August 18, 2020

Webinar on ‘The synergy of knowledge, skill and disposition in learning’


Date of the event 18.08.2020
Time of the Event 11:15 am to 1:25 pm
Title of the Event Webinar on ‘The synergy of knowledge, skill and disposition in learning’
Organized by MVJ College of Engineering, Bangalore
Name of the Resource Speaker Dr. Abhiram Ranade, Professor, Department of Computer Science & Engineering, IIT Bombay

The present education system is increasingly focusing on the evaluation and assessment of students and adoption of tools and technologies to understand how well they are learning. Assessment and evaluation results are becoming increasingly important in order to find out how students are performing, with the goal of helping them do better. To emphasize on practical learning, and all types of evaluation and assessment techniques that have educational value and practical benefits, MVJ College of Engineering organized a webinar on ‘The synergy of knowledge, skill and disposition in learning’ by  Dr Abhiram Ranade, Professor, Department of Computer Science & Engineering, IIT Bombay, with an aim to train the faculty members on the key points of evaluation and assessment techniques which can help to improve classroom practices and student learning.

The webinar started with a welcome note by Shri. M J Balachandar, Chairman, MVJ College of Engineering, followed by the welcome address by Dr. P Mahabaleswarappa, Principal, MVJCE. Special invitees for the webinar were Dr. B N Suresh (Hon’ble Chairman, Governing Council, MVJ College of Engineering, Bangalore and Chancellor, IIST, Trivandrum) and Dr. Viraj Kumar (Member, Governing Council, MVJ College of Engineering and Visiting Professor, Divecha Center for Climate Change, IISc.). All the faculty members of MVJ College of Engineering participated in this webinar.

Dr. B N Suresh, Hon’ble GC Chairman gave an introductory talk and emphasized the importance of practical learning. Dr. Abhiram Ranade started the webinar session by first defining knowledge, skill and disposition. Education involves conveying knowledge and skill and
inculcating the correct attitude (disposition) about the subject being learned. These three elements are mutually reinforcing: Knowledge is needed for skill/practice, which in turn can lead to confidence, intuition and respect, which are the elements of a good disposition.  Good disposition in turn makes the student want to learn more.

 Dr. Ranade explained the roadmap to learning where students may be attracted to a particular subject when teachers introduce that subject by highlighting its power and possibilities. He stated that giving practice problems to the students has a significant impact on their learning, as practice problems will develop skill and confidence among students. Students will enjoy the subject if knowledge and practice problems are good.

The key points are:

  • Synergy between knowledge, skill and disposition
  • Good teachers kindle students’ interest and make them like the subject
  • Course designers must plan for these aspects

Dr. Abhiram Ranade agreed with the fact that the present education scenario in India lays emphasis on rote learning. In spite of all the talk about higher order thinking levels of Bloom’s taxonomy, most of the exams are focused on memorization. Our students are still afraid of unseen problems in the exams. To move out of the regular learning practices, Dr. Ranade insisted that faculty members must give plenty of carefully designed practice problems in the classroom, as these will help the students to apply their analytical skill and overcome the fear of unseen problems in the exams.

Dr. Abhiram Ranade discussed how knowledge, skill and disposition can be cultivated among students with a detailed case study of the introductory programming course. Dr. Ranade suggested that students must first be exposed to introductory programming before they learn any programming language. Giving an example, he suggested that students may be asked to perform small computations that can be done manually. In the beginning, the faculty can start with arithmetic computations on numbers, matrices, polynomials etc. and later progress towards medium sized programs that can model a system with state, evolution rules and user interaction. In this regard, he spoke about ‘Simplecpp’, a teaching tool which is used for graphical and elementary animation. After presenting example animations using the ‘Simplecpp’  teaching tool, he reiterated that the faculty members need to make a good impression in their first lecture itself, as this will make the students fall in love with the subject. As an example, he showed the following sequence of sample programs that can assess the learning outcome of the students in terms of understanding of control flow, syntax, elementary iteration, nested iteration etc.