Received date: 24/05/2021; Accepted date: 09/09/2021; Published date: 16/09/2021
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Student performance in university examinations is of paramount importance to students, their parents, teachers, administrators, university and the country as a whole. For self-financing institutions, this factor assumes higher importance because the reputation of these institutions and their long term existence largely depend on students’ performance in the university examinations and consequently on placement of graduates in job. As such managements of such institutions should show great concern about improving students’ performance in examinations because everybody measures the performance of the institutions through this yardstick.
Education, Quality, Students,
Teaching, Learning process, Evaluation,
Result, Improvement, Faculty
Factors affecting student performance
Causes of Poor examination results in this college
Improvement in academic performance does not happen by chance nor can it be accomplished overnight through a magic stick. It is a result of planned, consistent, coordinated efforts of a qualified, experienced, committed, dedicated team of academicians. Also, quality of students admitted matters much for this purpose. The various initiatives to be taken by institutions for improvement of students’ performance are mentioned below .
i) Attracting students of high merit
Institutions must put maximum effort for attracting students of high merit for improving the academic culture which goes a long way in improving the quality of education . Meritorious students are in a position to select institutions for their studies which they do on the basis of the following considerations
It is important that institutions concentrate on the above factors in order to succeed in their above mission
ii) Attracting qualified and experienced faculty
Well qualified and experienced faculty choose to join an institution on the basis of following criteria
Unless the institutions improve considerably in the above aspects, attracting really good faculty will remain a dream for them.
iii) Dealing with fresh and junior faculty members
There is no dearth of junior faculty members but the institutions cannot flourish if they bank on the services of such faculty without developing their potential . It is dangerous to send newly appointed faculty members to the class without providing any training and preparation time, which is a current practice in most of the institutions. Following measures will help in developing the competency of the faculty members
Institutions must have a tie up with NITTTR for training of their teachers. Fresh faculty members should be sent there for training immediately after joining the institution. After completion of training, they should be allowed to interact with the students in theory/ practical classes but should be thoroughly guided and monitored by the Head of the Department (HOD) or a senior faculty member for at least two semesters [4-10]. In many situations this may not be possible because the HOD himself may be a junior person requiring lot of guidance and support. In such cases, the principal himself has to do this job.
Faculty members must be encouraged to attend seminars/ conferences/ short term training programme (STTP) organized by various institutions to gain specialized knowledge in their area of interest. Faculty members must be given ample opportunities for improving their qualifications during their service. Institutions must organize industrial training for their faculty in reputed industries to expose them to industrial environment and practices that will help them to learn the practical application of engineering knowledge and develop experimental as well as problem solving skills which in turn will make them effective teacher.
iv) Dealing with poor quality students
Revised admission policy has opened the doors of several engineering institutions for extremely low merit students. It cannot be ruled out that a minimum level of knowledge in Science, Mathematics and English and aptitude of learning must be present in the admitted students to pursue engineering education. Institutions facing problem of sub-standard quality of students may resort to the following measures for overcoming the problem to some extent. Although, it may create substantial financial burden to the institutions but will provide viable solution to this problem which will pay back in the long run otherwise the institutions will run the risk of closure.
Through an aptitude test (based on the syllabus of class XII) in the beginning itself, identify and segregate the weaker students .
v) Academic planning and monitoring
vi) Administrative planning and monitoring
vii) Industry Interaction and placement of Students
Training of students and faculty as well as placement of students who are on the verge of completion of their studies are the important activities benefiting both students and institution, which goes a long way in establishing the reputation of the institution . The training and placement cell must be organized strongly with adequate manpower and facilities. The activities of the cell must include.
In most of the institutions, training and placement cell is not well organized because this activity is not being given its due importance. Management of fairly large number of institutions consider that industrial training to students and faculty are not useful and arranging job for the students is the responsibility of students themselves . Training and placement activities are generally put under a faculty as an additional responsibility with no support just to fulfil AICTE norm.
viii) Counselling and Guidance
Students with variety of family background, temperament, strengths, weaknesses, tastes, habits, likings and preferences, academic performance, and achievement are required to study and live together for a considerable period when they join an engineering institution. Many of them who do not adapt themselves to the new environment start suffering from one problem or the other. Some suffer from emotional problem being separated from their family and friends, some from health problem due to change of food and water, yet others may have problem with class mates, teachers, subjects, academic load and performance. These problems of the young and new students need to be addressed urgently by someone, on whom the students can have trust. Counselling and guidance cell set up in the institutions can handle students’ problems in an effective manner. The role of such a cell is to help the students to settle them in academics by listening patiently to their problems, analysing them and finding an appropriate solution. At times, they have to strengthen them psychologically to overcome the problems . In the present circumstances, academically weak students feel insecure on account of lack of performance for which they will be accountable to their parents, counselling and guidance cell may provide their valuable services by motivating and arousing interest of those students in studies with the help of academicians.
ix) Internal Quality Assurance Cell (IQAC)
The quality of technical education has become the prime agenda of the nation, the institutions offering technical education cannot ignore this vital aspect. External quality assurance mechanism aimed at maximizing institution’s potential for quality education is in place through accreditation process of National Board of Accreditation (NBA). Assuring quality in the educational offerings provided by an institution is the responsibility of the institution itself for which all institutions must start IQAC with adequate manpower and facilities. Since quality enhancement is a continuous process, the IQAC should form a permanent feature of an institution. Quality of educational offerings is crucial to survival and growth of the institution; hence this aspect has to be given highest priority. Quality of education is ensured through continuous monitoring of various institutional activities and taking corrective action for improvement.
The prime objective of the IQAC is to develop a system for conscious, consistent and catalytic improvement in the performance of institution. The work of the IQAC is the first step towards the internalization and institutionalization of quality enhancement. Its success depends upon the sense of belongingness and participation it can inculcate in all the constituents of the institution. The IQAC has the potential to become a vehicle for ushering in quality by working out intervention strategies to remove deficiencies and enhance quality. Quality circles in industries operate on similar lines .
The basic purposes of the IQAC are similar to an external quality assurance agency with the difference that IQAC is made up of members internal to the institution and operate round the year . The basic purposes of IQAC are listed below.
Some important functions of IQAC are:
Specific Recommendations and Action Plan
Faculty appointment/ availability/retention/ development
General recommendations to reduce faculty instability are
Condition of class rooms and laboratories needs immediate attention. Blackboards, furniture, window panes, electrical fittings in classrooms/labs must be repaired during each vacation. Large number of lab equipment’s is lying in defective condition in various laboratories either on account of mishandling by students or as a result of normal wear and tear process. Such equipment’s must be got repaired urgently. New equipment’s must be purchased from time to time as per recommendations of concerned HODs. Utilization of the equipment’s should be optimum to be decided by HOD and the subject teacher. In technical institutions, laboratory teaching assumes very high priority which will totally suffer without adequate equipment’s. Spending in lab equipment’s will always pay back in the long run because this helps in changing the work culture and improves in students’ learning outcome .
Improvement in teaching-learning process
First year teaching has to be managed more carefully and effectively because students must be handled properly in the first year itself. Good habits and discipline imparted in the beginning goes a long way. Generally, students in the absence of proper teaching, learning and evaluation system become slack in studies and develop casual attitude towards attending classes and all academic work. Following recommendations are made in this regard .
Similar policies should be adopted for other classes also as far as possible. The policies may be implemented in phased manner.
Change in Organizational Structure
For effective functioning of the institution, following changes in the organizational structure are recommended.
Following cells/ offices should be started.
Following positions should be created and filled by experienced faculty .
Above positions should not be below the rank of professor and will report to principal
Analysis of Causes of Poor Examination Results
Effective Utilization of Vacation Period
Every year university declares 90 days’ vacation in 2/3 spells. During vacation period following works are to be conducted at the institution.
Apart from this, many faculty members also participate in STTP/ seminars/ conferences. Very important works such as major Repair and maintenance of infrastructure, lab equipment repairs [30-33], planning and procurement of new lab equipment’s, setting up of new experiments, planning and procurement of library books and journals etc. suffer due to unavailability of faculty members including HODs. During pendency of semester, development activities cannot be undertaken. Vacation is the most appropriate time when such activities may be taken up and completed. For this purpose presence of all faculty members is important because development is a team work and absence of any one will delay the matter. As such vacation should be reduced to 15 days and remaining period should be converted into earned leave to be availed during any part of the year or may be encased Tables 1-3 [34,35].
Table 1. Expectation from Management for Faculty Motivation and Creation of Better Work Culture
|1||Do not admit students of poor merit at any cost||Better discipline, motivation to faculty, better academic environment. Better examination results, better placement, better reputation|
|2||Do not appoint faculty of poor merit||Better discipline, motivation to students, better academic environment. Improvement in teaching quality, Better examination results, better placement, better reputation|
|3||Appoint faculty 20% in excess of AICTE norms||Result in better management of teaching process, Able to deal with the problem of faculty instability|
|4||Appoint 4-5 faculty in each department who will work as teaching assistant||Assessment of students learning will tremendously improve|
|5||Payment of salary to faculty and staff on the first day of the month||Faculty motivation and retention|
|6||Payment of D.A. etc as soon as any revision is declared||Faculty motivation and retention|
|7||Faculty rooms should be appropriately furnished||Faculty motivation and retention|
|8||Financial assistance for attending STTP, conferences, seminars, industrial training etc should be given||Faculty motivation, development and retention|
|9||Faculty should not be assigned workload other than teaching and examination||Improvement in faculty satisfaction and academic environment|
|10||Dean of academics should be appointed||Better academic monitoring|
|11||Dean of students affairs should be appointed||Ensuring admission of good quality of students, students discipline, addressing students grievances, monitoring of students performance|
|12||Dean of faculty affairs should be appointed||Ensuring recruitment of good quality faculty, performance monitoring faculty performance, deciding policy for faculty development and retention, addressing faculty grievances|
|13||Dean of examinations should be appointed||Managing all types of examinations both internal and university examination|
|14||IQAC should be started as an independent unit comprising of senior faculty from each discipline headed by a Director to oversee quality in all operations of the institution||Developing quality policy, standards and tools relevant to accreditation and quality assurance. Measuring various parameters of the institution such as input, process, output and outcome of each programme as per norms and determine strengths, weaknesses and areas for improvement. IQAC will generate annual report giving actions to be taken for improvement and the impact thereof. Continuous improvement in quality in all operations of the institution is the impact of IQAC|
|15||Laboratory equipments/ components/ software should be purchased as per recommendations of HODs||Will improve laboratory instruction|
|16||Budget allocation for repairs of lab equipments||Will improve laboratory instruction|
|17||Purchase of library books should be done as per recommendations of HODs||Will help students and faculty to study and perform|
|18||A clerk/ office assistant should be given to each department to handle all administrative work such as correspondence, stores, documentation etc. These works are at present carried out by faculty and lab assistants||Faculty and lab assistants will be able to concentrate on academic work|
|19||Space allocation to each department should be increased||Departments may be organized in a better way|
|20||Incentive in the form of one special increment to faculty who have served the institution for more than 5 years||Improve faculty stability|
|21||Generator of adequate power should be purchased and installed||Academic loss on account of power failure will be overcome|
Table 2. Management Expectation from Faculty for Improvement of Examination Result
|1||Maximise their efforts to thoroughly learn the subjects to be taught by them||Quality improvement in teaching|
|2||Prepare lesson plan and lecture notes, slides, power point presentation etc well in advance||Quality improvement in teaching|
|3||Prepare themselves for conducting laboratory classes effectively by doing the experiments themselves before the scheduled classes or during vacations||Quality improvement in teaching|
|4||Create lot of interest in student body for learning through practical examples and applications||Improvement in learning|
|5||Improve their communication skills to be able to teach effectively||Quality improvement in teaching|
|6||Plan and implement appropriate and adequate evaluation methods to assess student learning at frequent intervals||Improvement in learning|
|7||Be prepared to teach a new subject at short notice||Improvement in teaching|
|8||Be prepared to develop new teaching/ assessment method and share the same with others||Improvement in teaching|
|9||Plan and implement industrial visits for students that will enhance students’ learning||Improvement in teaching|
|10||Be fair to students in all respect particularly in teaching and assessment||Improvement in academic environment and student satisfaction|
|11||Be prepared for self-development by availing opportunity to improve qualification, attend STTP, Conferences, Seminars, Workshops etc||Self-development|
|12||Be prepared to contribute to the development of the department in any manner||Institutional development|
|13||Make the best use of time and resources available to them such as writing research papers, books, working on testing and consultancy projects aimed at revenue generation for the institution||Self-development and institutional development|
|14||Organize national/ state level programmers such as short term courses, conferences, workshops and seminars etc.||Improvement of academic ambience|
|15||To ensure student discipline in and outside the class room.||Improvement of academic ambience|
|16||Recommend equipment’s/ tools/ components required for conducting practical’s to the HODs||Improvement in laboratory instruction|
|17||Recommend purchase of books for the library to the HODs||Will help students and faculty to study and perform|
|18||Organize cultural/ sports events in the institution||All round development of students|
Table 3. Suggestions for Motivating Students
|1||For 1st year, class size should be reduced to 30 from 60 in theory classes and 10 from 20 in practical classes||Result in increased personal attention to the students, increased interaction with teachers and enhance students’ learning|
|2||Services of senior faculty of all departments must be utilized for at least 1st year||This will improve discipline, course experience by the students and work culture.|
|3||In 1st year, formation of divisions should be done on the basis of merit list and not on the basis of engineering discipline.||This will reduce heterogeneity in student population in each division which has several advantages.|
|4||Provision for teaching each theory subject for 2 hours continuously should be made in the time-table||Improves concentration and saves time for change over and recording attendance. Results in greater progress in the subject, permits conducting innovative classroom assessment techniques and enhances students’ learning|
|5||All classes must be engaged regularly and in proper manner.||Higher attendance/ less absenteeism in the class|
|6||Teachers concerned should discuss the course objective in the class in the beginning itself and then proceed with the curriculum||Improvement in student motivation|
|7||Laboratory teaching has to be strengthened by defining the learning outcome, teaching and evaluating the learning outcome regularly. Laboratory time should not be wasted in writing files and any unproductive work/ purpose.||Improvement in learning and enhancement of motivation|
|8||Faculty leaving the job during pendency of a semester is a great killer of quality which must be stopped at any cost by enactment or otherwise||Ensure continuity and good quality of instruction as well as good coverage of syllabus|
|9||Strict academic monitoring that includes progress of teaching and students’ learning must be done on monthly basis and the progress report must be sent to all parents.||Ensure good progress in teaching and learning. Parents support/ control will also motivate students for better performance|
|10||Scholarship schemes should be instituted for students with 100% attendance and outstanding performance.||Motivation to students for attending their classes regularly and good performance in internal examinations|
|11||Students below 75% attendance should be detained as per university norms. Non-fulfillment of this norm is a major contributor to poor exam results because many non-performing students are allowed to appear in university examinations||Improvement in results, increase in class attendance, improvement in learning and improvement in work culture|
|12||Parents meeting with HOD concerned should be arranged twice in a semester.||Parents support / control will help students to maintain good discipline, attendance and performance|
|13||Academically weak students should be given additional coaching in subjects like Mathematics, Science and English which are the backbones of Engineering||Eliminate deficiency in students and motivate them for attending classes and better performance|
|14||Library timings should be extended to 12 hours||Students will have access to library for longer period|
|15||Computer center timings should be extended to 12 hours||Students will have access to internet for longer period|
Performance Assessment of Faculty
For improving the quality of instruction, performance assessment is very important. Performance assessment of faculty should be done at regular interval through following means. The results of performance assessment must be used for encouraging faculty with better performance and reprimanding faculty with poor performance. Without proper use of the results of assessment, this process becomes unproductive and even lead to increased non-performance in the institution.