IITB Central Library 2.0 Service

At IIT-B , teachers may soon wink at bunkers

Posted on: December 20, 2010

By Times Of India

MUMBAI: There are all kinds of informal segregation seen on college campuses: freshers versus settlers, top graders who sneer at canteen crawlers, book club members who won’t come within a hockey stick’s length of a ball player, and what have you.

But for a change, students at the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay ( IIT-B ) will now draw a distinction among faculty members and decide their cool quotient based on the decision each professor takes on attendance rules.

Till date, students who did not have a minimum of 80% attendance were awarded an XX grade and failed in that course. Students had to repeat the course before they were allowed to take the semester exam.

But with IIT-B reviewing its attendance policy through a senate committee convened by Abhiram Ranade, a professor in the department of computer science and engineering, faculty now have the freedom to take a call on either penalizing students for bunking class or letting it pass. The policy was broadly cleared by the senate recently and will soon come into effect.

While faculty members can choose their own attendance plan, they will be required to declare the same at the start of the academic session. There are three plans a teacher can pick from.

“It has to be made clear here that the benefits of attending a class will be extolled. Every faculty member will apprise students of the benefits of attending. But there could be faculty members who could choose not to penalize students for the lack of attendance,” said associate dean (academic programmes) Vikram Gadre.

Attendance now a hot button issue

Teachers could either continue with the current practice of awarding the humiliating XX grade, or ignore the class strength completely or penalize students by depreciating their grade.

The undergraduate and postgraduate programmes committees would work out the modalities for the last option before the scheme is implemented.

“The committees will decide on the manner in which the grade penalty should be exercised. Students are evaluated on a range of components-assignments , quizzes, mid-semester evaluation. But say, if a candidate is short of attendance, then the overall grade would be brought down a few rungs,” said Gadre.

While the problem of poor attendance is varied across courses and years, it is clear that attendance, which was a non-issue in the packed classrooms of IIT-B just a few years ago, is now a hot button. A couple of years ago, internet usage was restricted till midnight as students were skipping early morning classes . Now, the institute has decided to install biometric machines outside all lecture halls and laboratories.


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