Design Thinking Faculty Development Program organized by MNIT, Jaipur

2020-10-28

How do I conduct a workshop for over 100 professors from all over India? Added to the complication is the fact that this was an online workshop. I will not be able to meet them face to face. From the audience standpoint, how are they going to remain engaged to a person so far away, physically, in a subject, they probably barely heard about? Well, all my fears about keeping them engaged dissipated from my first question to the audience itself. Where are you logging in from? This one question kick started our conversation. Thanks largely to the enthusiasm and energy of the 100+ professors, by the time the session ended, we were virtually in tears. I learnt so much from them when we ended our 4th session together the next day. Thanks to Prof. Harlal Singh Mali and his team from Malaviya National Institute of Technology, Jaipur for his tireless efforts in arranging this workshop.

A faculty development program or FDP is where professors learn about different topics so that they can:

  • enhance their current course with the learning from the program, or
  • introduce the course in their own college.

My objective was to share some of my experiences conducting these courses across colleges and also to learn what some of the professors had done differently for me to apply in my own ccourses.

Design Thinking as with many other courses is a hands-on application oriented methodology. How does one give that experience in an online course?

We could achieve this using a self-evaluate module. (A simple list asking them to reward marks for subtasks they had done in their mini-assignment)

There were four sessions in all. The first was introduction - where we got to know each other and the main subject - Design Thinking. The second session was about Empathize, the third about Analyze and just a brief on Solve, where the participants thought of ideas. Last session was about Test. We did see a couple of presentations from energetic professors who had uploaded their results to a shared drive.

Thanks again to Prof. Harlal Singh Mali and his team from Malaviya National Institute of Technology, Jaipur for his tireless efforts in arranging this workshop and for giving me the opportunity.

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