“Learn by doing” has been the cultural moto of Jigsaw Academy and Manipal faculty members. In our technical sessions, we follow the principle of 40% theory and 60% hands-on. The theory topics are predominantly discussed rather than “taught”. Apart from case studies, assignments, projects etc we also do a lot of activities to engage our learners. These activities are not only enjoyed by the learners but also help them in understand, analyse, retain, recollect and experiment while learning. Here are a few activities we do on a regular basis in our sessions.
This technique is a highly effective way of structuring information graphically. Students are encouraged to use colours and draw pictures while preparing notes or recollecting concepts. Subtopics are noted down in the form of lines, symbols, words etc which radiate from the central circle which is the core concept. This helps the learner to analyse, retain and recollect the concept better compared to traditional style of writing down notes.
This activity helps the students to appreciate the fact that “code is not only written for machines, but it should be easy for human to understand”. In today’s era of full stack where students learn multiple technology and tools, activities like these help learners to switch from one technology to another rapidly. This activity is conducted as follows. Class is divided into groups of 4 with seats A, B, C and D assigned to each learner. Each learner is given a different problem statement, sometimes in different languages and 10 mins to solve it. At the end of 10 mins, there goes the buzzer and A moves to seat B, B to seat C, C to seat D and D to seat A. They continue solving the problem which is partly solved by their teammate. This cycle repeats for every 10 minutes. After 40 mins, whichever team solves maximum problem statement (should pass all test cases) is declared the winning team. This activity helps the learner improve their programming skillset, appreciate clean coding practices and importance of testing every line of code
Learners are given crossword / jumbled questions to check their understanding on the topic. This will not only inculcate interest in solving the crossword but also improves technical vocabulary, refreshes the mind and improves learner’s concentration. Websites like https://crosswordlabs.com/ etc will help the faculty in preparing the crossword questionnaire.
Learners are divided into teams and given different topics. They research on these topics and come up with innovative ways to represent the concepts through charts using colour pens, markers, drawings, analogies, paper cuttings etc. This also develops team spirit among participants.
Proven activity to improve learner’s overall confidence. A JAM leader is appointed amongst the learners. The leader is responsible for conducting the JAM every morning. 5-6 learners are called on rotation basis to give the JAM talk for 1-2 mins. At the end, fellow learners give feedback to the JAMmer. Initially JAMmer is advised to speak on non-technical topics and later move to technical topics. JAMmer can also record his session and later replay to observe his/her performance. It has been observed that a learner who stammers in the first week, is able to speak in front of a larger audience confidently at the end of 2 months. This activity helps the learner to improve self-confidence, expose to technical topics outside the curriculum, introduce to niche technologies and inculcate the habit of self-learning.
Fun way of summarizing the topics covered during the week. This is generally a Friday activity. The class is divided into two teams. One player from the team comes forward and gets a word from the faculty. The team has to only ask polar (yes/no) questions and the player answers only yes/no. Based on his answers the team has to derive at the word within 1 minute. For E.g. if the player gets the word “charAt”. Then team can ask questions like “Is this a database concept”. The player answers “no”. Next question could be “Is this a Java related word”. The player answers “yes”….and the game continues. With every answer the team narrows down on the word. Both the player and team should know the topics very well to play this game. Same way we also play “technical anthakshari/ dumb charades/ Pictionary” etc to summarise the topic. Students try to recollect as many words as possible. These games bring in great team spirit and help slow learners to perform better in groups. This keeps the learners highly motivated. The learners challenge each other and helps in their overall development.
These activities help the learner bond with the faculty members. We ensure that every learner understands, participates and is involved. This also helps us understand personality traits of every learner. We not only give quantitative score, but also share qualitative feedback on personality strengths with the client. This helps the client to place the learner in the appropriate projects.