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PNG's Divine Word University makes history with online exams

Divine Word University (DWU) has made history for itself by delivering its second semester examinations online for fulltime undergraduate students over the last two weeks.

This is the first time students at the Madang campus have taken exams online through Moodle - a Learning Management System (LMS).

The students did their online exams using the laptops the University issued. The online examinations concluded on Thursday 5th November.

DWU President Fr Jan Czuba said: ”In response to the growing interest in DWU’s programs  the University is continuing to increase our focus on capacity development in the areas of quality and access through online learning.

“Provision of appropriate support to faculty in: designing, developing and teaching in online environments, as well as enhancement of infrastructure across related functions such as library liaison, student success and students services were achieved as those are key components to ensure success.”

The Moodle (LMS) provided the online examination system which was introduced by the ICT and Moodle instructors in DWU is part of university’s “paperless university” leading to be a “green university” policy where online learning is being adopted.

Fr Czuba said: “Divine Word University’s eLearning eTeaching strategy sets the direction for eLearning and eTeaching at the DWU over the next five years and has an emphasis on pedagogy, curriculum design and development.

Its aim is for eLearning and eTeaching to be part of learning and teaching activities at DWU to ensure that quality of education is provided to each student.

“This policy has resulted in the DWU community progressively reducing the use of paper and books for academic and administrative work in favour of information and communication technologies (ICTs) and working online.

The online examination concept on Moodle was designed by lecturers with the help of the information communication technology (ICT) experts on campus.

Each unit lecturer inputted the examination content and was tested by ICT experts before being given to students. According to Mr Jerome Kris Semos, one of the Moodle Instructors at DWU, over a hundred exams were done online across the faculties in the Madang campus.

Mr Semos said the online exams went well with minor hiccups although this was the first time it was done in DWU.

He said the obvious benefits of online examination is that it is less time consuming in terms of administration and marking and is fool proof because of the security system set.

Mr Semos said students can only access the examination online once only during a set time and venue and after the two hours is up the exam automatically clocks out and no student can re-open or re-attempt the exam.

Mr Semos said during a scheduled exam time all students gather in an exam room with their laptops and the lecturer announces one password that all students use along with their enrollment in Moodle to open the examination page.

He said after the formalities are over in 10 minutes, students then begin inputting their answers with the timer counting down the two hours remaining.

Mr Semos said if there was a power blackout or a network failure, Moodle will automatically save the exam progress or session and a student can resume where she or he left off.

Fr Czuba said: “e-Learning and e-Teaching will transform the way we teach and learn at DWU. It opens new opportunities to raise academic standards and widen participation in ‘life-long learning’. “ “e-Learning and e-Teaching cannot, and should not, be considered as a replacement or substitute for excellent lecturers but, alongside existing methods, it can enhance the quality of the teaching and learning experience for students.”

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