Saturday, May 16, 2020

Murphy's Law and Project Leadership during Change Implementations

Whenever we use technology, we should always do a pilot. Do you recall IBA's entry test fiasco of medical colleges of Punjab in late 1990s which was widely covered in the media of that time? I saw the fiasco unfolding in front of my eyes from close at IBA where the untested scanner was put on full scale deployment without pilot. This happened despite my protest, and my eventual formal letter a few months before they were going to go full scale. This led to me being removed from the implementation team (Thanks God I was spared the ignominy on media). I have a case study somewhere.

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Why Dictators Have to Threaten the Ethnicity of their Opponents?

[To understand the context of this post, please read At What Cost! Why Compute Economic Costs of Faulty Political Decisions]
Unfortunately in their false bravado and continually pumped up by their closed coterie of sycophant advisors , dictators threaten their opponents, and this becomes too much when they threaten the race. This may be a common happening in their academies or their cantonments when the recipients of this tirade are lowly cadets or JCOs (which is not even excusable there), but is absolutely intolerable when faced with a political uprising. Here we see the false bravado of two dictators whose threats had led to huge long term costs to the nation and its prestige over the world.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Using Rubrics to Manage Anxiety Created by LMS Based Online Assignments

Open ended assignments such as case studies, project reports, real life problems that are open book and are take-home types often lead to a mismatch of expectations of the students with that of the faculty members. This mismatch can make students work on Final Assignments for even 10-15 hours, not knowing whether they have met the expectations or not. This often creates anxiety. The tool for clearly defining your expectations is known as a "Rubric":
"Rubrics are both assessment tools for faculty and learning tools for students that can ease anxiety about the grading process for both parties. Rubrics lay out specific criteria and performance expectations for an assignment.
They help students and instructors stay focused on those expectations and to be more
confident in their work as a result." Creating and Using Rubrics )

Friday, May 1, 2020

How much time does it take to write an Exam in the LMS Based Online Exam Taken in Asynchronous Mode

How much time does it take to write a 3-hour exam in an LMS Based Online Taken in Asynchronous Mode?

My expectation from faculty members is that their question needs to be a 3-hour exam, the "estimated" writing time for the answers should be 3 hours. The exam paper is typically loaded on LMS as an assignment or some other activity. It should be visible to students on the stipulated time and date and with a clear specification of the end time-date. The duration doesn't have to be exactly 3-hours. It needs to be much more as the exam is being offered in an asynchronous mode because of connectivity issues, power breakdowns and technology issues. Depending upon the severity of such issues, the time period can be extended to half a day, full day or even few days as per the university's policy and particular geographical spacing of the students. This is what HEC is grappling with in designing a policy governing big universities whose students hail from poor demographics and far flung areas where there is only 2G or even no internet.