Currently students can only access their final results. “By final we mean the mark has had an internal and external marking process,” according to Carol Crosley, Wits University’s registrar, who said that from January 2015 the marks will be available electronically.
Students should not have to go from school to school to get their results from notice boards or admin staff, she added.
Crosley said: “We want students to use [myWits] as the one source of information. The marks [are] currently accessible online but students can only access their final marks. “The faculties must load their marks, there must be some assessment there available for students,” she said. There were apparently reservations that many of the marks after the first semester are provisional results and have not gone through the external processes.
“There was no other way of knowing if I had passed or failed the first semester,” said a Zimbabwean student, Anthony Shumba, doing 3rd year BCom Finance and Management. He said he had to ask a classmate to take a picture of the notice boards because he was at home. “They should email us all tests, assignments, exam marks and so on and also put June results online,” Shumba added.
Another issue is the time in which the marks are published. Other Witsies who were approached expressed frustration over their mid-year marks only being made available to them on the notice boards and not electronically.
According to Shumba, marks for class tests like MCQs (multiple choice questions) take three to four weeks to be published, “and that is a little frustrating,” he said.
Administrative officer at the school of Economic and Business Sciences, Patricia Nowlotha said the processing of the marks is a lengthy process. “I deal with 20 courses in first and second semester.” She said: “The relevant lecturers and the marking time depends on the number of students as well as the number of questions in the exam. It won’t be fair to a lecturer to mark 500 scripts in one week.”
Nowlotha added that after the marking she deals with sorting all the results and ensuring they get out to the students.
Crosley said university policy states that marks should be made available to students ten days after the last exam. She said that this is how it was meant to be. “Students are entitled to see their marks, the release of results and the way that they come out, whether it be on a noticeboard or online is the responsibility of the faculty,” she said.
The new system is in place. “We now need time invested and the resources to make sure that the system does what we want it to do.”