Higher education in India draws heavily from the “instructional” methods of where single directional communication, rote learning, primacy of examination, low feedback, and discipline oriented learning has primacy over problem solving, collaborative learning and research thinking (i.e., learning to ask the right questions). Ahmedabad University is a strong proponent of active and experiential learning. We believe that in the light of rapid technological and social change, the only way to prepare students to address complex challenges that the societies around the world face is through ways of thinking, ways of doing, ways of connecting ideas and ways of becoming. In other words, become reflective problem solvers and collaborative learners in a real world environment.
Whether it is our experiential learning pedagogy (ENABLE), the Independent Study Period, or the Foundation Studios, we have been pioneering a new age of learning at the university level in India. Our award winning Foundation Programme is a unique interdisciplinary core offered to the Undergraduate Programmes at Ahmedabad University. All the students entering the University’s Undergraduate Programmes go through the eighteen-week common core Foundation Programme that builds the foundations of citizenship and sustainable living and enables students to engage with issues of society. The programme is a distinctive pedagogical experiment offering transformative, transdisciplinary and contextual learning by integrating six domains of Knowledge as Constitution and Civilisation, Behaviour, Biology and Life, Materials, Data, and Communication. It effectively provides students, not only a platform for skill-building, research, training in critical thinking, and leadership but also offers a guide to becoming the agents of change in society through active ownership and participation, perspective building and collaborative cognition.
Two crucial pillars of this thinking are:
Interdisciplinarity. We believe problems don’t come in disciplinary silos. A student, when posed with a problem, may have to approach it from different perspectives and deploy different knowledge systems to address it. They should be able to view it from social, political, technological, business and historical aspects before arriving at a solution. Interdisciplinarity equips the student to view a problem in its entirety.
Learner Centricity. Most often, educators end up doing things from the point of view of the teacher, whether it is articulating learning outcome, designing pedagogy, or building assessment components. We do not bring the most important perspective into view: that of the learner. An educator must keep in mind the learning goals and capabilities of the learner. This ensures that education responds to the unique position and ability of every learner.
Goals of the Design Institute
By the end of the Institute, the participants will be able to:
Who should attend?
A detailed form to be filled up by each team outlining their idea of the course/ theme.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Course Design Institute?
The Design Institute is an initiative of the Centre for Learning Futures at Ahmedabad University that focuses on designing courses and programmes which are interdisciplinary and experiential. They design and deliver programmes and workshops that help faculty design and implement interdisciplinary experiential courses.
Where will the Course Design institute be held and when?
The Institute will be held at the Ahmedabad University campus between 6 to 7 April, 2024.
What are the goals of the Course Design Institute?
The goals of the Design Institute are:
What are the benefits of incorporating interdisciplinary and experiential learning in my existing syllabi?
Traditional educational methods in India are no longer sufficient to prepare students for the dynamic and complex world of today. Global problems don’t occur in disciplinary silos. A student, when posed with a problem, may have to approach it from different perspectives and deploy different knowledge systems to address it. They should be able to view it from social, political, technological, business and historical aspects before arriving at a solution. Interdisciplinarity equips the student to view a problem in its entirety.
By offering interdisciplinary and experiential courses, you could become part of the change by paving the way for a new generation of Indian graduates who are equipped with the critical thinking, collaborative learning skills, and real-world problem-solving abilities needed to thrive in the 21st century.
What are the benefits of attending the Course Design Institute?
There are many benefits to attending the Design Institute, including:
Who should attend the Course Design Institute?
The Design Institute is open to higher education faculty from all disciplines who are interested in learning how to design and teach interdisciplinary, experiential courses and components within the scope of existing programmes relying on conventional modes of instruction.
Educators and/or researchers with a strong commitment to active pedagogy and experimentation. Faculty designing experiments for institutions and students who want to carry forward this philosophy of change in their own contexts.
What will I learn in the Course Design Institute?
In the Course Design Institute, you will learn how to:
What is the format of the Design Institute Course?
The Course Design Institute is a mix of masterclasses, workshops, and group work. Participants will have the opportunity to learn from experts in the field of interdisciplinary and experiential learning, as well as to work with other educators to design their own courses.
What are participants expected to come to the Institute with?
Selected participants will receive feedback prior to commencement of the Institute from their Faculty peer mentors, and participants are expected to have incorporated the feedback before the in-person event.
How much does the Design Institute Course cost and what all does it include? Will there be any discounts for teams of multiple participants?
The cost of the Course Design Institute is Rs. 8,000 per participant. This will cover the cost of participants’ meals and materials that will be used during the Institute. The pricing has already been subsidised and calculated on a per person basis. Unfortunately, we are unable to offer any group discounts.
What time will the programme begin and end?
The Course Design Institute will be a day and a half-long event, starting from 9AM on 6 April, ending with lunch on day two. Please note that this is a rigorous programme and attendance is mandatory.
Will the university arrange accommodation for participating teams?
Limited accommodation can be provided at the university guest house on a first-come first-serve basis. We will be able to offer rooms on a sharing basis to the first couple of teams so you are requested to inform us at the earliest upon confirmation of your participation.
Can I apply as the sole participant? I have an idea but no collaborators as of now.
We would ideally require a minimum of 2 participants with expertise in 2 separate disciplines per team. However, if you have an interdisciplinary background, you are welcome to apply individually.
Will I get certification for completing the Course Design Institute?
Yes, if you satisfactorily complete all the components of the course, you will receive a certification of the Faculty Development Programme.
How can I register for the Course Design Institute?
You can register for the Course Design Institute online at the Ahmedabad University website or follow the link here.
I have some more queries about the course and my participation. Whom can I contact for additional information?
Please write to Juhi Bansal at [email protected] in case of any additional queries regarding the Institute or the application process.