Learning gets good, when pedagogies get better!

The learning management system, used extensively at Chalmers

The learning management system, used extensively at Chalmers

I am technically done talking all courses at Chalmers. The last lecture of most probably the last course for my Masters program was delivered last week. In all I have taken up 9 courses. Quality of all these courses has been top notch and while that is a denominating factor, each course was professed and delivered with different objectives, goals and methods in varied manners. That is to say, pedagogy for each course has been entirely different.

By the pedagogies being different, I am talking about the mode of delivery, evaluation, and to some extent the goals being different across courses (maybe I just elaborated pedagogy there).

For instance, the last course experimented with the flipped classroom model. I have enjoyed this mode to the fullest. It is an engaging mode of learning. The slack in conventional teaching is that the ”excellent resource”, that a teacher is, is under-utilized when he/she primarily confines to delivering lectures. Instead in this model, the lecturing happens at home (we watched comprehensive video lectures by the teacher on a course portal), while rich discussions happened in classroom, facilitated by the teacher. To most of our surprise, this model turned out to be a lot better than conventional lectures, which we are ingrained to adhere to.

If this was one mode of delivering a course, in another course all we did was discuss. It was a smaller group in that particular course, and we were asked to read a certain specified literature each week (which was quite complex), and were encouraged to discuss during the class, where the teacher was the moderator.

In the aforementioned two models, since the involvement of students is naturally more, the learning outcome is better achieved. The general impression of my peers is that these are types of courses that they have understood the best!

All courses (including the ones mentioned above) require us to deliver multiple home assignments and projects. The complexity of these are never trivial, and require us to invest tangible amount of time learning and collaborating. The learning management system – PingPong is extensively and coherently used in all courses, which subtly eases many chores related to submissions, discussions and broadcasting course related information.

The enormous interest and effort that goes into designing courses, their pedagogies, assimilating feedback reflects in the quality of courses. These are some important aspects that take learning to deeper levels here in universities like Chalmers, and sadly slacken the same back at home in India.