UNISA Students Face Online Difficulties While Writing Exams


As the year is close to coming to an end, institutions of learning across the country prepare for their final examinations. With Covid-19 as part of our day-to-day life, education challenges continue to haunt UNISA students. 


The UNISA’s Chair of online examination committee, Phindiwe Kamolane says only a very small number of students experience technical problems during online examinations.  

She explains that only 7 modules out of 3000 modules were affected by the technical problems, adding that this only translates to 0.7% overall. Kamolane however admits that at some point servers were down for 15 minutes at the start of the exams. 

When such technical problems kick in, the institution would make up for the time students lost as a result, she added.

The Chair of online examination at UNISA also highlights that, some students start their exams very late only have a few minutes to submit their answer scripts.

Kamolane says the size of the answer scripts is usually bigger and takes longer to submit, which explains why late students suffer cut off time. 

Students are allocated one hour to submit their scripts to the institution, and they must utilise the time for their submissions only and not other activities, urged the Chair.

Apart from submission cut off time, students also faced challenges with the invigilator app. 

The invigilator app guides students against plagiarism and kicks students out should they not activate the app in the process of writing their exams. 

Kamolane however disputes the claim and said the invigilator app works separate from the exam process and is a mere add on. 

The institution has found that the source of the student’s complaints, according to Kamolane, is that students are not prepared for online exams. 

She states that students notice when an exam has already started that they needed to download the invigilator app on their devices. 

Students are required to activate the invigilator app on their devices 30 minutes before starting their exam, as the app report suspicious behaviour when activated at a later stage. 

UNISA urge students to register their details a day before the exam so their details can be captured by the system of the supplier.  




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