Engineering Education:Imperatives & IssuesDr S G DeshmukhABV-Indian Institute of Information Technology & Managementwww.iiitm.ac.inSession at RJIT Tekanpur, 1 Sep 2012
Opening quote…. “Quality in higher education has been a matter ofimportance,concern and priority at regional,national and international levels especially in therecent past”. Cathamparampil et al.(2005)
Speaking points Imperatives Engineering Challenges Critical Success Factors Issues : Faculty development Laboratory development Role of faculty in administration Industry-Institute linkages Employability Concluding remarks
Typical comments on curriculum Too much theoretical content Compartmentalized approach Lacks preparing student for problem solving skills Gap between what is taught and what is required Gap between knowledge and skills Not industrially relevant
Digital DivideTeacherStudent Relies on old textbooks/notes taught by histeacher Not comfortable withtechnology “Syllabus” mentality Refuses to acknowledgestudent Uses mobile on and off theclass room Comfortable in handlingtechnology –WiFi, Mobile,YouTube , iPad, participatesin blog discussions , Hookedto Facebook , Hi5 orLinkedIn Reluctant to acknowledgeteacher !!
IImperatives .. Globalization : BorderlessWorld of accelerating multi-dimensional change Quality of services(WTO,Washington accord), and Shiftto knowledge economy Role of private universities Expectations of student community, and industry Changing face of technology : Revolutions in InformationTechnology (IT)Engineering Education System MUSTtranslate these challenges through a Qualityresponse
Imperative 1: Globalization ofEducation Globalization refers to the increasing flow of technology, finance,trade, knowledge, values and ideas across the borders(Knight &Wit,1997) It has multidimensional impact on the system ofeducation. It has underlined the need for reforms in the educationalsystem with particular reference to wider utilization of ITgiving productivity and quality dimension and emphasison its R&D activities.
Imperative 2 : Expectations of Studentcommunity and Industry Bombarded with technological gadgets (Mobile, web,laptop etc.) Low retention span Teacher as a facilitator/coach Dynamic requirements of industry Gap between what is taught and what is required
Features of Traditional EngineeringEducation More focused on abstract themes Instructor centered learning Depth in specialized fields Very little use of computers, Multimedia, Internet More focused on individual efforts
The Reality!: Current Weaknesses inToday’s Eng. Graduates Weakness in understanding manufacturing processes Mostly analysts in specific areas Myopic view of engineering No understanding of quality process Weak communication skills Lack of design capabilities Weak teamwork & project management skills
Essentials for Competitive Graduates Strong technical capability Skills in communication and persuasion Ability to lead and work effectively as a member of a team Understanding of the non-technical forces that profoundlyinfluence engineering decisions Commitment to lifelong learning Skills in design and project management Multidisciplinary
Forces Pushing for Change Companies employing engineering graduates Accreditation efforts (such as NBA/ABET) Globalization of economy Engineering professional societies
Critical Success Factors for GoodEngineering EducationInfrastructureStudents Faculty
Attract the best students with leadership potential Develop and nurture students for a wholesome personality Educate & motivate engineering students to be ready:to implement new technologyto focus on innovationto understand global trendsto make an impact on societyStudents
Faculty with good engineering/science background Faculty with excellent potential in carrying innovative research Faculty committed to a dynamic teaching environment Provide faculty with opportunities for self development Motivate faculty for doing high impact research Facilitate cooperation with industry & the society at largeFaculty
Provide enabling environment that encourages high levels of academicproductivity Up to date facilities (Computers, Library, Laboratory, sports etc.) Adopt flexible and clear rules and regulations Create sense of ownershipInfrastructure & Support
Strengths of RJIT First of its kind institute Young and dynamic faculty Disciplined student community Learning culture Good infrastructure Adequate space for expansion Good academic programme: Both UG & PG Niche Programme :Automobile Engg
Implications for RJIT Move to next orbit Enhance quality teaching Emphasis on laboratory development Give space to experiment & innovate Network with other institutes Use of National Knowledge Network Stress on Research Provide ecosystem Faculty Incentive to motivate
Issue 1: Faculty development Encourage faculty to do Ph d Motivate them to conduct seminars/workhops/conferencesetc. Lab development – a priority item Empower them to take decisions and beresponsive/responsible Encourage team work Incentive scheme for quality research
Issue 2: How to create interestamongst students in Lab Open ended assignments Hardware based projects Industry assignments More emphasis on “ Hands-on” experience Increase Laboratory weightage in evaluation Participate in competitions such as Robocon, Baja etc.
Issue 3: Industry Institute Linkage Invite industry people for guest lectures Make industry visits compulsory Allow faculty to spend time in industry (during vacation/break etc.) Collaborative projects : Research/consultancy/problemsolving assignments
Issue 4: How to groom students forplacement Understand issues in employabilty Enhance soft skills Make students aware of the industry requirements Conduct regular industry meets
Issue : Employability skills Cognitive skills - higher level intellectual or academic skills (e.g.interpreting, analysing, researching) Key skills – personal skills and qualities which are generic to a range of bothacademic and employment settings (e.g. enterprise, criticality, teamwork,communication, planning and organising) Career Management skills – skills required to manage career development(e.g. self analysis, networking, self reliance and reflection) Enterprising Attitudes – personal qualities to spot opportunities and havethe skills to act on them.
Issue: Skills Expected Technical skills : Subject matter Ability to ask questions Ability to work independently Ability to identify with the community Soft skills: Leadership, Communication, team work, perseverance ,tenacity
Issue 5: Role of Faculty in Administration/Academic development Faculty have to shoulder responsibility inadmn(Procurement/Recruitment/Construction ) Evolve SOPs for various activities Individual development vis-à-vis institutional development Emphasis on high quality research and the supporting infrastructure thatis needed Sense of ownership/involvement
Concluding remarks.. Providing good quality engineering education – a challengefor an institute like RJIT Faculty , students and staff work in a synergistic manner tomeet this challenge Providing good ecosystem and environment: a must
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