AWS And Learning Spiral Organised a Webinar on Reimagining Education- The Future Of Online Admissions And Assessments

The pandemic of Covid-19 has wreaked havoc on the Indian Education system. Classes have been halted in order to impose social distancing. From schools to colleges, educational institutions have turned to online teaching methods. As technology continues to drive change in the education sector, it has also exposed a plethora of opportunities for students all around the world.

To discuss the various aspects of ‘The Future of Online Admissions & Assessment’, a the webinar was organized by AWS and Learning Spiral on the topic: Reimagining Higher Education. Mr. Sachin Punyani, Lead Business Development AI and ML, Analytics and IoT for WWPS, AWS India, AISPL, moderated the session. He greeted everyone and introduced Expert Speakers:

Prof. Saikat Maitra, Vice-Chancellor, MAKAUT

Dr. Subhashis Datta, Controller of Examinations, MAKAUT

Manish Mohta, Assessment Technology Expert, Learning Spiral

MAKAUT successfully conducted an AI-based online exam with AWS & Learning spiral, an online exam solution provider

In terms of digital transformation, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad University of Technology, West Bengal (MAKAUT) has always been at the forefront. So, the first question of the webinar was on what all aspects and features MAKAUT focused on?

Commenting on this Dr. Saikat Maitra, Vice-Chancellor of MAKAUT said” Latest development in education is a worldwide concern. In the present decade, we decided to reinvent ourselves. At the same time, everything is changing and the world is undergoing a massive transformation because of technology. Being a technological university, our role is to use new technologies to the best possible extent. Also, it’s our responsibility to use innovative ideas communicated by our faculties and making the system customized to suit their needs.

Keeping all these things on our agenda we are trying to do something new and innovative daily.

Learning Spiral’s successful management of India’s largest AI-Proctored Online Semester Examination for MAKAUT has demonstrated the moment of change for MAKAUT, he added.

According to surveys, 50% of administrative time is spent on managing the admissions and assessments cycle whereas MAKAUT has successfully transformed their entire admission and examination cycle in the last one year, so what MAKAUT has done to achieve this success needs to be understood.

Dr. Subhashis Datta, MAKAUT’s Controller of Examinations, spoke on the same, “We were digitally exploring various admission and examination processes even before the pandemic. Hence, we were ready to adopt technology that was available after the declaration of the pandemic. Faculties from all 200 colleges were explained about various teaching methods. We thoroughly discussed various rules and regulations to be followed in the online admission and online examination process. We were amazed that in around 40 days, over 1,75,000 classes were uploaded by faculties and attended by 60 lakh students. So, this gave us enough confidence to go for online classes and online exams during the pandemic. Not only theory classes but also laboratory classes were taken virtually. From enrollment to results, everything is now online. We focused not only on main subjects but also conducted extracurricular activities. Various virtual activities were also performed by us  and also uploaded on our portals. We are aided in this journey by our technology partner Learning Spiral

Mr. Manish Mohta, Managing Director-Learning Spiral, commented on the role of AI Proctoring in the overall process, “I feel that computer-based assessments would gradually be the norm rather than the exemption going forward. Already in the country, forgetting these two pandemic years from the past 5 years, university exams have gone from physical OMR sheets to a computer-based test. From computer-based tests taken at centres to

computer-based tests taken at homes is a remarkable progression and the rapid development in AI and its use in proctoring has aided that. Now if we talk about the past two years it has provided the right impetus to companies like ours to reimagine and rethink how online exams can take place. So, the issues on connectivity, scalability, and infrastructure all were addressed and worked upon. Also, Online proctoring is totally revolutionizing the online examination system. It is also helping our examination management system and university management system to follow new models of assessment. Cloud infrastructure has also played a vital role.

Before in CBT only MCQ’s were there but with the progression in technology, we also performed CBT with subjective question. From questions being displayed online to sheets and marks given everything was online. This was how everything, even the whole system was made into a digital workflow. Guaranteed application uptime and response time, Multi-tiered scalable architecture which ensures a highly reliable and scalable application service along with a 5-minute backup and restores capabilities of the stored data. There was also disaster recovery with real-time mirroring in two geographic zones of the data stored. It had an architecture which favours isolated and secured layers which interact with the application. These are the features required for the online examination system and University examination systems.”

“Education has become really inclusive and accessible because of the implementation of “live online learning” techniques. It has also increased the demand for online exams and online proctoring. The uncertainty surrounding national and state-level board exams has heightened the demand for quick and fair remote assessments as part of the student admissions process”, he added.

How Learning Spiral Successfully Conducted AI-proctored online semester exam for MAKAUT University during the pandemic?

“We follow an agile development process. This helps us in delivering the desired

features in the shortest possible time. Initially, our product cycle covered Registration to Exam Conduction and Evaluation. Besides this, we developed all means of evaluations such as Computer Based Tests, Online Tests with AI-enabled remote/live proctoring, On-screen marking based on scanned answer scripts & entry of marks by evaluators, etc.,” as he added later.

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