The context is different in Tanzania
Zainab Karimjee is a second-year Public Governance student. She has been studying in Tanzania, her home country, since March. How has she experienced online education and examination these past months?
Winter 2020-2021 | To save six months of rent seemed like a good idea to Zainab Karimjee. That is why she chose to go back to Tanzania when classes were taught online. “But it turned out difficult to study here due to regular power outs and a two-week lack of internet access during the Tanzanian elections. Overall, the internet connection is not optimal here. I also find it hard to study and stay motivated. I used to be the girl busy with colorful markers, but not anymore.”
A lecturer can wrongly think that I am not dedicated. The context in Tanzania is completely different from the Netherlands.
She does her studies on her bed. “But watching video lectures and reading books just is not the same as taking lectures on campus. You can’t compare it. I miss the interaction and would appreciate it if lecturers put in more effort to stay connected with their students. Yes, I can ask questions, but it is not the same as discussing an issue together. One teacher uses weekly assignments that he discusses online. I manage to keep up with his course. But there are courses that don’t even lead up to a grade. I am not motivated to study for those courses."
I miss the interaction. Yes, I can ask questions, but it is not the same as discussing an issue together.
"Furthermore, I am two weeks behind because of the absence of internet during the elections. I can watch most video lectures at a later time, but some are live streams. A lecturer can wrongly think that I am not dedicated. The context in Tanzania is completely different from the Netherlands.”
This academic year, examinations are administered with online proctoring. Before the summer, it was without. Online proctoring monitors the student for the total duration of the exam via microphone, webcam and/or access to the student’s screen.
Zainab: “I didn’t prepare in a different way for this type of examination. I did experience practical issues during the exams. The online proctoring uses up internet bandwidth which causes the exam to jam regularly. I think that is the reason why I got picked out for further fraud assessment. Of course I didn’t commit any fraud, but it took a month longer to get my grade.”
Of course I didn’t commit any fraud, but it took a month longer to get my grade.
Everybody the same
Hopefully Zainab will experience fewer practical and internet issues when she is back in Tilburg. “I will be able to see my friends. I miss them. An advantage of online education is that I am able to schedule my own time, a disadvantage is that you lose the connection with your program in a way. Am I still on the right track? It is more difficult to know now. I don’t mind online examination, it is not ideal but I understand that it is necessary. I would like it if the policy was the same for all students. Some got to take examinations on campus. It is fairer if everybody takes exams either online or on campus.”
It is fairer if everybody takes exams either online or on campus.