The Students’ Representative Council (SRC) of the University of Ghana, Legon, acting on behalf of all students has submitted a proposal to the management of the university for a possible review of the grading system for the second semester of the 2019/2020 academic year.
“After thoughtful consideration and extensive consultation coupled with data collected from the students concerning their experience with this new system of teaching and learning, it was prudent for a corresponding adjustment to the current grading system,” a statement signed by SRC President Isaac Agyeman said.
The student body said they have thoughtfully considered and consulted students concerning their experience since the adoption of e-learning platforms for teaching and learning as a result of the closure of schools amidst coronavirus pandemic.
Currently, the University uses a grading system where 80 per cent to 100 per cent amount to an ‘A’ with 75 per cent to 79 per cent and 70 per cent to 74 per cent amounting to ‘B+’ and ‘B’ respectively.
But the SRC is proposing that grade ‘A’ should be pegged at 70 per cent mark.
According to them, this is a necessary change due to the many challenges students face in accessing and using the online platform for their school exercises.
Among these challenges include the non-availability of internet services in some parts of the country and some students’ lack of laptops, coupled with other disabilities had already disadvantaged a significant number of students.
“Generally, quizzes conducted during this period are short time-bound, which ordinarily would not have been so should we be in school.
“Unstable network and disruptions on the SAKAI LMS platform interfere sometimes and even if it affects 1% of the student population, it’s still going to have a toll on that section of students,” this they say would affect the academic performance of these individuals negatively.
The SRC also stated that the multiple assignments given to students with very limited time for submission had left no ample time for students to adequately study in preparation for the upcoming exams.
“Every single week students have multiple assignments which give them very little time to study. They only read to answer the assignments in most cases. There’s, therefore, the tendency that should the end of the semester be time-bound quizzes, which we believe most would, some will be unfavoured in that regard.”
In addition, they shared their concerns about some lecturers deviating from the university management’s earlier laid-out plan for exams.
According to the SRC, management had made it clear that exams will be take-home tests, however, some lecturers had started notifying students of their intention to use “real online tools” to conduct exams instead.
They are therefore calling on management to “ensure all lecturers abide by the agreed modality for examinations,” and that lecturers, be strictly advised not to use only time-bound quizzes in their continuous assessments for students as the platform has proven to be unresponsive when there’s a lot of traffic on the site.
Furthermore, the SRC stated that due to the inconvenient conditions some students may face at home, the newly adopted exam’s structure may not be fair to these students.
The SRC indicated that they are waiting upon the swift response of the school’s management to put everything in order for a smooth and fair online examination experience for students.
Below is the proposed grading system for the second semester: