A number of new trends have emerged on the Indian education scene and a number of modern ideas are floating around. These ideas promise to transform Indian education. Shobhit Goyal, Secretary, Quantum University, observes these new trends and the underlying reasons for their emergence.
Outcome Based Learning and Skill Development:
Increasingly, new and mindboggling discoveries are being made which straddle multiple disciplines. Subject areas are increasingly becoming dependent on a multiplicity of fields. Consequently single disciplines are being rendered difficult and require an interdisciplinary aptitude for assimilating and application. This is however not achieved with contemporary educational landscape which is steeped in theoretical learning andage old curricula with a chilling irreverence for experimental-application based education. This very absence of practical learning has led to the prevalence of ‘skill gap’ incapacitating students to work in various domains. A number of studies have confirmed it.
It has emerged that, of the 15 million graduates entering the market each year, about 75% lack the basic soft skills and technical knowhow to execute the core tasks. A McKinsey report indicates that only 25% of Indian engineers are actually employable. Off late the same statistic has fallen to less than 20%. Aspiring Minds, in a recent survey, conclude that 95% of engineers can’t code. Consequently a number of young Indians lack employability due to‘skill gap’.These glaring figures highlighting skills gapand unemployment exhort us to overhaul the education system and replace it with something which streamlines our education.
Interdisciplinary education aims to achieve skill development thus lowering the skill gap. The most salient feature of this learning paradigm is to embrace the disparate features to bolster multidimensional learning experience. The pedagogy aims and delivers education in such a manner that the students can confidentially execute tasks that form the core of a particular domain. This leads to better professional avenues and development. Moreover the building up of specialized skill increases the chances to move in the field of research and development. Thus interdisciplinary learning helps acquire the ability to deliver goal based education.
The inherent structure of the educational pedagogy enables easily expansion of a particular skill set to a number of allied multidisciplinary disciplines. The students can not only adapt to new situations but can see themselves graduating to new levels of expertise in the core subjects. This entails easily scalable skills and employability in corporate-industrial domain.
An interdisciplinary education equipswide ranging creative and critical thinking augmenting lateral thinking, analytical reasoning,interpersonal ability, communication skills, ethical perspectives, cultural literacyand global perspectives. The greatest skill it endows is an orientation toapplication ofknowledge mostly motivated through hands on work training and real-world experiences.It helps students to be sensitized to socio-economic, political and environment issues building a deeper relationship with the world around. A student learning via this approach not only emerges as a capable professional but also a responsible citizen with wide ranging sensibilities.
Interdisciplinary learning is implemented via ‘credit system.’ A credit quantifies the learning goals as also the effort put in to achieve the. Earning credits entitle Major and minor degrees. A Major is a specialization in a particular discipline. A Minor is a subject allied to the core subject pursued in the Major or a subject of general interest. Thus it presents the students a spectrum of choice.
The interdisciplinary pedagogy is a unique strength. It works on the principle that all learners are different with individual talents and lacunae. Hence the instruction must be based on the students’ personal orientation, tastes, needs and goals. The instruction is thus guided by individual need. The hallmark of this pedagogyis experiential learningto working across disciplines. The student-centered instructionfacilitates and delivers learning in an intrinsically interdisciplinary,experiential and constructivist manner.
A novel approach is employed for pedagogical effect using unconventional methods and technologies which includesimulation-based games and virtual environments. Seminars, workshops, role play,live projects, experimental demonstration and continuous assessment are the inherent tools of this regimen.Hence a more practical, applied, experience-based education is developed.
Role of Quantum University
Quantum University has already emerged as a brand in education sculpting an entire generation of technocrats and professionals enriching the corporate and the industrial arenaand numerous other domains. The University has become a vehicle of this concept in India. The concept, already established in the West, fostered there a culture of enterprise, research and knowledge creation. It has not only boostedeconomic strength but also benefited the society in general, by molding constructive thinking.
The ’new age ‘curriculaat Quantum open a world of choice before students. Hence they can earn a Major in Engineering while pursuing a Minor in Economics. Similarly the students have the freedom to pursue a Minor in Graphic Design or any subject unrelated to the specialization. The Major-Minor combination is chosen on the basis of student individual choice and goals.
Culture of Skill Development at Quantum University
Quantum University has made skill development and practical learning the hallmark of its education. To achieve this,a robust training program has beenfollowed since the inception of the institution.Students can gain hands-on training in a number of fields. This strengthens their employability and prospects of growth in a professional arena. The University collaboration with APS GMBH (The European Center for Robotics)Germany to deliver cutting edge expertise for the Robotics specialization program is a template for our commitment to skill development.
It is evident that interdisciplinary education has the potential to remedy a number of ills in prevalent education. It can deliver students from a rigid educationwith itsflexible learning modes and subject choices. It offers a range of skills to preparethe student forvibrant roles in the professional and personal domain. It promises a new age of holistic learning and personal development.