UNISA Students Happy With Online Examinations

 A university-wide student survey conducted by the Department of Institutional Advancement shows that the majority of the 4 823 respondents would, in fact, elect to write online again at the end of the year.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, UNISA and many other institutions had to have their examinations online. UNISA has gone above and beyond for their students to ensure that they received the assistance they needed.

They have offered students the option of writing mid-year examinations online or deferring them to the end of the year when writing sit down exams are possible.

A survey was conducted by UNISA to find out what the students thought about the online examinations. 

"The survey provides the institution with important feedback on which areas of the online examination system can be improved, and what students’ real-life experience of the exercise was. Although we knew that, by and large, it had been a success, we were still pleasantly surprised by students’ overwhelmingly positive reaction," says Dr. Lusani Netshitomboni, Acting Director of the university’s Department of Institutional Advancement.

Many students raised the issue of a lack of communication and support, which UNISA is addressing in order to avoid this problem next year.

During a normal examination period, stress is always an issue amongst students. However, due to the current pandemic, a new examination platform has been introduced which has added more stress on students as this is a completely new experience for them.

In addition, these students also had to deal with the fact that they did not have an isolated place to take their exams without any interruptions from family members or neighbours. While other students found online examinations more enjoyable and relaxing.

In the survey students were asked whether they would want to do online examinations again in the future, majority (66.1%) said  yes and others (33.9%) said no.

"This is only to be expected since for most students this was a completely new experience and the initial glitches dented confidence. However, as we continue with this system and both students and staff become used to it, it is more than likely that many more students will adopt it as the preferred way of writing examinations," said Netshitomboni.

Students also felt safer doing their exams at home, because it meant that they would not come into contact with an infected person. 

All in all, UNISA received a positive response, about their online examinations, from students.

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