Design education is a dynamic process. It has to constantly adapt itself to match the rapid changes that are taking place in society, industry and in technology, failing which the education becomes redundant and irrelevant.
Design is essentially a synthesizing discipline. It does not have its repository or knowledge bank, like for example in law, medicine etc. Design draws its knowledge base from almost all other disciplines because of its generalist and multidisciplinary approach. Hence, design education is highly experiential in nature, which in turn necessitates an evaluation system which is not inclusive of written or oral examination only.
The approach does not adhere to the usual academic concepts of rote learning or first studying the theory and then putting to practice. It places practice before, or at least concurrent with theory. The concepts are learned and understood by doing. A typical session plan will constitute building of context, experiencing the concept by way of applying the concept in the given context, analyze and discuss in an effort to understand the concept more fully what you have accomplished and finally assimilating the experience with underlined principles. Each Course is contextualized and experiential through studio training, Assignment/task, as well as supervised fieldwork.
The success of the approach & methodology lies primarily in the kind of assignments. An assignment, which leads to a preconceived solution, encourages one to emulate rather than to innovate. The methodology emphasizes structured assignments to develop requisite understanding and experience the concepts in spontaneity. Mostly the assignment will be attempted individually to create a sense of competition within the batch of learners and within oneself. The assignments to be attempted in-group will be to expose the learners to someone else’s ideas that are different and seemingly strange as well as to inculcate openness & receptivity to learning.
The above forms the basis of an interactive process based evaluation format, which assesses the progress and the performance during the period of an assigned task. Hence the format is continuous in nature and typically implemented to evaluate specific subject areas of application-based learning.
The continuous evaluation process demands discipline and attendance from the learners towards studio timings, faculty interactions and a sense of self motivated learning. It also gradually develops a sense of professionalism and commitments amongst the learners.
The Evaluation and feedback methods followed by SOD for the performance of the learners is based on the nature of tasks assigned to learners as well as overall integrated learning & competencies acquired during the semester. Over and above, the performances are assessed when the learners have completed the requisite inputs of the specific program and is about to pursue the final graduation project. Finally the learners are evaluated for their final graduation project to graduate. The methods followed for all the evaluation methods articulated above are interactive and facilitate one to one feedback by the course faculty to learners, collective feedback from peers and the course faculty to individual learner, feedback from course faculty to individual learner specific on the performance in the specific course as well as collective feedback on integrated learning in the specific semester by all faculty and external subject/industry experts to learners, which is articulated in details in the subsequent text.
The first year also called the Pre-Design / Foundation Year is compulsory for all students of design. The student is free to opt for his / her discipline in the third semester itself. If in a dilemma over choice of discipline the concerned Head of Department can be contacted for counseling. In any case wherein the student feels that he/she needs to change the discipline in the fourth semester it is required that permission for change be taken from the concerned Head of Department as well as approval from the Head of Department of the discipline opted for. In such a case a form for change of discipline along with his / her application with the necessary approvals and an undertaking from the parent be submitted to the Academic Section.
Year 1 of the 4 year program is common across the three design faculties/specializations. The aim of thefoundation program is to expose the learners to design as a profession, thinking process and production activity. The 1st year also focuses on developing a broad view of the design world as the learners mix with learners of other design faculties. In this durationthey will also understand and practice some of the basic skills which are common across the different specializations.
Broadly the 1st year will be divided as followed:
- Context Building Courses
- Personal Development such as communication
- Domain Knowledge and Skills