Leading the New Normal: Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University (STOU) to Use an Online Examination

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused chaos worldwide. All business has to adapt to the “new normal.” The education section has to be rethought as well. In Thailand, schools are now closed as a preventive measure but education is still being carried out by adopting distance education, especially online schemes, to cope with the lockdown.

The lockdown has less impact on the students of Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University (STOU) where distance and e-learning are used on a regular basis. Instructors and students are not required to be in the same place at the same time. Instruction media is developed and renewed every now and then. There are a few learning activities that require a face-to-face meeting, including professional experience training and examination. Due to the pandemic, all training sessions were temporarily canceled. However, STOU has decided not to cancel the examination and is working to conduct online examinations.

STOU’s online examination will operate with Moodle and WebEx. Students can choose to use a PC computer, notebook computer, tablet, or smartphone at their convenience. The system requires the internet speed at 4 Mbps for computers and at least 3G for mobile devices. Students’ identity verification and proctoring will be done through live video and audio monitoring.

STOU’s first online examination (re-examination for the 1st semester of 2019) will take place during 11-12 July 2020. A major test run of the online examination system will be done during 1-5 July to make sure both the multiple-choice and subjective examinations can be executed without any problems.   

All students, except for inmates and disabled students, are encouraged to take online examinations during the on-going lockdown, including students abroad in Singapore and Hong Kong. Those who cannot take part in the online examination will be asked to wait until lockdown eases.

Online examination is a big first step for Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University’s transformation to be an online university in the near future.