Technology has been a force for good/amazing things – getting man to the Moon, speedy vaccine development, the Internet1 – but has had some missteps along the way – Zoom cat filters, the Internet2 and now the EQE online exam platform….
As an outside observer, the WISEflow system/LockDown browser seemed a somewhat over-engineered and complicated solution to try and implement for the exams this year. Any system that has had people seriously contemplating removing keys from their keyboards to avoid getting kicked out of the system for using a banned keyboard shortcut combination is, in this blog’s view, not quite ready for Primetime.
It’s therefore disappointing, but maybe not wholly surprising, that today’s exam came with its own special complication when the paper was initially only issued in German for some candidates. The author of this blog post had something similar happen way back in the mists of time when their Paper C paper was disrupted by the absence of any prior art in English. The main difference being that back then a simple raised hand (once the initial worry that the exam stress might have caused you to forgot how to read English) brought the issue to the invigilators’ attention whereas presumably candidates today were forced to take a ticket.
Exams are stressful and, while the last year has clearly presented significant challenges delivering an online exam experience, today was not the start that anyone wanted. For those readers tempted to try and downplay the issue or suggest things were tougher “back in our day” IPcopy notes that all this happened in addition to whatever added stresses go with trying to take an exam at home in what would, in many cases, be sub optimal exam conditions – will your flatmate be tempted to start their naked bongo lessons during the paper, will someone disconnect the Wifi, will the neighbours be continuing with their home improvement project etc.
There were also a number of knock on consequences of today’s issue – exam breaks were reduced, if you could speak German you would have gained quite a time bonus and if you want to lodge a complaint then this has to be done by the end of the day of the exam (bye bye any downtime tonight…).
Here’s hoping that the rest of the week passes without incident and some way is found of fairly compensating everyone for the disruption.
IPcopy 2 March 2021
1The world at your fingertips
2The all consuming nature of social media