Manipal University College Malaysia implements Malaysia’s first fully paperless digital examination

MELAKA: Medical education provider Manipal University College Malaysia (MUCM) marked a historic milestone by becoming the first institution in Malaysia to implement fully paperless digital examinations, as part of its ongoing digital transformation journey.

In the first phase, MUCM successfully conducted the digital examination for 130 students in the Faculty of Dentistry on Feb 26, where students submitted answers through MUCM-issued e-pads.

Another batch of 262 students in the Faculty of Medicine will also undertake digital examination in March 2024.

MUCM intends to roll out the paperless digital examination format across all batches of students in all their faculties – Medicine, Dentistry, Allied Health and Psychology as well as Centre for Foundation and General Studies – by early 2026.

MUCM vice-chancellor Prof Dr Patrick Kee Peng Kong said, “MUCM takes pride in being in the forefront of implementing next-generation technologies to enhance efficiency and accuracy across our institution.

“Today, we present to you a solution that ushers in a new era of efficiency, security, and adaptability in our education system. Our students would be able to gain a smooth transition from their daily teaching-learning and eventually into the digital healthcare system in the real world.

“The days of waiting anxiously for results are behind us, as this technology allows for quick and accurate assessment, providing both our students and faculties with timely insights into academic performance.”

Prof Kee added: “MUCM’s investment of over RM500,000 for the digital examination system, together with the resources for training, shows our commitment to giving both students and lecturers a formidable headstart in digital education.”

Prior to the digital examination, MUCM had encouraged students’ digital learning via their own tablets and to submit assignments using the digital platform to allow students and lecturers to familiarise with the digital formats. The digital examination system also eliminates the need for printing of question papers, answer booklets, and shredding of used papers.

To prevent identity fraud during the examination, each student is identified via an iris scan on the epad before proceeding. The e-pads are also equipped with useful features for enhanced ease and comfort, such as inbuilt calculator, graph sheets, highlighters, drawing, colouring and editing tools.

The digital examination would drastically reduce the number of invigilators required, involving only one to two persons per examination. Thereafter, lecturers would be able to undertake marking and evaluation processes in a secure manner from any location within the stipulated period.

Following that, the full and detailed analysis of data and performance of each student would be made accessible to faculty members, enabling data-backed assessments and digital record keeping.

The digital examination system is provided by Singapore-based education technology provider Littlemore Innovation Labs Pte Ltd. Its founder and chief executive officer Srikanth Ganesan bring extensive experience from over two decades in the technology solutions sector, focusing on leveraging technology to solve practical challenges.

Srikanth said, “We are proud to collaborate with MUCM to successfully implement the first phase of the digital examination system, hence joining the league of renowned education providers worldwide in adopting edtech.

“I applaud MUCM for its pioneering move to become the first university in Malaysia to adopt a fully digital and paperless examination system.

“This milestone not only positions MUCM at the forefront of educational innovation but also underscores its commitment to environmental sustainability. This advancement is a critical step in the broader shift toward digital solutions, which will be instrumental in leading global efforts towards a greener future.”

Prof Kee added that MUCM would sustain its efforts in adopting digital and ESG principles in the near future.

“We are constantly exploring exciting ways to bring us further forward in our digital journey. An upcoming initiative by the Department of Examination is working towards incorporating the Examination aspect into the Student Life Cycle Management system, and digitalise related aspects such as issuing hall tickets, statement of grades, transcripts and other exam-related documents.

“We are certain that this would go a long way in reinforcing MUCM’s reputation as a leading centre of educational excellence,” he concluded.