Wednesday Webinar by Asst. Prof. Bindusree A.R. and Assoc. Prof. Shilpa Pandit

The Wednesday Webinar held on 27th May had two sessions on two different topics by the faculty of CVV.

In the first session Dr. Bindusree A. R., Assistant Professor, School of Contemporary Knowledge Systems, shared her experience of attending a faculty development program (FDP) on R programming that was offered by Spoken Tutorial Project, IIT Bombay, funded by the National Mission on Education through ICT, MHRD, Government of India. In the second session Dr. Shilpa Pandit, (Associate Professor, School of PPSH) spoke about the meta-cognitive abilities that could be developed through interdisciplinary research.

Session I: R Programming

R is a programming language used for statistical analysis, data analytics etc.  Dr. Bindusree took the participants through the contents of the FDP which included installing R and R studio on Windows and Linux, Basics of R (R windows, R script), Data Types and Factors in R, Data frames, Matrices, importing and exporting files to and from R and an introduction to ggplot (a package used for plotting graphs), dplyr (a package used in data frame manipulation) and pipe operator (an operator which allows the code to be more readable). The FDP also included the application of these tools to pre-existing data as part of the software.

She said that the FDP not only helped her revise what she knew but also gave her some tips and tricks to teach this subject through an online platform in a simple way.


Session II: Interdisciplinary and Metacognitive Skills: From retro to future focussed research

Dr. Pandit shared details of two sets of interdisciplinary research projects that she is a part of—one on Rasa and the other on Performing Social Psychology—in which she and her team interacted with a diverse set of participants.

The teams working on these projects too were made up of individuals from various backgrounds – musicians, dancers, agriculturalists traders, SHG women entrepreneurs, economists, psychologists. As a result of working with such teams, she found that the side effect of the research has been the development of certain meta-cognitive skills in her and the members of the teams. She divided these skills broadly into six categories: Meta-memory and Theory of mind, Accurate representation of the problem/situation, Self-awareness and Self-monitoring, Structural and surface level characteristics, Activation and leveraging schema and Meta-comprehension.

Dr. Pandit also observed that these meta-cognitive skills could be developed in the classrooms too, through the use of innovative teaching practices. For example, the students could be asked to create a visual representation of a concept which would prompt them to compare across different domains and help build their skill of accurately representing a problem, or trigger a new way of memorising and recalling the concept.

Her basic intention was to try and use what she learned to transform teaching and research, from what she called ‘retro focussed’ (reporting what is done/observed) to ‘future focussed’ (attempting to synthesize the research done and see what we can do in future).