Friday, March 14, 2008
DCC2008 Course Abruptly Terminated:
Image: DCC2008 Course Abruptly Terminated: Foundation classroom at 9.30 am and at 12.00 pm today
I have terminated the DCC2008 course for the Foundation class today since very few students had turned up to class in the morning when we were to have the scheduled presentation of the groups on the design opportunities in the area of water in rural India. The task was important but the habit of not coming on time seemed to get in the way. Rashmi and I decided that we would come again at 11.00 am, after the morning tea break and start with a lecture on Design Opportunities and the students present in the class were informed of our intention and they were requested to message the others to come for the lecture. At 11.00 am we found about 40 percent of the class present so we decided to call it a day and retreated to my office from where I sent out the mail to all students and marked copies to my faculty colleagues as quoted below:
I am very disappointed with the presence of students in the DCC Class today especially since we were to have a presentation of the Design Opportunities on what designers can do in the area of water. We had a very inspiring presentation from Dinesh Sharma about the water harvesting system that he has designed along with the posters and postcards made to promote the idea in schools. We also had Sumiran talking to the students and sharing with all of you the village opportunity mapping project that the Gandhinagar students had done last semester in the Data Visualisation course with me.
However today when Rashmi Korjan and I arrived at 9.30 am we had a handful of students in the class out of a strength of 75 and we had to defer the presentation to 11.00 am. I had informed the students present that we would have a lecture immediately on Design Opportunities and the various Disciplines of Design but to our utter dismay the class strength was less than 40 percent when we came up at 11.00 am. This just will not do at NID, or in any other school. I am requesting the Chairman Education to relieve me from the onerous task of trying to teach this batch about Design Thinking if we are to continue the education programme in such a lackadaisical manner. Count me out.
I spent the morning posting the work done yesterday on the Design Concepts and Concerns blog but I fail to appreciate this casual attitude to coming to class and participating in the group tasks. Some students have been regular and committed and I am indeed sorry for them that they have to face the consequences that are not of their doing.
I did enjoy teaching this course over the years but perhaps the world is changing fast (24x7) malls and all and so is NID and I may ask the Education to find another way out for this extreme fiasco. I am sharing this mail with my colleagues at NID and a copy to Chairman Education for their consideration and advice.
With warm regards
M P Ranjan
from my office at NID
14 March 2008 at 11.35 am IST
Prof M P Ranjan
Faculty of Design
Head, Centre for Bamboo Initiatives at NID (CFBI-NID)
Chairman, GeoVisualisation Task Group (DST, Govt. of India) (2006-2008)
National Institute of Design
Ahmedabad 380 007 India
Tel: (off) 91 79 26623692 ext 1090
Tel: (res) 91 79 26610054
Fax: 91 79 26605242
web site: http://homepage.mac.com/ranjanmp
web domain: http://www.ranjanmp.in
education blog: (http://www.design-concepts-and-concerns.blogspot.com)
education blog: http://www.visible-information-india.blogspot.com
In the afternoon six students visited my office, in pairs, to tell me that they were sorry but we spent some time discussing the symptoms of the student action or inaction and I asked them to spend time in the library to look at resources of past student work on water and development. We will need to meet together sometime and explore how this course can be salvaged and taken forward and I do hope we get help from our faculty colleagues as well as our senior students. I find that the dialogue between the seniors and the freshmen has dwindled and very little exchange seems to be taking place in the corridors and the BMW or the basketball court, all spaces for informal learning at NID. This too may need to be corrected and this break may be a blessing in disguise if we are able to get the processes of sharing and interaction started again in real earnest. I will have a word with my colleagues and seek their advice about how we can move forward from here.
M P Ranjan
14 March 2008 at 8.20 pm IST
posted from my office at NID