In a first of its kind initiative that aims to further ease the varsity’s postgraduate and undergraduate examinees in a big way, the University of Kashmir has started the process to frame new guidelines for setting of question papers to bring about greater clarity in the content and better conceptualisation of questions.
Vice-Chancellor Prof Nilofer Khan has given her go-ahead to a proposal mooted by the Controller of Examinations to constitute a broad-based committee of academics from the main and satellite campuses to formulate a policy document on setting of question papers for various UG and PG examinations.
The larger idea, according to officials, is to have the question papers set strictly in accordance with the syllabus and have their language and content enriched for easy comprehension by the examinees.
“Setting a question paper involves more than merely asking questions. It is important to see how rich a question paper is conceptually and whether its standard is good enough to evaluate a student holistically. Additionally, it is also about ensuring that the academic level of students is kept in mind while framing the questions,” Controller of Examinations, KU, Dr Majid Zaman, said.
He said the committee is also mandated with framing a proper set of instructions for paper setters, including use of proper vocabulary and punctuation marks, appropriate assembling and ordering of the questions, besides spelling out clear instructions for the examinees.
“Sometimes a comma can change the whole dynamics of a particular question. We want to ensure that students do not have to find themselves caught up in a situation where they need more clarifications regarding questions in the examination hall,” Dr Majid said.
Added emphasis is being laid on ensuring that question papers do not encourage routine memorisation by the examinees, while special focus will be on setting question papers which facilitate an evaluator to evaluate a student on the basis of holistic and applied knowledge rather than going by a purely all-bookish approach.
The Committee which held its maiden meeting on Thursday has been asked to submit its recommendations within a month’s time.
“The Honourable Vice-Chancellor was keen enough to have this reform initiated in the larger interest of the students. We are very hopeful that the committee recommendations will prove to be highly beneficial for examinees,” Dr Majid said, adding that the process for necessary Statutory amendments by the competent bodies will be initiated soon after the committee recommendations are finalised and approved.
Dr Majid said that they are also planning to rope in academics from some GMCs as well as affiliated colleges of KU in the committee for a larger representation in the panel.