, he gives us an example of his own nine-year-old ‘googling’ Australia, anticipating that it will be taken up in Geography class the next day.
We have done good things but the opportunities in front of us are huge. We have not achieved much but have made a dent for sure
Venguswamy Ramaswamy, Global Head, TCS iON
Next, they want to structure themselves into three platforms. Teachers can assess handwritten answer books using their platforms. “We do it for a number of Boards,” Ramaswamy informs us. They want to take digital learning to the next level and “make the content as addictive as being on Facebook,” he says. They also want to be a business process management platform for companies. TCS iON will be launching a GST Shiksha hub for MSMEs soon too and even recently Andhra University partnered with TCS iON to help digitise key functions of their university. It’s no wonder he says, “Nothing,” when we ask him what’s their biggest achievement yet. Clearly, we can expect a lot more.