Amitabh Vira, CEO, Dragonfly Education, talks about the initiatives they have undertaken to bring excellence in engineering education
Tell us something about Dragonfly Education.
The idea of establishing Dragonfly Education is to set up a centre of excellence among engineering institutions. Our mission is to make every moment for students on campus, a moment of learning where courseware combines with assessment and students have the potential to achieve higher marks as a result of the total use of our combined solution, by both faculty and students.
‘Dragonfly Masterclass’ is a 360 degrees solution. In classroom, we offer a blended teaching programme that integrates into a conventional classroom through our multimedia enhanced courseware. Outside the classroom, students can log on to our self-learning portal and learn at their own pace and time. And finally, we assess their performance through our assessment platform. Digital learning adds value to the curriculum and offers faculty a chance to break out of the traditional mould of chalk and talk. Our USP is the 360 degrees learning platform for students, which is done through both innovative use of technology and a unique courseware.
What is Dragonfly Education’s contribution in bringing excellence in engineering education?
Our aim is to change students’ mindset about learning. We want to demystify engineering education, make it visual and real for them and create a process around understanding and learning. We believe that our institution is in the business of effective education. To deliver effective learning, Dragonfly is creating a centre of excellence in campus, which will impact teachers, students and institution as a whole. Ours is a 360 degrees programme, where each component complements the other.
How flexible are engineering institutions in the country in adopting these types of learning solutions?
Theoretical learning sets the foundation of core subjects. We can’t do away with them and mostly, these fundamentals don’t change. They only get more exciting with examples of how theoretical concepts have been applied by practitioners across the world, be it Burj in Dubai or windmill system in Amsterdam or the Metro in Delhi.
We need to link theory with practical assignments in partnership with industry. India lags behind as we don’t invite industry enough. Institutions in India need to see themselves as being in the business of effective education and not in the business of providing and charging for infrastructure. Change needs to come through awareness and policies.
What are the programmes offered by Dragonfly Education and how it is structured?
Dragonfly Education follows the international methodology and best practice of Teaching-Learning-Assessment. Hence we have three specific programmes for both colleges and students around the TLA model. They are
• The Masterclass courseware
• Student Learning Programme
• Student Assessment Platform
The Teaching programme comprises of digital courseware blended with classroom along with faculty teaching in colleges.
The Learning programme is an online learning system called ‘magicmarks’, which offer students the option to go online and learn at their own pace and time.
The Assessment programme starts in each classroom, where we have created a few assessment questions for each lecture. Students can assess themselves online. And finally, there is a question paper platform that allows faculty to conduct unit wise tests and mock papers using our technology, All three programmes courseware, student assessment and the online learning system deliver an integrated solution to institutions and their students.
Tell us about your institutional learning solution ‘Dragonfly Masterclass’. How does it function and what is the output of this learning solution?
The stakeholders of Dragonfly Masterclass are faculty, students and college administrators. Faculty delivers the Masterclass courseware over the faculty management system. Since it is hosted on the college local area network, faculty gets direct and real time access of the courseware in the classrooms. Faculty is also given an internet-based platform to access outside the campus. They can use the platform for classroom preparation. In addition to the courseware, faculty can access the student’s assessment platform, hosted on the Masterclass server (on cloud). On the other hand, students are also given access to the server to view courseware content with innovation learning features. The aim of this learning process is to bring higher learning quotient of a college. which is measured by improved attendance, increased number of questions asked in class and better examination results