As the mid-sem break starts, students in DU will be gearing up for the coming internal assessments. Unfortunately, Delhi University, known for its high standards of teaching and research; falls flat when it comes to providing new measures to assess academic performance. Learning by heart and spitting on paper, something which we are well acquainted with from school and are only more familiarized with now here in DU, is all what these internals are about.
The current rules of the University state that there should be 10% overall weightage given to written assignments/project reports/presentations/term papers/seminars with one compulsory assignment for a subject each year and 10% weightage is given to House examinations of respective colleges. These are some pretty lazy standards to put on a plethora of courses, and even so, the number of subjects one will study under a course. To put it in simple words – not every subject should require a written test nor should it necessarily require a term paper to be made.
Term papers are often plagiarized, often shamelessly from free resource websites like Wikipedia. Most of the presentations made for internal assessments are not given suitable research. The topics are often picked or given directly from the syllabus provided, and often the presentations strictly adhere to what will be relevant to the syllabus with any scope of trans-disciplinary topics deliberately removed.
What the University could do to improve the current assessment system is firstly get rid of the mechanical criteria of House examinations. There is virtually no use of holding written exams in the middle of the semester when we already have stringent examination periods twice a year.
The second thing that could be done is get rid of rigid standardization of internal assessment rules for all courses. Instead, assessment standards should be made course-wise and most importantly, subject-wise. More importantly, they should be flexible enough so that the curriculum could follow the teacher’s and students’ own subject interests.
Thirdly, teachers must not have to assign presentations or assignments merely to complete the syllabus. The internal assessments are there for a reason and that reason is providing ways for students to explore their disciplines. If completing the syllabus was the sole reason of the University, we’d just have one hundred percent weighted on written examinations.
Picture credits: youthkiawaaz.com
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