New Initiatives and Strategies – Mr. Tapan, iTiffin


An esteemed guest, Mr. Tapan, an IIM Ahmedabad alumnus, came down to TAPMI to share some of his knowledgeable experiences with the students of TAPMI on 30th Nov, 2013. He interacted with the students and enriched them with the vast resources of his knowledge further.

Mr. Tapan was greeted by an enthusiastic audience of TAPMI students, and captured the floor instantly with his views and ideas well-fitted to foster great learning in the fresh minds.

The session, unlike general such others, was interactive right from the beginning till the very end, leaving very little space for a one-way knowledge transfer, and enabling learning at both the ends.

The topic for the day was ‘New Initiatives and Strategies’, and Mr. Tapan talked from his own personal experience with iTiffin. He not only encouraged students to come up with the answers to his questions, but designed the entire lecture in such a way, that the students themselves would reach the point he wanted to make. He ensured that the students not only listened, but worked alongside with him in working out causal effects, patterns and logical conclusions during the entire session. Rather than a helpful guide telling the way, it was more of a journey that had been undertaken together by the students and by him.

Starting from the basics of the topic, he touched upon every aspect of the Tiffin industry. From the research consisting of knowledge of the kinds of nutrition required by the body and recommended by the doctors, to the kinds of tiffins, the modes of tiffin distribution, the financial aspects of the industry, the operational mechanics, he left no stone unturned in his attempt to educate the young minds.

Professor Vidya Pratap also graced the session with her presence and her keen questions into the life and experiences of Mr. Tapan, thus inspiring the students to follow suit and clear any doubts they might have had. Needless to say, their doubts met a well-informed mind with the ability to answer, or to arrive at the answer with no difficulty.

Overall, the session left nothing to be desired, only students craving for more knowledge. Mr. Tapan was suitably honoured by the MIP Team and the students alike, each hoping for future interactions on the same lines.

Research Seminar on Student Evaluation of Teaching

Student Evaluation of Teaching (SET) or Student feedback for teachers as it is popularly known, was the topic of a research seminar conducted by Prof. Saji K Mathew and held on 4th Aug 2010.His research included analyzing the SET and its background, the different techniques used by the universities of higher education worldwide, and he compared it with the method used by TAPMI and also suggested improvements.

One of the most prominent debates over SET is “what should be the appropriate focus of assessment for the institutes of higher education?”  There are two schools of thought on this: one is that it should be at the Program level and this is called the Course (Program) Perception Questionnaire (CPQ). This method is used in universities in the UK and Australia. In these countries, course is referred to as the post graduate program. In this technique the feedback is taken on the overall program aimed at inter-institutional comparison and not for evaluating a single subject or teacher.

Another technique used is at the Course Level and is known as the Student’s evaluation of Educational Quality (SEEQ) and this is followed by universities in the U.S.A and other countries.  The main purpose of this method is to evaluate the faculty and the course. Prof. Saji Mathew also mentioned that the SEEQ measures nine dimensions of learning value, enthusiasm, organization, group interaction, rapport, breadth, examination, assignment and workload.

Prof .Saji K Mathew studied the SEEQ, which has been tested on the reliability aspect and it has been found that there is a positive correlation between the ratings of different courses by the same teacher. On the other hand there is little or no correlation between the ratings of the same course taught by different teachers.

Prof Mathew in his study also analyzed the instrument used in TAPMI on the basis of nine aspects and also on factor structure, reliability and validity of this instrument. TAPMI follows course level techniques which have some good characteristics like excellent reliability and objective assessment of faculty’s work output. But the faculty also pointed out that it does not cover all the nine aspects that SEEQ envisages and it contains couple of dichotomous questions.

He also challenged the current Likert scale of 1-10 which is used to rate the questions as it can create ambiguity for the students. They can either fill it with natural numbers or real numbers. The professor came up with a new questionnaire and asked the audience to give their opinion on the same. His questions were based on the nine aspects of SSQ and also on a 5 point scale where each number is associated with a degree of likeness. After the review, he proposed to present it to head of academics as a suggestion for change that can be incorporated in the future.

– Research Committee

Research Seminar on ICT and Education

The real difficulty is that people have no idea of what education truly is. We assess the value of education in the same manner as we assess the value of land or of shares in the stock-exchange market. We want to provide only such education as would enable the student to earn more. We hardly give any thought to the improvement of the character of the educated.—Mahatma Gandhi

These are the thoughts on which the initiative, to make education more effective at secondary level using Information and Communication Technology, has been launched by the Government Of India and the state of Kerala. Prof. Mohan Kumar , our distinguished faculty at TAPMI, is doing a study on the initiative, the problem faced in implementation and the outcome of the process.

In his research seminar on “ICT and Education: Deploying Information and Communication Technologies to make secondary level education more effective”, he talked about the book ‘Zen and the art Motorcycle Maintenance’ by Robert M. Pirsig in which Pirsig propagates the restructuring of education system to be without any rules which will enable students to think creatively and learn more in their areas of interest rather than memorizing everything. National Curriculum Framework (NCF) which was launched by NCERT in 2005 also talks about the restructuring of Indian education system by doing away with memory-based, short term information accumulation.

Prof. Mohan is studying the state of Kerala, which introduced the use of computers in government schools in 2000 and currently all the schools have adopted the model of teaching various subjects like Mathematics, Chemistry and even extending to languages like Hindi, Malayalam through computers. The project includes the initial training of few teachers who then train other teachers on the use of technology in teaching the subjects.

The major problems faced by the professor was to identify various parameters and areas in which improvement has taken place viz. whether teachers find it easier to teach the concepts using software and graphics. It has also tried to find whether IT makes high school education more effective.

The study is in its initial phase and Prof. Mohan Kumar is conducting controlled group experiments to find out the answers to the questions like whether the adoption of information and communication technology has been able to create any impact and do the stakeholders of this change find it more effective.

– Research Committee