Interesting Case of exams during a pandemic

Each spring semester ends with exams in the summer, spring semester 2021 is obviously no different. However, things have pretty much changed due to the current pandemic and the resulting social distancing SOPs which are to be followed by universities. A long 4-month semester normally includes several interactions with students which not only make you remember the class and some students but also the students get to hold on to memories that were created during the course.

Trying to balance between students’ expectations, course goals, and issues with distance learning.

Scholarly part apart which gives both the students and the instructor a chance to improve upon their knowledge and skills, I personally consider the extracurricular part being something which the students remember and cherish as a lifelong memory. Distance Learning and then being on camera doesn’t allow one to exercise the extracurricular part of the course in a fun and memorable way. The same was happening with a course I was teaching at NUST School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (NUST – SEECS). The course progressed pretty normally, the class was almost happy and we were covering all the topics as per the schedule and course goals.

After finalizing the course and just a week before the end semester exam, a got a message through the collaboration platform we use for teaching and course management, from a colleague requesting to vet the final paper. This is an interesting practice with its benefits and drawbacks which we can discuss some other time. However, the interesting thing was that the colleague in question had quit and left the department months ago which I did confirm from him and he reported his account compromised.

MS Word 365 – Permissions Window

Now starts the interesting part, after a long semester of teaching activities this pretty small yet enticing incident made me think why not use this as a fun activity, after informing the concerned people regarding the possibility of the compromised accounts. I began searching for ways to incorporate tracking in MS word documents which is pretty easy and fun especially in the latest Docx format. I took time and created a dummy exam paper which I tried to look as authentic and as real as possible. Then enabled the settings so the permissions for access are in place and even put password protection and shared with the account that put in place this phishing attack.

Baby Yoda Drinking Soup Is Next 'Sipping Tea' Meme: 'The Mandalorian'
Thinking about my student’s faces as they saw the exam.

I wish all my students the best of luck and thank you for your feedback and such amazing experiences. However, I wish I could see the surprise, anguish, and cursing faces of my brilliant students. May the force be with you.


Meet team 'i-Cuisiniers' Talha, Omer and Sabahat (RTL)

They have designed and developed a really useful system that automates cooking by using IoT enabled sensor-based approach. The user just needs to fill the specially designed containers with ingredients and Volla. Then from anywhere and anytime (even schedule it), they can just tap a button and the cooking starts. Even you can monitor the process via live feed and reading. If you want to learn more about this and many amazing projects, Do join us at our Computer Science Open House at COMSATS University Islamabad on December 19th, 2019.

Meet team ‘i-Cuisiniers’ Talha, Omer and Sabahat (RTL)

HL7 Annual Symposium 2019 Pakistan – August 5, 2019, SEECS NUST H12 Pakistan

SEECS NUST being an active member of HL7 Pakistan along with Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital & Research Centre, Lahore and COMSATS University Islamabad has organized annual HL7 International symposium on August 5, 2019. HL7 Pakistan is a non-profit organization with the vision of making healthcare systems interoperable by adopting health standards such as Health Level Seven (HL7). 

This symposium is organized to present HL7’s activities within Pakistan as well as abroad for providing International standards & specifications, memberships, training, and certifications to enable advanced interoperable eHealth solutions, adaptable to national health systems through localization. This year Health Information Systems and HL7 Standards such as Fast Health Interoperability Resource (FHIR) and FAIR Sharing of Biomedical Big Data for Reproducibility will be a special focus.

The event is scheduled for August 5, 2019, at 0830 hours and the venue is set to be School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, NUST H12, Islamabad (via Gate 1) You are therefore invited to register and participate on August 5th, 2019. 
Payment can be done at the site during registration though it will be much appreciated if prospective participants can register prior to the event

HL7 Annual Symposium 2019 Pakistan – August 5, 2019, SEECS NUST H12 Pakistan