Fractional Choice-Based Credit System: A Learner-Centric Approach

Fractional Choice-Based Credit System: A Learner-Centric Approach

Prashant Borkar (G. H. Raisoni College of Engineering, Nagpur, India) and Meenakshi Arya (SRM Institute of Science and Technology, Vadapalani, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-4784-7.ch011
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Abstract

The key change brought by fractional choice-based credit system (F-CBCS) is making the learning process ‘learner-centric'. It allows learners to choose inter- and intra-disciplinary courses and provides more flexibility for students to study at different times and at different institutions to complete a course, thereby providing ease of mobility to students. It allows students to choose courses from group, namely program core, program elective, institute core, institute elective, and ability enhancement courses. It gives learner to opt for honors and minors and provides flexibility to complete degree programme at accelerated space. Designing a learning assessment framework is one critical criteria for educational institutions trying to seek NAAC or NBA accreditation. Many of the organizations lack in formalizing the process whose end results are key input to mapping process of learning outcomes assessments. This chapter will provide a comprehensive architecture, strategies, and design approach towards effective implementation of F-CBCS and learning outcomes assessments.
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11.1 Introduction

New Education Policy (NEP), an initiative by Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) to bring reforms in the Indian Education System and University Grants Commission (UGC) is more actively involved in the developing policies for higher education. UGC has already played a key role to bring academic excellence, equity and efficiency in National Higher Education System (P. Tulsi and M. Poonia, 2015). Improvement in course-curriculum, focus on innovation, paradigm shift in teaching and learning process, code of conduct for examinations and the overall education system. In India, there are many educational institutions/ universities who are engaged in imparting the education and effective education system plays a crucial role in building of any nation. In previous days education system was yearly basis and now the paradigm has shift and almost everyone has adopted semester wise system which was already been adopted at international level (Dillon et al., 2000). However we can now observe that learners/ students are lacking in confidence, technical and non-technical skills, necessary basic knowledge and ethics. One prominent reason can be lack of implicit relationship between education system, skill developments initiatives and employments. Today’s demand is of globally followed education pattern namely ‘learner-centric approach’ and it can be effectively achieved by adopting Choice Based Credit System (CBCS).

In India, majority of higher education’s institutions/ universities are still following marks based/ percentage based patterns in evaluation system and it generally obstructs the learner to learn the courses of their choice, mobility to other educational institutions or industries, rigid rules for course selections and promotions to next semester, limitations in examination pattern etc. In the benefit of learners, there is indeed need for flexible higher education system wherein learners can learn based on their choice, their goals, they can opt for other discipline courses, and skill based courses, courses through government initiatives (e.g. SWAYAM). With internationally adopted system CBCS, this can be possible. The choice based credit system gives holistic picture of development of learner wherein learner can learn courses of his/her choice and mobility and flexibility in education pattern (S. Kulkarni and S. Patil, 2018).

Fractional-Choice Based Credit System (F-CBCS) adopted by IIIT Hyderabad and it gives flexibility in term of covering wide variety of courses but not in depth. F-CBCS involves courses which institute may run in phases, if a semester as considered to be of 90 days then there might be few courses which is of either 0.5 or 1 credits and can run only for one and half months (phase I) followed by its complete evaluation. Upon completion of phase I courses, institute may offer another set of courses which will run for next one and half months (Phase II) and in parallel there are routine courses which will run through-out the session (90 days). By combining phase I, II and routine courses there may be more number of courses learner will run in a session and which sub-sequent results in covering wide range of technical and non-technical knowledge.

11.1.1 Pros of F-CBCS

  • Paradigm shift from teacher centric approach towards learner centric

  • Learner may register for many credits and even courses of higher semester (if offered) based in intellectual capacity and for slow learners, number of credits registered will be less.

  • It allows students to learn wide variety of courses through case based learning (Martinez-Garcia et al., 2012).

  • Learners may opt of Minors (learners registered for core courses of other discipline), Honor’s (learners registered for additional courses of intra-discipline either undergraduate or post-graduate) and Dual Minor (learners registered for core courses of other two disciplines)

  • If the term work of learner is not satisfactory then learner can re-register the course wherever it is offered in sub-sequent semesters.

  • If the learner fails in particular course, then learner can only appear for the examination in next semester or if learner wish he/she can re-register the course.

  • F-CBCS is holistic approach wherein learner can study the courses which will improve the communications skills, employment skill, other technical skill sets, research methodology, hobby courses, foreign languages etc (Mitchell, Canavan and Smith, 2010).

  • F-CBCS gives flexibility to complete courses from MOOC’s (Hernandez et al., 2019), Industries and through mobility program at other institutions (CTS – Credit Transfer Scheme)

  • Moving from a fixed time table to a slot based timetable wherein learner will be able to choose the time slots he/she wants to attend a course.

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