Thursday, August 21, 2008

New Media as an elective at BITS Pilani

Thursday, August 21, 2008
Electives form an integral part of the academic structure. I would consider myself lucky to be in an institute like BITS Pilani. The vast number of electives it offers its students is almost intimidating. Besides, for some, who landed in Pilani accidentally because they somehow managed to clear the exam, and absolutely detest all the courses that form the part of their curriculum (since everyone might not get the branch of their choice), electives provide solace and possibly a hike in the CGPA(cumulative grade point average).

According to me, the students have as much of a right to demand an elective (given the constraints of the college of course). What I mean is that the college academic board should take feedback from the students regarding what sort of courses would they be interested in. BITS Pilani has a special set of technical electives under the category Emerging Areas(EA). I would love to see New Media under EA. BITS Pilani has a large number of bloggers. While many do it for the joy of typing out their thoughts for the world to read, there are some who seriously need the internet to survive and feel orphaned without digital media. One could start it off as an Audit Course(one which doesn't affect your CGPA and you either pass it or you don't) and then possiby make it a regular course based on the response. As part of the course students can be taken to blog camps in Delhi on a weekend(unconferences are usually held on a sunday/saturday) or probably invite successful bloggers/social media experts etc.

Obviously it goes without saying that the instructor has to be someone in the middle of all the action. Because of this, getting a teacher to the campus is going to be a big problem. I suggest then to organise classes via skype(what better way to lear new media, than to actually use it for teaching). Obviously this is just me thinking out loud.

It's time we start experimenting.

And echoing Rachit's thoughts, we should have our own blog aggregator.

7 comments:

theemptyvessel

yeah, bits indeed has a hell lot of bloggers! This is a great idea in fact. You might get a prof or two who is interested as well, you never know...

sumant

There's the one obvious catch. Who's going to do the teaching? There's next to nobody in India with the experience, vision or understanding of the subject to teach it to students. The students would probably pwn the instructor in about 5 minutes.

rishabh

sap: dunno bout bitsian professors man :)

sumant: hence the idea of web conferences, though yes bandwidth here is pathetic. Its going to be tough to even suggest such an elective. Though we have frequent conf. via skype, where we invite alumni abroad to give talks on various topics.

I think skype or any other VOIP has restrictions in India now.

rishabh

sap: dunno bout bitsian professors man :)

sumant: hence the idea of web conferences, though yes bandwidth here is pathetic. Its going to be tough to even suggest such an elective. Though we have frequent conf. via skype, where we invite alumni abroad to give talks on various topics.

I think skype or any other VOIP has restrictions in India now.

Akash

It is actually possible to convince some alums to do the same. For example, Mr. Adil Mistry, a 74 batch alum, took up "Creative Multimedia" as an elective at the Goa Campus (Sem 1, 2008-2009). He is in Goa for a sem for it.
http://www.bits360.com/forum/new-elective-creative-multimedia-t2866.html

Mr Tapan Desai, another alum from 70's batch, is taking 2 other courses at Goa, which are equally relevant and interesting for the students. Am sure it would be possible to convince other alums to do the same... :)

Anonymous

Tapan Desia is 74-79 alum same as Adil Mistry who is also 74-79

rishabh

Akash: Nice point, though I dont know currently how many bitsians are working in the field of New Media, but then there's always BITSAA to find out.

Btwits really nice to hear that alumni are coming to the campus and teaching. We had a couple of guys come here too.

 
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