Competency Mapping in Academic Environment: A Swarm Intelligence Approach

Competency Mapping in Academic Environment: A Swarm Intelligence Approach

Sushri Samita Rout, Bijan Bihari Misra
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2857-9.ch012
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This chapter will discuss and present a new model to perform a competency map in an educational institute which has moderate number of faculty members on whom the map has to be performed. Performing such a map is a tough but essential task. Hence utmost objectivity must be followed for the procedure. In this chapter the authors performed academic load assignment to the faculty members of a particular dept at the onset of a semester. Few parameters that have been considered as the input parameters are depth of knowledge, sincerity, class management, contribution towards research, text book publication. part from that one of the main concerns is the assignment is done by taking into consideration the preferences of a particular faculty in terms of teaching a subject. There are number of constraints which need to be considered while making the load assignment. The AICTE guidelines for teaching load allotment have been considered as a baseline. The MOPSO has been used to perform the competency map and the simulation results have been presented to show the effectiveness of the method.
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Any academic institute imparting any kind of course has to undergo the task of load assignment/allotment to the concerned teachers or faculty members at the beginning of the academic year or semester. In technical institutions normally this is done by some senior faculty members and the Heads of department. But exactly there is no specified norm. For large departments the concerned heads spend a number of days to make such an allotment. And the basis of allotment is subjective assessment of HOD’s generally guided by heuristics & instincts. Past performance of the faculty members in terms of student feedback, student results, years of experience etc normally contribute to those assessments.

But what are the implications of such an allotment? Compliance with the regulations, satisfaction of the departmental needs, satisfaction of the faculty members and most importantly the right map between the subject, faculty & student. Now with the manual process of allotment, most of the time the objectives are not satisfied. Moreover as the strength of the department increases it’s difficult to find solutions which comply with most of the objectives. Hence a manual allotment often results in a sub-optimal solution which leads to resentment and demotivation among faculty members.

This necessitates a well-defined methodology which can generate optimal solutions taking care of all the objectives simultaneously. In this context the most important constructs are competency, competency mapping in academic scenario, optimal solutions & objective satisfaction. This narrows down to three broad aspects namely- Competency, Academics & Mutli-Objective optimal solutions. The mentioned aspects have been discussed in the next section with reference to relevant literature wherever necessary.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Academic Load Allocation: is the process of assigning teaching load to the faculty members of an educational institution.

Competence: The ability of a person to perform efficiently and effectively in a situation or job using a combination of skills, attitude and knowledge.

Multi-Objective Optimization: is the process of simultaneously optimizing two or more conflicting objectives subject to certain number of constraints.

Particle Swarm Optimization: is an optimization algorithm inspired by the movement aesthetics of a bird flock or a fish school trying to get closer to the food source and finally reach the target. Each individual in the flock represents a particle with a particular velocity, where each of them represents a feasible solution in the solution space.

Competency Mapping: is the process of identifying the key competencies required for a job at hand and mapping it to the strengths and weakness of employees who are supposed to perform that job.

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