27 Jun Innovative Learning – Need of Our Times by Prof. Saurabh Deshpande
Innovation refers to doing things in a novel, different way – so as to make the process seem more interesting and exciting while yet achieving the objective.
Innovative teaching methodology is becoming more popular now across the globe, and teachers in India as well are encouraged to bring in innovation in their pedagogy. This livens up the teaching session, and innovative teaching, when used strategically, can animate sessions that otherwise would have been mundane.
Although much has been talked about the need for teachers to be innovative, we must remember that it takes two to tango, and therefore it is equally imperative that student use innovative learning strategies as well. Innovation not only gives a reprieve from regular monotony – but one can also explore topics in refreshingly original ways.
It is not uncommon today to see students watching videos on a topic that they wish to learn about. We also now have interactive video games to teach or explain a concept, and a learner can play a game especially designed for learning. Apart from that, learners can also make their own personal field visit, or interact with professionals from a certain field to expand their knowledge. I have known people who have picked up knowledge from comic books! And I have learned about several topics through online forums and discussions with people in the virtual world, most of them whom I have never met personally.
Such a learning approach has its advantages. Firstly, it does not stress out the learner, in fact it can be a de-stressor in itself. Secondly, it makes learning appear cool. Finally, it makes the student understand the topic from several perspectives, not just one from a book – thus broadening his / her mind and outlook.
Our society’s approach towards such innovative methods in learning should be more flexible. We do face barriers in a land where parents and teachers demand a very straight path to study,. The idea is to show through the output that such out-of-the-box methods are as much, or perhaps even more effective than bookish learning. Learners, after all, need to be future oriented, and adopting newer strategies to achieve knowledge through innovative ways will be a step in the right direction.