Project Based Learning for teaching courses in Mechanical Engg. at NMAMIT, Nitte – A tool for effective implementation of NEP
National Education Policy (NEP-2020) is being touted to change the landscape of education in India, bringing back the glory of the old Indian education system, particularly those during the times of Nalanda and Takshashila. The vision clearly emphasizes the need to have a ‘globally relevant’, ‘India centric’ education system that will provide education to all, which is sustainable, equitable, vibrant and of high quality. If we look at the fundamental principles of the policy, it emphasizes multi-disciplinary and holistic education, where the emphasis is on conceptual understanding, creativity, critical thinking, promoting lifelong learning, communication, cooperation and team work among the students. The goal is to transform the education landscape of the country, making our education at par with the best education systems in the world. This requires a transformational leadership.
NMAM Institute of Technology, Nitte has been providing this kind of leadership since the last 36 years and has adopted all the changes necessary to provide quality technical education to the students. It has also taken the lead to implement NEP through the formal curriculum recommended by the affiliating University and has taken measures at the institution level, to implement the same. Since NMAMIT is an autonomous institution, the departments offering the programs at UG & PG level are free to make changes in their curriculum and offer the best possible content, assessment and evaluation.
The Department of Mechanical Engineering, NMAMIT has taken several measures and initiatives to improve the curriculum, course content, assessment methods, additional learning, providing resources etc. To support the institutional effort in successful implementation of NEP 2020, the Department last year decided to adopt Project Based / Problem Based Learning (PBL) pedagogy for teaching / assessing a few courses every semester. Accordingly, Basic Thermodynamics in III semester, Metrology & Measurements in V semester and Introduction to Machine Learning in VII semester have been selected. The implementation is almost over as we are now at the end of the odd semester. The faculty implementing this pedagogy have identified a few problems / projects which can be given to a group of students for solving / implementing during the semester. The students have been oriented to understand this pedagogy and how the problems need to be solved / implemented. A rubric has been developed to evaluate the progress of the students. Regular meetings and interactions are held with the students, to understand the progress. The evaluation is for 20 marks out of the total 50 marks of the continuous internal evaluation component. Considering an example case, for a particular course all the forty students have done well and have scored 15 marks or more, out of 20. The feedback collected from the students revealed that more than 90% students know about this pedagogy; more than 90% would like to have project as a part of their course; more than 95% felt that projects help them to understand the concepts better; more than 80% students felt that this pedagogy should be adopted in teaching other courses and more than 90% students felt that this pedagogy of PBL helped them to improve their technical, interpersonal and management skills. Thus, adoption of this new pedagogy will definitely promote effective implementation of NEP. The Department has made the right decision and hopes to pursue this with more rigor in the future, to make the budding engineers ‘profession ready’ and face the challenges of the outside competitive world.
By: Dr. Srinivasa Pai P
Dept. of Mechanical Engg, NMAMIT