Aurora’s Engineering College has taken concrete steps for the development of students and faculty members. The prime task of the IQAC is to develop a system for conscious, consistent and catalytic improvement in the overall performance of institution.
Title : Remedial Classes for Engineering Mechanics:
Objective of the Practice:
The objective of this practice was to bring about improvement in the performance of students in perceived difficult subjects like ‘Engineering Mechanics’, and ‘Mathematics-1’.
This would go a long way in reinforcing the student’s skills in subsequently studied subjects for which these subjects are the important prerequisites. As an example- For Mechanical engineering students, Engineering Mechanics -is the core subjects which influences the learning of ‘Mechanics of Solids’, Design of Machine Members -1 ‘ and Design of Machine Members -2 ‘, Dynamics of Machinery, “Robotics’, to name some. Similar examples abound for other programmes. Therefore, the objective is important in the professional development of the student.
It has been the experience of teachers of 1st year students over the years, as reflected in the minutes of meetings of academic performance of students, that the background of students who take admission to 1’st year of B. Tech. Programmes in Mathematics and Physics, particularly those from rural background, leaves much to be desired. Since mathematics and applied sciences, particularly physics are the pillars on which most of engineering is founded, this points to a serious lacuna / deficiency in our system.
On account of this, first year students face difficulty in coping with courses like Engineering Mechanics (specially for Mechanical, Civil engineering students for whom it is a very important pre-requisite for other courses). Owing to this problem, the performance of these students in Mid-term Exams of Engineering Mechanics( both descriptive and objective), was found to be poor.
IQAC in its meeting deliberated on this issue and on possible measure to correct the situation. After deliberations, it was unanimously agreed to offer remedial classes to students with poor academic background in this subject. The approach was also recommended for a change with emphasis on tutorials and demonstrative problem solutions. The remedial classes were introduced for not only mechanical and Civil Engineering students but also other disciplines (ECE, EEE and CSE). Two hours per week were recommended and incorporated in the Time Table. In the remedial classes not only were the subject matter and its application, but the broad background in Physics and Mathematics and in its applied form which the s to some extent students were expected to possess but did not, was also properly covered.
Senior and experienced faculty must be employed for this purpose. The mental blocks in the minds of the students and the fear of failure are issues that can be addressed only with patience and experience of the faculty. This was experienced in the implementation process. The coverage of subjects in this practice is substantially different from the normal coverage which is designed for average and better students. Here, practical tips, analogies, thumb rules are more important.
The introduction proved to be very beneficial to most students. They fared much better in the second Mid-term examination compared to the expectations from them. In the second Mid-term examination the pass percentage improved from earlier 10 % to 50 % which is a decisive improvement.
Some students with poor background and capability were shy and did not open up to this exercise easily. It takes considerable efforts on the part of the faculty to establish a rapport with the student inducing him/her to open-up and get the benefit.
The extra time required for this activity needs to be accommodated in the Time Table which a demand on the human resource. No additional facility / resource are required.
It was seen that students , mostly with rural background, lacked the culture of follow-up practice at home and thus did not acquire the skills to understand completely the topics covered in the classes and were particularly poor in problem solving- that is application of the theory taught to practice.
Such students, identified through low scoring in the first Mid-Examination, as confirmed through counselling sessions were given extra problem solving sessions, that is, extended tutorials in the identified subjects. Faculty members supervised and guided the students through the sessions in a structured way.
Performance of students improved substantially in the second Mid- examination as a result of this measure and the subsequent final examination.
There were indications to the effect that laboratory work is not accorded the same importance as given to theory by students. This tendency has the potential to reduce the proficiency level of students and introduce a deficiency in performance as professionals. Upon interaction with faculty engaged in Laboratory work during review meetings and taking their observations into consideration, the following was noted.
To overcome this deficiency, identified as a result of in-depth analysis, IQAC made the following procedure to be adopted in the conduct of Laboratory sessions.
The system was implemented for all laboratory courses from 2015. It was found that the punctuality of maintenance of records, students interest in laboratory work and ultimately their performance in Final University examination have improved.