On Open Book Examinations

On Open Book Examinations
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SHAH KHALID

In the previous academic session, the Government Medical College GMC), Srinagar started a new pattern of Medical Examination by introducing in the Pre-final MBBS tests. This was the first such Medical Examination being conducted here in Kashmir, and it promotes “higher order skills” in students and attempts to discourage rote learning. The reference here is to the Open Book System Examination.
As per print media reports regarding this particular exam, the Principal GMC Srinagar said, “we decided to put this method of Examination to use in an Internal Examination to get feedback about the whole system and so far, we are really amazed by the response”.
Various Deans and Head of Departments of the GMC Srinagar said that the move was aimed to encourage students to think, analyze, comprehend, evaluate, and create (rather than mere testing). Some medicos also said that in the new system of the Examination, one question was to formulate a workable action plan to reduce the incidence of road traffic accidents in Kashmir, with reference to a model called “Haddon Matrix” as it will be nowhere explained in the book except for a starting point on the Haddon Matrix. A student will require using his or her mind to think, plan critically, analyze and come up with creative solutions and problem solving .The new system of examination is already being promoted by Educationists in India as well as in Europe.
Some medicos explained the questions put across in an open Book Examination are framed to test a student’s comprehension or problem solving skills. (The misconception about the Open Book Examination system is that it is akin to copying). Before the introduction of open book Examination in Medical colleges, the IIT’s which are running Engineering courses in India, initially introduced open book Examination for the Bachelors of Engineering Programme. But, here in Jammu & Kashmir, engineering institutes are yet to start this new pattern of Examination.
The Medical fraternity suggested that this kind of Examination is too hard to pass, as compared to initial Examination pattern. They also revealed that it would be better if this kind of Examination pattern is introduced. Given all this, this kind of examination to must be made mandatory so to promote higher order skills in students in

—The author is a Srinagar based freelance Journalist. He can be reached at: peerzdakhalid1545@gmail.com