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case study

SAGE

Automation of Administration of Examination is Now Easy Dr. V. Ajayakumar Director, Computer Centre, University of Kerala

A System for Automated Governance of Examinations (SAGE) has been developed by the Computer Centre of University of Kerala for complete automation of all stages of the administrative part of examinations. The procedure for governance of examinations has been thoroughly revamped and simplified, based on a model, which numerically represents all the examinationrelated events of this century

The efficiency and exactitude in carrying out administrative work associated with administration of examinations hold a University in high esteem. This is more relevant in the case of Universities that have large number of colleges affiliated to them. Though many IT firms have come forward with digital solutions for the governance part of University Examinations, most of them have failed to prove well-tailored to the user’s requirements. A System for Automated Governance of Examinations (SAGE) has been developed by the Computer Centre of University of Kerala for complete automation of all stages of the administrative aspect of examinations. The procedure for governance of examinations has been thoroughly revamped and simplified, based on a model, which numerically represents all examination-related events of this century. New procedures for all the stages from course design to issue of degree certificates have been prescribed and digital solutions provided. Using the new model, the system ensures exactitude and timeliness in examination governance. The contributions of IT during the last two decades have been fully utilised for all stages viz. the realisation of online registration to online delivery of mark sheets. The provision given for recruiting agencies to verify the genuineness of University degrees on Internet and the instantaneous progress reports made available to the students are some of the remarkable features of this system. All the sections of the examination wing have been made “pen less”. Statistically significant observations on awarding internal assessment marks are also made. The system has been in use for the last 5 years for all the major examinations of University of Kerala. The number of grievances coming to the examination sections has been drastically brought down. The labour productivity has increased by nearly 3 times after the installation of this system. In 2009 another project named “SWEET” (System for Web-Enabled Exam Transactions)

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AUGUST 2010

17


YEAR Intake of Students Number of Employees engaged 2001 (before computerisation)

1500

24

900

2006 (after web-enabling)

10000

32

4500

SWEET: Web based on-line facilities Enrolment and creation of student database immediately after admission process Registration to examinations with e-payment facilities Issue of hall tickets and nominal rolls Entry of attendance data of examinations by college office Entry of internal assessment marks by college office Entry of marks in Centralised Valuation camps by University staff or teachers Delivery of subject- wise results and their changes (This information has been available on websites for years) Delivery of mark lists Submission of applications for revaluation or scrutiny Submission of applications for provisional certificates, degree certificates / official transcripts Delivery of official transcripts Verification of genuineness of degree certificates Victimisation in internal assessment detected scientifically Examinership given to the most appropriate person (as per the subjects taught by the teacher) Improvement in Labour Productivity by 5 times Integration of information with other systems and subsystems Chances of litigation minimised (like unlawful claims for degree certificates) Management Information System to generate strategic information needed for decision-making High benefit-cost ratio (low cost of development, low maintenance charge, reduced travel costs for accessing reliable information)

Weaknesses of the Existing Manual System Incomplete, inconsistent and rapidly varying regulations Delay in scrutiny of results and poor counterfoil management Consequences of delay in announcing revaluation result Difficulty to trace missing marks, attendance details etc. Mark lists conveying bare minimum information Final consolidation of results is difficult Tedious process of results analysis Evaluation of the quality of valuation is difficult Difficulty in assigning duty to the most appropriate teacher Online retrieval of information is difficult Difficulty in correctly implementing decisions regarding moderation Necessity of maintaining different types of application forms Poor management of question paper inventory Inability to ensure quality of question papers

18

Mark lists generated per employee

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Benefits of SAGE System Improvement in Productivity: timely announcement of the result (within seven days after the evaluation) Any Time Information System (ATI): enabling students to get examination related information on Internet Official transcript and mark lists are available on the Internet Recruiting agencies can verify genuineness of degrees certificates of the candidates Timely announcement of revaluation results (within 45 days) Interactive website to communicate with University (through the University web portal) Information through Interactive Voice Response System (by just entering the registration number on telephone) services through web portal was successfully implemented. It enabled all communications between affiliated colleges and University office to be “paper less� by this system. The System for Automated Governance of Examinations developed for the complete automation of the Examination Wing of Universities has been on a trial run in the University of Kerala. The results have been quite encouraging and the principles of design as a whole can be replicated in other parts of the country as well. The unique aspect of this automated system is that though it makes use of the latest technologies available today, the cost of implementation is considerably low compared to any other system of comparable quality available now. Moreover, as the University owns the source code of the software, any modification in it can be made at any time, without depending on other organisations. This model of IT enabling ensures that new employment opportunities are generated either inside or near the organisation that is modernised. \\


digitalLEARNING-Aug-2010-[17-18]-SAGE-Automation of Administration of Examination is Now Easy