Question Bank As a Reform in Higher Education
Question bank in Indian universities
Question bank is a collection of questions produced by universities and examining boards in different subjects over the years.
Examiners can select questions from these question banks for setting up question papers. They contain questions to examine students both in internal as well as external examinations. Types of questions available in question banks are of essay type and objective type. Questions to question banks are selected in such a way that they test students’ comprehensive ability.
Development of question bank:
Association of Indian universities has formed question bank containing 10000 questions in physics, chemistry, botany, zoology, mathematics, commerce, economics etc. Collecting questions from previous years’ question papers is one way. Senior professors and heads of departments may be asked to contribute questions to question banks. A seminar may be arranged, where faculties from different universities will participate, discuss and frame questions. An organized way of designing, publicizing and training will be necessary for successful implementation.
Question banking is considered as a part of the examination reform. This question bank helps universities to maintain standard of education at same level in all colleges. Less experienced teachers can collect questions from these banks where questions are framed by senior professors. Teachers and examiners are continuously involved in creating more and more questions for inclusion thus keeping them professionally involved. Question banks if carefully built up can influence curriculum development, guiding in interpreting syllabus, writing objectives, building valid questions are some of the possible gains. Teachers will be trained as item writers. They will develop scientific skills not only in item writing but also in prevalidating them. More and more effective methods of teaching and learning can be implemented. Difficulties in students’ learning can be diagnosed
Storing of questions
Questions are stored in trays called “cardex trays”. 8″x5″ cards are ideal for storing questions in cardex trays. The card contains questions and statistical data about questions. It would be difficult to imagine a question bank developing it full potential without making use of technical and administrative advantages of computes. The handling of large scale computations of questions to question banks is possible only with computer. For limited scale applications printed booklets or brochures is sufficient.
A question offers a chance (i) to produce and evaluate questions on a relatively more effective basis. (ii) To carry out concurrent comparability. (iii) To match the examinations to the curriculum that is taught and not as tends to happen in the conventional setting the other way around. The question bank would act as a neutral educational and administrative service helping teachers and examiners to solve some of the problems with large scale examining.