Context: Application of Kolb’s learning cycle to small group (5-10) demos and the planning of class assignments to further elevate the level of interaction and evolving pedagogy to appeal to all students.
Objectives of the practice:
Following are the main objectives of the practice:
- Personalized attention
- Teaching the students to feel confident and employ suitable strategies that highlight their strengths.
- Architectural Research coupled with Experiential Learning Cycle resulted in teaching students to not get undetermined in follow the universal styles of rendering; but to play on their strengths and thereby develop their own style of presentation and working .
- Allowing weaker students to not hesitate and try to share the problems encountered ,so that we can work on their problems, deliver solutions to each individual and help him/her explore and feel confident of his/her personal style of rendering, preferred palette and medium of work.
Due to less time span of focusing on architectural and building details: sometimes major errors were being made in the observation and its graphical description . For this the first exercise in the CA (class assessment) was altered to minutely sketching the details of the joinery in the class. This exercise furthered the understanding of scales and proportions in architectural design without getting to measure the same: as would be done in a building construction class typically.
Also, it brought out the problems of not being able to draw straight lines. To rectify this, DSB (doodle sketch books) were introduced in which the student could start by doodling and then achieve dexterity following through; with any preferred medium to render. This was continued though the rest of the semester. The students who diligently followed this, came with excellent results later. Then again, to work on the parameter of detailing and straight lines the CA2 introduced focused more on sketching of interior and exterior spaces to sharpen observations.(without the use of scale)
It was seen that here students lacked the knowledge of rendering and still needed lot of practice for the detailing. To introduce colors and medium, an independent exercise of CA3 IDEOGRAM which did a collaboration of design and graphics, was introduced.Further on, the text addition to the ideation was a major challenge. The same was advised based on the principles of the composition. The principles of design taught in the architectural design earlier were also deliberated on. Then instead of going for a common platform to have all these skills altogether and to slightly lighten the pressure on the students after three main skill building exercises, outdoor sketching exercises were conducted.Focused group teaching in lots of smaller numbers and individual attention to their queries and weaknesses really assisted in improving the pedagogy to appeal to all students.
CA-5 again clubbed the observations skills with their designing skills, which had improved owing to the addition of D.S.B s soon after the first assignment. Then the student was advised to independently sketch out the features of his/her favorite area and also submit a “utopian” URBAN DESIGN. Both these exercises a part of CA functioned as quick application of the skills learnt and thereby trained the student to manage his skill and turn his weakness into strength by focusing on skills which one was confident about. Ranging from civil and structural details to design and detail everything came together under the gamut of class assignments.
Problems were also faced in the quick application of the medium and the choice of the palette. Then the theories of warm colours, cool colours and textures relevant to the design were discussed individually with students based on their design ideations and the process of application was further clarified.(CA-class assessment).
In colleges of repute, a lot of importance is given to conceptualizing the design before the main design solution is achieved. For this various design activities are merged with the graphics to infuse the graphical understanding and colour application with the spatial understanding for form derivations of design. All the planned CA deviations and the class activities follow the same concept. Also, the pedagogy followed in the entire course has been based on the inferences from the Kolb’s learning cycle. It further tells us that “learning is the process whereby knowledge is created through the transformation of experience”(kolb,1984,p.38). The learning cycle’s four stages as concrete experience, reflective observation, abstract conceptualization, and active experimentation are underlined here.
Theory of experiential learning: learning is a process whereby knowledge and understanding is derived from and continuously modified by the experiences that a learner goes through . To learn, is not the special province of a single specialized realm of human functioning such as cognition or perception. it involves the holistic working of the triad of thought perception action Kolb’s theory outlines
- The ability to immerse oneself fully, openly and without bias in new experiences(concrete experiencing)
- The ability to reflect upon and observe one’s experience from different perspectives (reflective observations)
- The ability to construct conceptual understanding that integrates one’s observations into logically sound theories(abstract conceptualization)
- The ability to use these theories to make decisions and solve real life problems(active experimentation)
Education in India:
Disha India is working on how we can use LSI to develop the learning capacity i.e. Learning how to learn among teachers and children in schools. The idea behind this is to design a curriculum and pedagogy which helps children to understand and develop their learning; and inculcate a ability to become self learner.
Evidence of success
The results given here indicate that the poor to average and the average to good student both benefited from this practice. The practice adopted further on improved grasping by clubbing a little more empathetic solution for the new learners/slow learners. The practice of evaluating and analyzing each stage of the assignment led to an increase qualitatively and a quantitatively (almost more than 80 percent of the class submitted all the assignments)
The problems further encountered in understanding the student’s psychology and skill set were resolved when demos were practiced in smaller group and one-one discussions.
Shown below are the five sections of students , all of which have benefited from the said pedagogy. (Detail data available on request)