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KCA adopts plan to end menace of exam cheats

 KCA University Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic and Students Affairs Joshua Bagaka. [Jonah Onyango, Stand]

Universities are rethinking their approach to artificial intelligence programmes to prevent students from cheating in exams and assessments.

Reports indicate rampant cases of students cheating using hi-tech methods during entrance exams and assessment tests.

This has informed plans by higher education institutions to roll out more programmes to tackle the vice.

A new programme christened Challenge Based Learning (CBL) is meant to expose learners to real-life challenges and how to find solutions.

KCA University Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic and Students Affairs Joshua Bagaka said the learners will be introduced to real-life problems and given options to mitigate challenges.

"CBL differs and deviates very much from the traditional test papers and multiple choice examinations. They will then be allowed to provide solutions based on the courses they are pursuing," said Mr Bagaka.

He said that it would be difficult for the students to cram or cheat in the tests.

"Exam cheating is here with us and we have evidence of cartels. If we have the programme, each learner will be addressing these challenges differently," he said.

KCA University is the first institution in the country to adopt the system with Bagaka saying the aim is to ensure students and tutors always use the latest technology to solve problems.

"We are redefining assessments and will continue to use them in personal assessment exams. The exam questions will be tied to the course content and will require critical thinking.

"This is a long-term process that will require critical self-reflection by teachers with a conversation centred on students' learning environment presently fostered," he said.

Bagaka said some of the perpetrators and beneficiaries of cheating are daring and do not allow anything to stand in their way. He added that the university will always embrace any technology that will assist in returning integrity and credibility of its products.

"If any technology came with good tidings of exploring academic honesty, then our first priority should be facing and rectifying that culture."

Bagaka also called for a review of universities' grading policy. The current set up requires students sit continuous assessment tests for 30 marks while the end of semester exams account for 70 marks.

"It is time to move away from the setup and give lecturers the power to vary how they weigh their learners. The final exams can even have 20 to 30 percent marks," he said.

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