CHUSS CERTL holds the first Examinations Policies and Practices Workshop

The CHUSS Centre of Excellence in Research, Teaching and Learning (CERTL) with funding from the Mellon Foundation on Thursday 10th November 2022, held a half day workshop to reflect on how to ensure the integrity of the  examination process at the college.

This was based on the recognition that one of the defining characteristics of a good university education is the robustness of its examination policies, practices and processes.

The workshop held at  the Hilton Inn Gardens in Kamokya  brought together heads of departments, under graduate and graduate programs and examinations coordinators at college,  departmental and school levels, school registrars, academic and administrative staff, representatives from the Directorate of Research and Graduate Training and  the Department of the Academic Registrar.

The workshop was structured as a discussion with two panels. The first panel on, ‘Examination Policies and Practices’, guided and initiated debates and discussions on the interface between university examination policies and practices. It was intended to generate a reflection on what is supposed to be and what actually is with the hope of finding a productive intersection between policy and practice.

The  second panel was cognizant of the ‘Examination malpractices as a cancer of quality and integrity to university education’ and, it sought to demystify this issue so that the chief examiners are not only aware of its reach but, that, their awareness can  act  as a starting  point of addressing the malaise.

Speaking during the opening ceremony, the Director CERTL Prof. Andrew Elias State noted that it is the reliability and validity of the grade that defines the robustness of an education that universities offer to the public and hence, the need for the college to pay attention to all stages that an examination goes through.

Prof. State observed that there are increasing new  technological and other trends of examination malpractices such as falsification,  use of smart watches and handkerchiefs, examination costumes and dresses and students rushing  to toilets to read materials witnessed at the university, necessitating the need to inquire into  these new threats  to the examination  policies and practices.

The centre, the Director said, was requested to organize this workshop to learn the best practices in handling examinations, learn the missed opportunities that could be there, adding that, this is why the university was hosting a public fare to ease the process.

‘The purpose of this meeting with the experts is to discuss and see how headaches encountered by deans, heads of departments and registrars in conducting examination, what happens during the processing of examinations and results presentation.

You need to know penalties, rules and regulations and most importantly, is the results management which has been a pain and continues to taint the image of the college’’, The Director stated

Prof. State cautioned all staff against tempering with examination results no matter how powerful they might be connected and implored them to familiarize themselves with what happens at three strategic levels namely; the tactical, operational and strategic levels.

While opening the workshop, the Principal represented by Dean - elect School of Social Sciences Dr. Justus Twesigye described the examination process as very critical and dangerous one.

‘It is very slippery and you may end up losing your job if you are not careful. Thank you for coming here to learn and to be better prepared to improve our services. I thank the Director CERTL for creating this opportunity so that we can become better teachers and examiners’, Twesigye commended.

In his closing remarks, the Deputy Principal CHUSS Dr. Eric Awich Onen described the workshop as a unique platform bringing together academic and administrative staff in the management of the examination process.

‘This is a rare opportunity and the discussions that ensued show that we need more of such engagements. I thank the Director of the center for providing resources to bring us here and all participants for sparing time to deliberate on one of the critical processes of the university. Personally, I have learnt a lot and I hope a report of proceedings will be shared with Senators for appropriate action’’, Dr. Awich said.

Dr. Awich pledged the college commitment   to mitigating challenges pertaining teaching and learning, examination processes, invigilation, payment for external and internal examiners. He implored staff with pending or unresolved issues to approach the office.

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