Avantika collaborates and innovates with local and global industry partners, other academic institutions, organizations, and with domain experts from fields of design, technology, business, society, culture, and arts to create a unique educational experience. The leading milestones of the undergraduate program are Foundation, Discipline Core, Specialization Track, and Integrated Experience.
The Foundation program is common to all the specializations. This unique program is designed to provide learners with analytical, social, creative, and individual development. The learners develop skills to observe, analyze, critically think, reflect, work with hands, ideate, create, communicate, engage with their physical and emotional self, and find a purpose to their learning.
The Discipline Core is unique for every specialization. The program develops fundamental and cognitive skills needed for the discipline and further specialization. The learners develop physical and digital skills to ideate, reflect, create, and test, leading to decipher and decide the tracks of specializations.
The Track enables specialization in the discipline with an option of cross-disciplinary interface. Each discipline consists of specialization tracks which are based on a context and a tangible/ experiential output that can be achieved. The choice of Electives will enable the learner to chart his own path and thereby design his own specialization. Based on their learning and interest, the students will design and execute projects by translating the research and insights to create meaningful outcomes. The tracks are created to encourage collaboration and problem solving across disciplines.
The Integrated Experience envisages seamless culmination of the concepts in Foundation, Discipline Core, and Specialization Tracks. The Industry Internship is an integral component of this experience, which will enable the learner to practice the learnings. The exposure to Entrepreneurship along with the freedom to pursue Electives shall help in broadening the perspective and aid in the overall development and growth as a professional. The program is common for all disciplines and will culminate in a cross disciplinary, immersive, Capstone Project based on a real-life problem pursued either in industry or university.
Activity based learning is a subset of Experiential Learning where students come together in one class and learn at their own pace through teacher-facilitated exercises. Activity based learning or ABL describes a range of pedagogical approaches to teaching. Its core premise includes the requirement that learning should be based on doing hands-on experiments and activities. The idea of activity based learning is rooted in the common notion that students are active learners rather than passive recipients of information. If students are provided the opportunity to explore on their own, along with an optimum learning environment, the learning becomes joyful and long-lasting.
Types of activity based learning
Blended learning is a formal or informal education program that combines online digital media with traditional classroom methods. It requires the physical presence of both teacher and student, with some element of student control over time, place, path, or pace. While students still attend “brick-and-mortar” schools with a teacher present, face-to-face classroom practices are combined with computer-mediated activities regarding content and delivery. Blended learning is also used in professional development and training settings. There are distinct blended learning models suggested by some researchers and educational think-tanks.
These models include:
Flipped classroom is a pedagogical model in which the typical lecture and homework elements of a course are reversed.
The flipped classroom model includes short video lectures which are viewed by students at home before the class session, while the in-class time is devoted to exercises, projects, or discussions. The video lecture is often seen as the key ingredient in the flipped approach - such lectures being either created by the instructor and posted online or selected from an online repository.
While a pre-recorded lecture could certainly be a podcast or other audio format, the ease with which video can be accessed and viewed today has made it so ubiquitous that the flipped model has come to be identified with it.
Storytelling is an activity that can transfer emotions and feelings and also can boost thinking capacity. It involves the conveying of events in words, sound and/or images, often by improvisation or embellishment. Stories or narratives have been shared in every culture as a means of entertainment, education, cultural preservation, and instilling moral values. Storytelling is an art that has mental, social and educational benefits for students.
Project Based Learning allows students to gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period to investigate and respond to an engaging and complex question, problem, or challenge.
5 keys to rigorous problem solving:
Scenario based learning (SBL) uses interactive scenarios to support active learning strategies such as problem-based or case-based learning.
It normally involves students working their way through a storyline, usually based around an ill-structured or complex problem, which they are required to solve.
Students apply their subject knowledge, critical thinking, and problem solving skills in a safe, real-world context.
SBL is often non-linear, and can provide numerous feedback opportunities to students, based on the decisions they make at each stage in the process.
Game design is the art of applying design and aesthetics to create a game to facilitate interaction between players for playful, healthful, educational, or simulation purposes. Game design can be applied both to games and to other interactions, particularly virtual ones.
Elements of game design
Learning through play is a term used in education and psychology to describe how a student can learn to make sense of the world around them. Through play, students can develop social and cognitive skills, mature emotionally, and gain the self-confidence required to engage in new experiences and environments.
Key ways that young students learn include playing, being with other people, being active, exploring new experiences, talking to themselves, communication with others, meeting physical and mental challenges, being shown how to do new things, practicing and repeating skills and having fun.
Project based learning involves identifying a real-world problem or a hypothetical problem for the future, and solving the same over a certain period of time. Students learn through doing, exploring, failing, redoing, testing, and validating. Through this approach, learners are intrinsically motivated and responsible to acquire deeper and sustainable knowledge. Learning at Avantika takes place Just-in-Time and not Just-in-Case. It also brings joy of networking with potential users and addresses their real or anticipated needs.
There is no lone creative genius, and good ideas can be sparked by students’ interactions with diverse people, organizations, and societies. Learners from diverse fields will collaborate on projects and challenges. We will have ‘Collaboratories’ to stimulate collaboration and teaming. These partnerships will not just happen between students, but will also see the participation of mentors as co-learners.
"Edison was no lone inventor, but rather he compiled a team of engineers, machinists, and physicists who worked together on many of the inventions we now attribute to Edison alone".
We will engage the minds of learners, utilize their unawareness to ask questions, and ignite curiosity to gain information and develop understanding. Learners will be expected to become self-motivated curiosity machines. When students learn to question relentlessly and without fear, they are able to explore ways to make new connections and develop a sense of adaptability.
'What to think' - ask the learners to work out a problem based on the Pythagoras theorem.
'How to think' - ask the learners to assume that they don't know about Pythagoras theorem and have them derive it right from a scratch. Of course, the latter will be more challenging for learners as their failure rate will be high. Nonetheless, this experiment is more meaningful and rewarding as it prepares learners and mentors to solve unsolved problems on a larger scale.
With diverse disciplines, experiences, and approaches, the learners will have an opportunity to create and structure their personal learning pathway based on their interests, motivation, and passion. Their faculty-mentors will assist them in the process.
At Avantika, Workshops, Studios, Collaboratories, and Design Labs become creative spaces where learners can build products, structures, installations, machines, and artifacts to share, demonstrate, test and validate their ideas. Learning at Avantika happens anywhere and everywhere through thinking and tinkering – we’ve termed it "Thinkering".
Learning happens through meeting and interacting with people. We learn to empathize with them and address their problems, needs, and concerns. The students will work on issues of social concerns for innovative solutions.
We are at ease when we are well-informed and always seek patterns that are recognizable in order to make sense of what is happening around us. When a murky and messy problem confronts us, we are not at ease. This strong 'need' to clarify and understand this ambiguity opens new doors for exploration. This power of 'Not Knowing' leads to creative search.
Learners at Avantika feel the joy and excitement of experiments without anxiety of failing. Failure is the greatest teacher. Testing, validating, failing, learning from the failure, and rebuilding – these phases are part of a continuous process. We know how Edison is quoted to have said: "I have not failed 10,000 times—I've successfully found 10,000 ways that will not work."