Unisa postpones exams due to system crash

Unisa has stated that its online systems have been taken offline, leaving students unable to complete and submit examinations.

“We are still working tirelessly to get our systems back online,” the university said.

“Where possible all exams scheduled for today, 11 June 2020, will be rescheduled late afternoon.”

This marks the second time in the past month that Unisa’s online examination systems have experienced problems.

On 2 June, Unisa told MyBroadband that the examinations for “a few modules” had to be postponed due to the capacity issues experienced by the university’s servers.

Unisa stated that two examination days (27 and 28 May) were affected, with a number of modules being rescheduled to the consecutive Saturdays (30 May, 6 June, and 13 June).

The university said that students would be informed of the changes to their examination schedule caused by this most recent system crash via SMS, social media, and their MyLife e-mail account.

“All portfolios for the online exam due today can be submitted tomorrow,” Unisa said.

Server capacity

Unisa did not immediately respond to request for comment regarding the system downtime experienced on 11 June 2020.

The university previously told MyBroadband that it had made changes to its online systems to better cope with the influx of students during online examination periods.

It said that while it has experience processing a large number of exams, these are usually spread out over a larger period of time.

“It should be appreciated that during the first semester more than 2.9 million formative assessments were processed on one of our platforms and an additional 11 million on another,” Unisa said.

“The university has experience of processing such huge numbers without any challenges because they are usually spread over a period of time.”

“For summative online assessments, the period required to complete the assessments is much shorter and, therefore, the system is expected to experience increased strain as a result of the high traffic and volumes,” it added.

Unisa said that following these initial problems, it increased the capacity of its systems and rescheduled large volume modules to off-peak periods to reduce the change of this happening again.

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Unisa postpones exams due to system crash