SRM AP at MIT Design Camp – MITx, OCW and local content: Powerful new tools for enhanced teaching/learning

SRM AP’s engineering curriculum (through an exclusive agreement with MITx to access latest material on the edX edge platform) builds on basic MITx courses that include Computer Science and Programing; Mathematics, Calculus, Introduction to Classical Mechanics, Circuits and Electronics and Computation Structures.  To ensure the effective delivery of these courses (that include lecture videos and notes, practice problems, and exam materials) MIT conducts annual design camps through its office of digital learning.

Collaborative universities attend these camps for more effective ways to implement the course content.  Visiting faculty are trained in new technological and teaching tools for MITx course content and provided an overview of the philosophy behind the structure of the courses.

The latest design camp in November 2018 was attended by SRM AP faculty from mathematics, economics, electronics, computer science, and mechanical engineering.

Dr. Vijaysekhar Chellaboina, Associate Dean, SEAS and Professor, Mechanical Engineering pointed to one important component of the design camp, “This was the learning of how to blend MITx courses and MIT OpenCourseWare (“OCW”) course material with relevant local content.  While OCW is openly available, MITx is more advanced and available only to universities like SRM AP in collaborative agreements with MIT.  As to relevant local content, some courses at SRM AP have local requirements such as a specific topic that has to be taught to allow student to write the GATE exam in India. Such relevant local content will be blended into the MITx course curriculum.”

During the camp, SRM AP and MIT faculty discussions covered several details such as the optimal time that needs to be spent on each topic and effective methods to conduct assignments, quizzes, exams and evaluations.  According to Dr. Prakash Jadav, Associated Professor, Mechanical Engineering, one highlight of the camp was the opportunity to observe both the TEAL classroom (activity based learning) and the large traditional classroom. “The TEAL classroom is a technology driven format with multiple blackboards, cameras, projectors, and screens, where technology tools are controlled by TA’s and regardless of the professor’s teaching activity at any given point be it explaining or writing on the board,  it is projected around the classroom with over 120 students sitting in groups. Often students go to the nearest blackboard and work out a problem as part of the class. SRM will implement all these tools to make learning better for students in active learning rooms.”

Dr. Jadav also indicated that the material can be used as supplemental, for self-learning or for a flipped classroom. “In the case of SRM AP MIT course designs, it will be a combination of in-class lecture delivery plus MITx online content.  Along with faculty delivering the content in class, students will use all online content as supplementary or self-learning material and use it to enhance in the active learning classroom. Flipped classroom is where students come prepared to the class and present their understanding to the rest of the class. This will be done under the careful supervision of expert faculty at SRM AP.”

Dr. Chellaboina was particularly appreciative of the value of the flipped classroom, “It is said that the first time we truly begin to learn is when we attempt to teach others.  The flipped classroom provides students with the best possible environment for learning to learn. Some MITx courses like classical mechanics are already being taught at SRM AP where all the active learning tools are used in the classroom. In fact, at SRM AP, all the above courses will incorporate concepts of hybrid learning by employing both traditional and educational technology enabled teaching methods including the flipped classroom. This we hope will stimulate students to question and discover more.”

SRM Signs agreement with MIT, U.S. to license course materials – https://srmap.edu.in/collaborations/announcement-of-new-courses/

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