Cambridge University might scrap the 800-year old tradition of written exams
Source : NewsBharatiDate : 10-Sep-2017
London, September 10: A few days back, Oxford and Cambridge universities were named at the list of world’s top most educational institutions. The increasing illegibility of students’ handwriting has prompted Cambridge University to consider ending 800 years of tradition by allowing laptops to replace pen and paper for exams.
Sarah Pearsall, a senior lecturer at Cambridge’s history faculty, said: “Fifteen or 20 years ago, students routinely wrote by hand several hours a day, but now they write virtually nothing by hand except exams.
“As a faculty we have been concerned for years about the declining handwriting problem. There has definitely been a downward trend. It is difficult for both the students and the examiners as it is harder and harder to read these scripts,” said Pearsall.
Pearsall said that an increasing number of scripts are having to be transcribed centrally, meaning that students with illegible writing are forced to come back to their college during the summer holidays to read their answers aloud in the presence of two university administrators. She said it is “extraordinarily commendable” that the University is considering reforms to its examination practises.
A spokesman for Cambridge University was quoted as saying that their review of exam procedures was “prompted by students raising concerns that they rarely handwrite during their studies”. “As part of this, a consultation is being conducted among students on whether computers should be allowed in exams. The consultation is ongoing and will be used to inform future decision-making on the issue,” the spokesperson said.