IQAC Best Practices

Best Practices

Institutional excellence in higher education is the aggregate of the best practices followed in different areas of institutional performance. The National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) is advocating the best practices benchmarking approach for quality enhancement in higher education. The best practices as benchmarks help institutions to find their anchor for self-improvement.

Over the years, M.O.P. Vaishnav has identifies and applied best practices across the institution to add commendable value to its various stakeholders.

Best Practice 1 - Open Circle

Goal

The IQAC regularly organizes open circle forums to share best practices across departments. The goals of the practice include:

  • Sharing of best academic and administrative practices
  • Standardization of practices across all departments of the college
  • Creating healthy competition between departments

The context

  • It was observed that healthy academic and administrative practices existed in isolation
  • The departments had a tendency to function as islands
  • Interdisciplinary synergy was not being achieved

The practice

  • Once every fortnight interdepartmental meets are held
  • Each department present one best practice. This is subject to interaction, validation and suitability of adaptation for a department

Evidence of success

  • Healthy competition is created amongst departments to innovate new practice and out do their peers.
  • Several new practices have been adopted across departments such as course portfolio, independent study component, documentation and filing, systematic management of department specific information.

Problems encountered

  • Time constraint for the conduct of the open circle due to academic rigour
  • Hesitation in adopting new practices and implementation of change management

Best Practice 2 - Course Portfolio

All faculty members create and prepare a course portfolio for the respective subjects they handle to align learning goals with activities and assessment. The goals of the practice include:

Goal

  • To plan teaching in advance
  • Preparation, collection and standardization of teaching resources
  • Sharing teaching aids
  • Preparation of evaluation tools
  • Indication of teaching and assessment plan at a glance

The context

  • Need to systematise teaching activities
  • Need for an effective tool for time management
  • Improvement in teaching practices
  • Need for a guide for implementation of academic audit

The practice

  • Preparation of a unit wise lesson plan
  • Breaking own the lesson plan into daily plans
  • Preparation of the lecture
  • Preparing the evaluation methodology for the unit
  • Gathering the teaching and learning resources
  • Compiling it into a course portfolio

Evidence of success

  • Standardisation of teaching methodology
  • Reducing the preparation time of the teacher
  • It serves as a documentation resource

Problems encountered and resources required

  • Reduced flexibility
  • Restricted delivery of content
  • Adhoc changes made in content delivery goes undocumented

Resources required

  • Library resources and e-resources

BEST PRACTICE 3: MIS (MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEM)

Goal

The college has adopted the mechanism of ‘SPEED’ – SYSTEMATIC PERIODIC ELECTRONIC ENTRY OF DATA for maintaining its MIS system. The goals for the implementation of the MIS include:

  • To undertake continuous information generation and to track the progress of the institution.
  • To standardize the content to be uploaded across the departments of the college.
  • To serve as an aid to generate and prepare periodic reports for the submission of AQAR, College Annual Report and the Annual Report to the University of Madras
  • To aid the top level management in goal setting, strategic planning and evolving the institutional plans and their implementation.

The context

  • The MIS scrutinizes the operational activities of the college and provide summaries and information to decision makers and the IQAC.
  • The MIS is fully utilized to efficiently track the resources and make appropriate decisions.

The practice

  • A separate web portal for MIS is created in the official college Every department is given a Login ID and Password to access the portal.
  • Every department of the college has a MIS coordinator who coordinates, collects and enters the data pertaining to their respective department in the Online MIS portal.
  • The main fields and the sub fields in the MIS include:
    1. College activities
    2. Department activities
    3. Student Cabinet
    4. Staff achievements
    5. Student achievements
    6. Research and Consultancy
    7. Sports & NCC
    8. NSS & Extension activities
    9. Internship & Placement
  • A separate Login is provided for the Controller of Examinations Office to record all academic and examination related
  • The IQAC (Internal Quality Assurance Cell) of the college consolidates the MIS report on a monthly basis and submits it to the Principal for
  • Areas of concern are taken into consideration and action is taken

Evidence of success

  • The MIS serves as a one point source of all data required for reports.
  • Timely Updation of data has made tracking of information easier.
  • The web portal has made MIS process specific and not person specific.

Problem Encountered & Resources Required

  • Technical glitches in uploading data
  • Adoption of the new MIS format as per NAAC norms

BEST PRACTICE 4: PENDING REGISTER

Goal

  • Timely completion of tasks and duties.
  • To instil and practice time management skills
  • To categorize pending work by depending upon the urgency and importance.

The context

  • The pending register gives a consolidated overview of the work completion status of the institution and individual departments.
  • The Principal and the IQAC will take corrective actions based on the pending register.

The practice

  • All Heads of Departments are asked to maintain a Pending Register with the following headers:
    1. Time line
    2. Work completed
    3. Work pending
    4. Action taken for pending work
  • The pending register is submitted on every Friday of the week to the Principal.
  • The Principal records her comments based on the status of work completed.

Evidence of success

  • Overall control of tracking tasks and work done by faculty based on allocation of work.
  • Delegation of Heads of Departments were able to delegate work and do a periodic follow up of it.

Problems encountered and resources required

  • Unforeseen delays in execution of plans

BEST PRACTICE 5: LIFE SKILLS COURSE FOR UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS

Goal

M.O.P. Vaishnav College for Women strongly believes in imparting Skill Based Education to its students as part of the curriculum. Over the years the college has been organising ‘Life skills’ sessions for its Undergraduate students as part of the Skill Based Elective Course.

The goals of the Life Skills Course include:

  • To impart a cluster of Life skills for the overall well-being of students thereby moulding them into active and productive members of their communities.
  • To enable students to adapt and deal effectively with the demands and challenges of corporate life.

The context

According to UNICEF, Life Skills are a behaviour change or behaviour development approach designed to address balance of three areas:

  • Knowledge
  • Attitude
  • Skills

The world bodies such as UNICEF, UNESCO, and WHO list the ten core Life Skills which are mandatory for Educational Institutions to impart to its students:

  • Self-awareness
  • Critical thinking
  • Creative thinking
  • Decision making
  • Problem Solving
  • Effective communication
  • Interpersonal relationship
  • Empathy
  • Coping with stress
  • Coping with emotion

In order to impart Life Skills to its students, M.O.P. Vaishnav has identified a cluster of interpersonal skills which are interlinked with each other that can be offered to students.

The practice

The college has developed a Module for Life Skills, that is offered to all the II year Undergraduate Students of the college in the IV semester. The Life Skills module includes:

  • Career Skills
  • Resume Writing
  • Group Discussion
  • Team Skills
  • Interview Skills

The skills which the college offers under the Life Skills Module has made students feel more confident, motivated, and develop a positive attitude towards life, thus, making more mature and adult like decision and taking responsibilities for their actions

Evidence of success

  • In the short term (after 3-6 months of implementation), the effectiveness of the life skills programme was measured in terms of the specific learning objectives of the life skills lessons, and factors such as changes in self-esteem, perceptions of self- efficacy, and behavioural intentions were evident in the students.
  • The life skills sessions have produced the following effects:
    • Increased pro – social behaviour and decreased negative behaviour
    • Increased the ability to plan ahead and choose effective solutions to problems
    • Improved self-image, self-awareness, social and emotional adjustment
    • Improved classroom behaviour
    • Gains in self-control and handling of interpersonal problems
    • Coping with anxiety

Problem Encountered & Resources Required

  • Only in the longer term (after at least a year) is it feasible to evaluate the impact of the life skills
  • Meeting the special needs of students in unstable and crisis
  • Identifying the right skill trainers and corporate agencies to partner with the institution to handle the skill

BEST PRACTICE 6: THOZHIL SEYALAM THOZHI

Goal

As part of its outreach and extension activities, M.O.P. Vaishnav College for Women had declared the year 2019-20 as the year for the Village Adoption project ‘THOZHIL SEIYALLAM THOZHI’ – an initiative aimed to impart entrepreneurship skills to rural women.

The goals of this initiative include,

  • To reach out to rural women in Tamil Nadu and make them self – reliant
  • To inspire, ignite, educate and enable rural women to utilise multiple opportunities that entrepreneurship provides
  • To propagate and impart life skills to women and children as proposed by the World Health Organisation (WHO)
  • To inculcate values to students through service oriented and nation building activities and enable them to become socially responsible citizens.

The context

The ‘Thozil Seiyallam Thozhi’ initiative was inaugurated on 13th July 2019 at S.K.D.J. Higher Secondary School, Thiruverkadu. Under this banner 15 villages were identified in the state of Tamil Nadu and various livelihood skills were imparted and awareness campaigns were conducted for women and Government school students.

The practice

The livelihood skills offered under the banner of ‘Thozil Seiyallam Thozhi’ include:

  • Agarbathi making
  • Pot & Diya painting
  • Quilling & Tassel Jewelry making
  • Candle making
  • Glass painting
  • Greeting card & Envelope making
  • Jute bag making
  • Jewellery making
  • Blouse designing
  • Aari work, Embroidery, Patch work & Block Printing
  • Crafts & Stationary making
  • Book binding
  • Key chains
  • Hair Style & makeup
  • Chaat, sandwich & Beverage making
  • Mehendi designing
  • Organic soap making
  • Drawing, sketching & painting
  • Typography
  • Chalk carving
  • Making eco – friendly sanitary napkins

The Life Skills proposed by WHO include:

  • Self – Awareness
  • Empathy
  • Coping with stress and emotions
  • Effective communication skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Problem solving
  • Critical thinking
  • Decision – Making
  • Creative thinking

Awareness campaigns organised to propagate the Life Skills include:

  • Swachh Bharat – Clean India campaign
  • Waste segregation
  • Women health and hygiene
  • Self defense
  • Clean habits
  • Good touch & Bad Touch
  • Cyber threats
  • Do’s & Don’ts of Mobile phone usage
  • Career counselling
  • Yoga demonstration
  • Working with MS Office tools
  • Public speaking
  • Body language & Communication
  • Safe use of Social Media
  • Emotional Wellness

Evidence of success

  • After the Villages were adopted and skills were imparted, the students and faculty of the college visited the villages after a period of 3 months to check on the progress of the entrepreneurial venture of the women.
  • At M.O.P Bazaar – The Annual Entrepreneurship Extravaganza of the college, a stall was set up by one of beneficiaries of the THOZHIL SEIYALLAM THOZHI’ The diary beneficiary from Thiruverkadu village sold tea and snacks (for which she received entrepreneurial training from the college) and made a turnover of Rs. 4,000.
  • Akriti – The student run mock company of the college had contributed 3% of the proceeds it earned at M.O.P Bazaar towards the Thozhil Seiyalam Thozhi initiative

Problems encountered and resources required

  • Seeking permission from the village authorities and establishing rapport with the rural women
  • Travel, infrastructure and physical space posed a challenge at few villages.
  • Locating potential partners for networking and collaborating to facilitate development activities in the village (NSS groups, Youth Clubs/associations, NGOs etc)