DSSE Faculty Workshop: Designing Student Centered Learning Experience

DSSE Faculty Workshop

In designing a learning experience, faculty members sometimes tend to emphasize content and lose sight of the people who will go through the experience. To bring the focus back on the students, a three day workshop on Designing Student Centered Learning Experience was hosted at the playground, inspired by the workshop conducted at the Olin College. From 9-11 August, the entire faculty of Dhanani School of Science & Engineering at Habib University was put in the students’ shoes by participating in specially designed activities and by interviewing students. The workshop covered tools that instructors can use in designing student centered learning experiences. Which included teaming, setting project goals, and creating student personas. The workshop was highly experiential and enjoyed thoroughly by the instructors.


Darryl Yong Workshop

In January 2019, the University organized a series of workshops that aimed to facilitate the students, and faculty develop the Centre of Pedagogical Excellence (CPE). Dr. Darryl Yong, Director of Claremont Colleges Center for Teaching and Learning, and Professor of Mathematics at Harvey Mudd College, conducted these workshops. Dr. Yong conducted interactive workshops, focus groups and training sessions for faculty and students at playground to help them develop a white paper for the Centre of Pedagogical Excellence. He also shared some of the best teaching practices aimed at pedagogical improvement and excellence.

For the faculty, there were organized group sessions to gain feedback and develop a shared understanding about the parameters for the Centre for Pedagogical Excellence, understand its intended mission, goals, and constraints. The next part of the faculty workshops consisted of designing transparent syllabi and assessment methods for courses. The workshop encouraged “demystifying” the learning process by being more transparent to students about goals and expectations for their learning. In this workshop, participants looked at examples of assignments that have been redesigned to be more transparent to students and then engage in peer review of each other’s’ assignments. The goal for participants was to gain practical strategies for increasing student learning and share their ideas with their colleagues.

For students, the goal of meeting was to learn the aspects of learning and assessment tools that go well for them and what they would like their instructors to know about their learning. The information gathered from this meeting was to come in to use for the advancement and improvement in the current teaching methodologies.

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IFTP 2019 Write Up

IFTP Write up

Invent for the Planet 2019 was a three-day intensive design event happening at Habib University’s Playground, an interdisciplinary and flexible space, from Friday, 15th February to Sunday 17th February 2019 where students compete in teams with each other and with teams worldwide. Participants were given the challenge of coming up with solutions of a range of real-world issues which included improving the quality of life, advance personalized learning, providing access to clean water, preventing loneliness, enhance virtual reality, smart elderly care, equipping rural medical workers, connecting the world and aircraft structures.

The students had faculty and industry mentors to guide them through the intense 48-hour challenge until the final presentation. The idea behind the whole event was to provide the students with the right skillset which is imperative to gain success in innovation, leadership and to help them shape their futures. Habib University is the only institution in Pakistan that collaborated with Texas A&M University and 31 other universities worldwide for this two-day long competition. Twelve teams of students from Habib University came up with twelve different solutions for pressing global issues which included web and digital applications to solve issues like problems students have with standardized curriculums, for preventing loneliness, to help in preparing cities for health epidemics and problems, to solve problems of fake news, and to help farmers in rural areas despite connectivity limitations.

Team Zindagi was first. They presented a solution for improving the quality of life by insulating households in a cost-effective and environmentally-friendly manner. Team Sehraab was second. They attempted to solve the issue of irrigation and communication in remote areas of Pakistan without cellular coverage with emerging, internet of things (IOT) technology. Team Shaffaf was third. They presented a prototype for a system to clean water in low-income areas by treating sewage.#ShapingFutures

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Codeblue is one of the pioneering conferences which hopes to attempt at resolving water crisis in Pakistan with the help of science, technology and engineering. Encompassing policy/decision makers and communities, it is a platform where businessmen and citizens collaborate to look for indigenous solutions to water crisis of Pakistan.

The conference was held on the 9th of March, 2019. It was divided into two halves. The first half consisted of a series of talks and panel discussions which included some renowned people such as Dr. Erum Sattar, Saud Hashmi, Taj Haider and Dr. Farooq Sattar. The panel discussed on variety of topics including Management of River Indus, the Myth about Water Shortage and Technical Solutions to Attain Efficiency. Their talks aimed to give an administration perspective and was met with participation from the audience, making it quite an exciting segment.

The second half consisted of a “breakout session”, where participants divided themselves according to the group discussions: Water Infrastructure and Technology, Urban Water Management and Distribution, Waste Water Management and Creating Awareness on Conservation. These groups contained experts and participants who tended to their respective matters throughout the breakout session. Other than that, participants who brought their prototypes also got to showcase them in this session. The final part of this conference consisted of a panel discussion between representatives of each group as a conclusion.

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Decolonizing Design : Making Many Worlds Possible Through ‘Other’ Discourses & Practices


Decolonizing Design : Making Many Worlds Possible Through ‘Other’ Discourses & Practices

In an age of increasing climatic precarity under the excesses of late capitalism, the global design community too has had to respond to the twin pressures of coping with the anthropocene, and the challenge to the intellectual traditions within design discourse, largely informed by ‘Western’ epistemes and dispositifs, from design practitioners and theorists working from the margins of the global design community located in the Global South. For a meta-discipline that has undergone monumental shifts in the scope and nature of its practice over the last several decades, and is increasingly dedicated to envisioning and materializing future alternatives to modern systems, structures and institutions, design, both in academia and professional industry, has had a surprisingly unproblematised history with regards to its politics and ethics. The movement to decolonise design practice, a relatively recent development, is one of several that attempts to open up the field to critical political discourse, with the argument that we cannot create alternative visions of futures in their socio-technical aspects without understanding how the design disciplines in the past and present have played a role in creating the modern/colonial world-system. Ahmed’s talk will begin by delving into the history and development of the movement to decolonise design, of which he was and is one of the principal figures, along with the other seven members of what would become the Decolonising Design Platform, and many others. He will touch on the kinds of conversations that were happening design circles in the public sphere from 2010 to 2016, and talk about the shifts in the landscape that have happened since. He will then outline the aims and objectives of the movement manifesting in two large projects: one of the articulation, enunciation, and transformation of colonial discourse within the discipline, and the other, the positive project of delinking from the world-system and deriving plural alternatives through the creation of new forms of practice. Ahmed will end the talk by outlining his own approach, as a design historian and theorist, in pursuing a project of extending ‘other’ genealogies and philosophies of technology as a means to develop new directions for speculative design.
About the Speaker:
Ahmed Ansari is a doctoral candidate in Design Studies at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). His research interests intersect at the junction between design history and theory, post\decolonial theory, and the philosophy of technology, exploring the possibilities of non-western philosophies of technology as the basis for the development of new forms of design practice, with a focus on the Indian subcontinent and late Vedic philosophical thought. He is also a founding member of the Decolonizing Design platform, from which he does frequent and fervent critiques of the politics and ethics of contemporary design practice. He teaches both studio and seminar courses in systems thinking, cultural theory, research methods, and design studies in the School of Design at CMU.