Local universities cancel in-person examinations, move assessments online

Local universities cancel in-person examinations, move assessments online

File photo of Nanyang Technological University (NTU) lecture theatre
File photo of Nanyang Technological University (NTU) lecture theatre. (Photo: Alif Amsyar)

SINGAPORE: Nanyang Technological University (NTU) will be cancelling all undergraduate on-campus exams, quizzes and tests scheduled between Apr 6 and May 8, following the COVID-19 developments in Singapore. 

All other forms of assessments that do not require students to be physically present on campus, such as projects, reports, essays, presentations and assignments will continue, and can only be submitted online, said the university in a memo to students and faculty on Friday (Apr 3).

For courses where in-person continual assessments and exams are cancelled, course grades will be computed based on each student’s existing continual assessment scores, said the memo signed by deputy president and provost Ling San and senior vice president (administration) Tan Aik Na.

The memo was sent after Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced on Friday that all schools and institutes of higher learning will implement full home-based learning, as part of tighter social distancing measures to curb the spread of COVID-19. All pre-schools and student care centres will also be closed. 

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As for postgraduate students, in-person exams, quizzes and tests will be converted to assessments that do not require them to be physically on campus, said the memo. 

From Apr 6, all of NTU’s on-campus classes, labs and practicum work will cease, and all NTU facilities including libraries, study areas and classrooms will be closed until further notice.

READ: 65 new COVID-19 infections in Singapore; 3 new clusters including Singapore Cricket Club and MBS rooftop bar

Singapore Management University (SMU) has also moved all classes online since Mar 30. 

In a circular on Mar 26, the university announced that all examinations would also be conducted online, or students may be given assessments to complete in place of examinations. 

“There will be no exams held on campus. You will receive more details and specific instructions in due course,” said the memo signed by provost Timothy Clark. 

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SMU students will also be offered the opportunity to decide whether to take the pass/fail option for some or all of the courses they took this semester. 

“This is subject to a minimum of 21 graded credits required for graduation, as per current policy. You will exercise the choice of graded or Pass/Fail after the results are released to you,” read the memo. 

For programmes with "professional accreditation and certification", SMU is liaising with the relevant professional bodies to “navigate the impact” of these measures.

“We are mindful that the measures should not dilute the professional standing of our students as this would have knock-on effects in employability,” Professor Clark noted in the memo. 

“With these changes, we hope to alleviate your concerns and that you will be able to focus better on your studies and make the best use of your learning opportunities.”

CNA has contacted the National University of Singapore (NUS) for more information on the measures it is putting in place. 

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, NUS, NTU and SMU are among six universities that will not raise tuition fees for citizens enrolled in the 2020 intake.

Source: CNA/hw(gs)

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