NIT Tiruchy develops portal, conducts online examinations for their students without a hitch

Over 1,600 students across UG and PG courses will be appearing for their final semester exams online till June 12
National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirappalli (Pic: NIT-T)
National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirappalli (Pic: NIT-T)

The National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirappalli (NIT-T) has decided to conduct online examinations for their final semester students. About 800 engineering students appeared for their exams at their homes on the first day, May 26. Over 1,600 students across various undergraduate and post-graduate courses, including BTech, MTech, MBA, MCA and so on, will be appearing for their open book final semester exams online that is slated till June 12, said NIT-T Director Dr Mini Shaji Thomas.

The institute has developed its own portal for this purpose. "The faculty set the question papers, upload it on the portal for the students to access with their own login ID and password, provided by the institute. Multiple question papers have been prepared for every subject," said Dr Thomas. A word document is uploaded the previous night and locked. Students have to download the document, type their answers and submit it on the portal.  

After an extensive survey to determine whether students had connectivity, the institute developed the portal and tested it with internal assignments and class tests. "For students who don't have a laptop, they can download the question paper on their phones. The file sizes are really less and can be downloaded over a 2G network," said Dr Thomas, "Such students can write their exams offline, take photos, convert it into a PDF document and upload it on the portal. As a last resort, we have even asked those who can't upload to the portal to email their answer sheets." An additional 45 minutes is added to the exam time for students to download or upload the document, after which they can't access the portal any longer.

The faculty have the option of evaluating it online or offline. NIT-T is planning to declare the results by the third week of June. "Most of these students have already been placed. They might lose their jobs, which is set to begin late June or early July, if we don't graduate them now," added Dr Thomas. Projects will be presented over video conferencing and the reports are to be submitted online, said Dr Thomas. NIT-T also plans to conduct online exams for students in other semesters after the final semester exams are done.

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