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Thesis: Skill E-Labs

Srishti Manipal Institute of Art, Design & Technology  |   2022   |   Education, Design & Art

For my final thesis project (B F.A) in Srishti Manipal University, Bangalore, I undertook a project brief in association with AMMACHI Labs (Amrita University) and the Ministry of Education to find innovative solutions to help students in grades 9th - 12th throughout India, especially in rural India, learn Vocational Skills in a virtual setting.

 

As per the National Education Policy 2020, our government sought to create a smooth and well incorporated vocational training program for students to pursue apart from their usual academic board. In response to COVID-19 and the influence of virtual settings in the education space, the MOE aimed to reach schools at all grassroots levels with their virtual vocational training modules.

“People develop their power to perceive critically, the way they exist in the world…they come to see the world not as a static reality but as a reality in process, in transformation.”
- Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed.
On Education and its powers

Visual Guide

The Visual Guide of Recommendations is a prototype borne out of a need to restructure the current curriculum, to fit the mould of the online world of teaching. This visual guide acts as a facilitator to the current curriculum for Storyboarding and implements a learner-centric form for teaching. It acts as a point of reference or a mindmap for the curriculum planners and teachers and tries to bridge the gap between the planning and its implementation.

The nature of the guide is digital and visual and it’s meant to be made available on online platforms for easy accessibility to the target audience. The process for the kind of visual language was inspired by the Universal Design for Learning guidelines, published by CAST.

I was intrigued by the inter-disciplinary nature of this project, My intervention was focused on rethinking pedagogical structures for vocational education — microscopically examining how these skills are taught. I was largely informed by Literary theorists, but especially so by Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire and by Krishna Kumar.

 

For the practical implementation and interpretation of these theories I looked at the writings of Paulo Blikstein and a lot of his research.

Applying my understanding of Animation, I aligned my focus to restructure how Storyboarding is taught as a vocational skill and really questioning the nitty-gritties of it.

 

Finally, I wrote a research paper, underlining a lot of my findings, and created a visual guide of recommendations for curriculum planners and teachers.

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Process & Paper

The initial intervention largely focused on creating a proposal, a research question and qualitative and quantitative research strategies. For an introduction into what we’d be tackling, a range of masterclasses were organized by AMMACHI Labs on topics from Artificial Intelligence, Educational Psychology as well as information about the structure of Vocational Training in India. A huge part of the secondary research relied on literature, especially those of learning theorists like Paulo Freire, Krishna Kumar, Carl Jung, Paulo Blikstein and more. That was an ongoing process and found its way into all phases of the project, The legwork of the thesis then, relied on analyzing the quantitative data (based on a questionnaire we had sent out to schools over India. We received a large dataset of more than 200 responses).

For qualitative data, a few interviews were lined up with various industry professionals . The interviews were crucial in guiding the nature of the final outcomes and analyzing it’s “real-world” potentials. The research questions were then matched with the data analysis, after which inferences and conclusions were made, which are compacted in the form of a research paper. The Visual Guide of Recommendations was informed by the paper itself.

Download the paper here.

Download the process presentation here.

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