Undertaking an engineering course is no child’s play as students have to go through rigorous lessons in order to ace amongst competition. This subject is considered to be one of the toughest and most competitive courses in Indian educational curriculum.
While bookish knowledge is important, this course depends heavily on the foundation that is laid via classroom lessons.
Hence, creating a better classroom experience is of utmost importance. Here are a few tips that every educational board/lecturer should remember:
Create an emotionally balanced ecosystem:
Often, engineering students come to the fold, post rigorous preparation to achieve their seats –following orders of parents and tutors to the hilt. A great deal of emotional gap is found in such situations which hampers students from taking the required leap in order to come across radical results. Teach students to be tenacious and brave with their ideas and create a supportive, collaborative learning environment.
Free them of the clutches of over guidance:
Stringent mitigation of tasks can be a bane instead of a boon, in disguise as it hampers the thought of individualistic thinking. Begin every activity with a task that majority of the class can do without help, building their confidence. Allow your students to realise that nothing is impossible if one applies a variety of parameters to come to a solution. Create engaging and empowering tasks that various students have a chance to excel in.
Promote your engagement meter:
The act of engagement differs from student to student, so it may be a difficult task to have rapt attention of all. Be acutely aware of your record of engagement and come up with new ways to enhance the same. While, it often takes years to develop the repertoire that enables you to maintain an active-learning environment, take an initiative to create a promising start.
Promote the art of “unique thinking”:
The beauty of engineering lies in its solutions- there is no set method to solve one problem. Yet owing to the constant burden of textbook lessons, students are unable to go beyond the solutions that are written in line of ink.
Pick out innovative problems that require multiple avenues of thinking, instead of resorting to a fixed set of steps. This would lead to a rich learning experience when all students are engaged in arguing about the best approach to the assignment.
Practice using the draft process to succeed in work:
Clearly, low-performing students get used to doing poor-quality work, without understanding where their shortcomings lie. This creates a snag in reaching the optimal level of education something that is integral in every engineers personal dictionary. Promote the creation of a draft-and -revision process.
Engineers are no strangers to building prototypes so encourage your students to jot down a rough structure around their ideas. Respond to their efforts through constructive feedback and include peer evaluation as part of the advice they receive. This would help them refine on their ideas and reach to their optimal level of ideas.
Ace on the art of stellar projects:
The easiest way to incorporate the core of engineering into the student’s ever learning mind is through incorporating stellar projects. Great projects integrate authentic tasks that will help students in engaging their mental faculties to the fullest, in order to come up with path-breaking solutions.
Involve students through developing a cache of big ideas to help them create the vital links between textbook knowledge and life skills. This would help them to inculcate a progressive habit of lateral thinking to come up with unique solutions. Being an engineering student is no mere feat and with the above tricks you can easily help these young minds capitalise on the vast world of learning, assisting them to progress in life.
(The writer is executive director, Tula’s Institute, Dehradun)