In a worrying indicator of the quality of online assessment, a visiting college teacher from Mumbai’s western suburbs has assessed an astounding 15,000 Mumbai University papers across a range of subjects in just five months. The subjects include Cost Accounting, Derivatives, Marketing and Business Ethics. Most teachers assess 3,000-4,000 papers, including moderation and re-evaluation, and only a handful cross the 10,000-mark.

Does it add up? Teacher checks 15,000 university answer papers of many subjects in 5 months

A visiting faculty from colleges in the western suburbs has assessed an astounding 15,000 Mumbai University papers across a range of subjects in only five months. The subjects include Cost Accounting, Derivatives, Marketing and Business Ethics. The papers include a few thousand moderated and re-evaluated. Most teachers assess 3,000-4,000 papers, including moderation and re-evaluation.

Though taking all three into account, only a handful of teachers would have probably crossed the 10,000-mark, it puts a question mark on the quality of assessment and also paints a worrying picture for students. The trend has raised the question of whether online assessment is foolproof, said a teacher. While the university announced most major results on time for the April-May examination, not restricting teachers from accessing papers from other subjects is a drawback, they said.

This commerce faculty teacher assessed 10,373 papers, moderated 2,280 papers and reevaluated 2,987 from April 1 to August 30 for the summer 2018 exam. She not only assessed papers in Advanced Auditing, Direct and Indirect Taxes, Introduction of GST, but also from Business Ethics & Corporate Governance and Commodity & Derivatives Market. She told TOI she is presently teaching subjects in , but she has taught other subjects earlier. She claimed that there are many others like her who have assessed over 10,000 papers, and there is a possibility of the quota of others with similar names bunching up as hers. Though many of the subjects are related to finance, she has assessed papers in over 20 subjects.

A suburban college teacher said the online software registers them after two days of back-end verification. “Once on the system, teachers can tag themselves to subjects related to their expertise. For every new subject, there is another level of verification. Since she is tagged for multiple subjects, the university system is equally at fault. University officials should be aware about such discrepancies,” said the teacher. Some teachers have even moderated papers they have not assessed.

Another teacher said many registered teachers do not report for assessment. “Teacher participation in assessment is poor in some subjects, which has delayed results. The university fails to act against such teachers. The pressure is on teachers who participate but quality could be compromised,” he said. Around 75,000 students apply for re-evaluation in almost every exam in recent years.

A university official said in all exams, of the 14,000-odd teachers registered 25-30% do not assess. The official said most assess 2,500-3,000 papers in this period though there is no minimum or maximum limit given to teachers. Teachers can assess less than 100 papers a day if they sit continuously for over three hours, said a teacher. Correcting 15,600 papers in 150 days would mean over 100 papers a day, including weekends and public holidays.

Vinod Malale, spokesperson for the varsity’s examination section, said, “There is a background check on every teacher before tagging. But we will still look into the matter.”
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