Arvind Mallik's innovative teaching methods find no support from PES Institute of Technology and Management, and all his initiatives are personal.
In the classroom of a private engineering and management college in Shivamogga in central Karnataka, students got a glimpse of virtual reality (VR) thanks to a young professor, Arvind Mallik. In a VR pilot he ran last year, Mallik showcased the impact of the technology in influencing “consumer behaviour” by changing perceptions.
Mallik, a techno-optimist and assistant professor at PES Institute of Technology and Management, Shivamogga, loves experimenting with teaching methodologies. Armed with the learnings garnered from the pilot, he now wants to integrate VR better in an upcoming course on integrated marketing communication.
Mallik has won many awards and found himself a place in the India Book of Records for his innovative teaching methods. And the students love his sessions, which reflects in their high pass rate — 97%.
But Mallik still finds himself shackled in the constraints of a conservative education system.
“The education industry is getting dragged by old hedgehogs. They don’t want to move even one step away from their current direction, forget taking a larger leap” — Arvind Mallik
Although not bogged down by the lack of support, Mallik feels that his initiatives will remain limited and ad-hoc because this apathy from the institution
Mallik’s tryst with technology started when he joined academics in 2011 and decided to create his own brand of teaching to differentiate himself from his peers. Since then, he’s been experimenting with what he views as the best way to make education “interesting and practical.”
He started out by latching on to the trending “flipped classrooms” concept and converted his classroom sessions on ‘How to build a startup’ into practical workshops, leaving the students to do textbook reading and watch video lectures in their own time. He created mock startup teams and even gave the the students designations, and then asked these imaginary startups to pitch their ideas and come up with a vision and a plan on how to take the business forward. At the end of the course, the teams had to pitch their businesses to a panel.
He then started videotaping his classroom sessions, built a website for himself (ednext.in) and started sharing the videos of his classes with his students. With WhatsApp gaining popularity over the last few years, he started using it extensively to share content and enable conversations beyond the classrooms.
His penchant for experimenting with technology is only matched by his zeal to collect awards. He has won five national awards and three international awards for his teaching experiments, apart from setting five world records. Soon, he plans to apply to the Limca Book of Records as well.
At times, his techno-optimism sounds too giddy, perhaps even gimmicky. He reels off terms like “design thinking”, “flipped classrooms” and “virtual reality” in staccato bursts. Do these ultimately serve the purpose of providing great learning outcomes?
Mallik says that the students enjoy the experience. “More importantly, I have a 97% pass rate among the students in my class,” he says, revealing that ultimately he had to revert to the staid definitions of learning success that the institute mandates.
Mallik says that the students enjoy the experience. “More importantly, I have a 97% pass rate among the students in my class,” he says