If you are a social media savvy SWUdent like me, you have probably seen hilarious, relatable memes jabbing at newly introduced online proctoring software—EXAMUS.
Those memes have become a running gag among Southwestern University PHINMA students, particularly the second-years due to EXAMUS being a demanding application.
Even I posted memes to express my sentiment about the grueling Examus experience.
Those gained thousands of reactions from fellow schoolmates that share the same sentiment. However, I might have triggered individuals who never even got to experience the damnation of taking an online test with the software.
Nevertheless, I did not post them to become a meme-lord or a clout chaser but to cope with how extremely challenging the software is to navigate.
When I stepped into my first year at Southwestern University (SWU), I was amazed by how accommodating and considerate the university was with its students.
Other universities heavily emphasized students taking an exam asynchronously but with strict online proctoring software. On the other hand, SWU allowed students to take an exam without proctoring applications which lessens the burden and pressure on the students’ ends.
This measure also gave ample time to working students who cannot take an exam while at work.
For the academic year 2022-2023, We thought that SWU would implement Canvas or Quizlet, both considerable online proctoring software, but we were surprised by an additional 400-peso fee for an unfamiliar online proctoring exam.
Two days after the Maroon Jam, most second-year students received an email regarding EXAMUS. It contained instructions and a link to a trial exam. Even before clicking the link to the free trial exam, issues surfaced immediately.
Since the pandemic started, the deficiency of mobile devices and computers has been a recurrent issue the SWUdents are experiencing.
While SWU adopted both modular and blended learning systems, the school still requires the students to submit academic activities through online platforms like Google classrooms.
In the case of EXAMUS, the proctoring software only added to the student’s academic and financial hardship.
Some students could not open the link simply because their signal was not strong enough to redirect them to the exam link. Even if they make it through, EXAMUS would have to inspect if their internet connection would suffice.
You would be in an eternal battle of waiting for EXAMUS to load if the internet speed is sluggish. Furthermore, rendering our computer windows to stream in their server was impossible.
Other students may be fortunate enough to have WIFI or a speedy data connection, but their laptop cameras, microphones, and working environment would fail them.
The EXAMUS mobile application was an even worse deal than using their website. With a staggering rate of 1.4 stars and mostly negative reviews in Google Playstore, EXAMUS is a difficult thing to navigate through smartphones.
In addition, bugs and glitches would appear when using EXAMUS—a clear sign that EXAMUS is not as effective as SWU thought.
Many students in my department and others have complained to EXAMUS support email and the school.
However, teachers still went on to pursue the use of EXAMUS because the school is yet to announce whether to continue using the software or not. Some teachers even talk about initiatives to make things work for the students’ end.
“Anti-poor,” Lou, a classmate of mine, said pertaining to the EXAMUS system.
I couldn’t agree more with what she said because it is anti-poor. Imposing such measures without even consulting the students is another problem. We could have had enough time to buy ourselves newer devices or install a more secure WIFI connection within our houses. We could have done our measures if they only consulted us.
Afterall, it’s not the school that will be using the platform but their students and the teachers.
But this begs the question, why would we even pursue this type of system?
Southwestern University could have at least held face-to-face examinations if face-to-face classes are still not permissible.
We have witnessed the influx of students that arrived during the Maroon Jam homecoming; conducting face-to-face assessments would have been a wiser move. Most students are vaccinated and already know what to do if they are in a public setting during this pandemic.
This whole situation is distressing and disappointing to us students. It’s been two years since the pandemic put our lives on hold, and the last thing we want is for us to experience more stress just because this new proctoring software wouldn’t work the way it should.
As for me, good thing I have my sense of humor and meme-making skill intact to cope with the stress EXAMUS.
I hope that those viral memes you see on Facebook become an eye-opener. May those EXAMUS memes inform the administration that students are struggling despite their pathetically funny attempts to joke about their school life.
May it also remind other people to be sensitive and to help others address their struggles that they couldn’t articulate through formal words.
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