Here is a unique system of learning where the students have the option of taking up a project instead of the traditional form of evaluation.
The fourth semester B.Tech. Civil Engineering students went to the very first class of “Hydraulics Structures and Machinery” thinking that it may be like any other class they had attended so far with lots of examinations, assignments and quizzes.
But the students were in for a surprise — the faculty told them that the major evaluation criterion in that particular class was making a miniature model of one of the hydraulic structures that the students will learn in class.
The faculty could give such an option to students, thanks to Project-Based Learning (PBL) designed by VIT University. In PBL, the faculty has an option to make students take up a project, instead of using the traditional form of evaluation, that can result in a working model or a conference paper or a journal publication.
The students made miniature models of gravity dams, arch dams and super-passage and in that process learned a lot about it.
“We learned each and every concept of it which I think we will all remember it more effectively than theory based learning,” says Shivam Sharma, who was part of the team that made a model of super-passage.
Laksha Sharma, whose team made a model of a gravity dam, was all excited when she talked about the project her team did for that class.
“Our group made the model of a gravity dam using plywood, galvanized iron sheet and Plaster of Paris. Inquisitiveness is the first step towards creating something. We gained in-depth knowledge of the subject as well as the structure that we were trying to construct. We clearly understood the functions of all the components of a gravity dam.”
The writer is Associate Professor and Programme Manager (Civil Engineering), VIT University.