History as UoN conducts virtual exams amid Covid-19 pandemic – VIDEO
The University of Nairobi on Tuesday become the first Kenyan learning institution to conduct the country’s first ever end of semester examinations online owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The first examination saw 26 students pursuing a Master of Arts in Environmental Law and eight taking Master of Arts in Environmental Policy sit a four-hour exam.
The university shifted to online examinations in order to provide students with options to complete their studies at a time when face-to-face exams are impossible to be held because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Speaking to the university’s communications team, Centre for Advanced studies in Environmental Law and Policy (CASELAP) Director, Dr Collins Odote said:
“We used Google platforms to administer our exams-first we invited our students to Google Classroom so that we are able to see all of them and then we used Google Meet to monitor or invigilate the process.”
According to the University, the successful online examinations process followed intense weeks of teaching and learning also conducted virtually via Google Suite, Zoom and Webex among other eLearning platforms.
UoN Vice Chancellor Prof Stephen Kiama said that over 5500 virtual classes had already taken place and were still going on.
He said that the mechanisms had been put in place to ensure the quality of the online exams is not compromised in anyway.
“As a world class university all our examination guidelines and procedures have been benchmarked against the global best practice and we shall continue to ensure that they are reliable, consistent and of integrity,” said Prof Kiama.
As part of the quality assurance process the university organized a series of training sessions in mid-March for faculty and administrative staff on eLearning in an effort to ensure students continued to receive high quality education while staying safe from the coronavirus pandemic.
The learning institution added that, in a bid to bridge digital divide and ensure that no one is left out, the university negotiated deals with network provider Telkom to provide free data bundles for faculty and students.
“However for students with poor internet connection, the UoN continues to provide them with playback lecture videos and courseware packages,” the university said.
Prof Kiama has also acknowledged that students with special needs and other disadvantaged groups may face difficulties in undertaking online exams but said their issues shall be addressed individually as they arise.