Team-based Online Projects (TOP)

The concept of Team-based Online Projects (TOP) was introduced by Prof. S.K. Saha of IIT Delhi during the COVID pandemic in June 2020 during an Faculty Development Programme (FDP) at NIT Jamshedpur. Later, it was used in many institutes and activities (e.g., RoboAnalyzer-based Online Competitions organized by Tezpur University, ReDySim-based online Competitions jointly organized by IIT Delhi and Jodhpur, etc.) receiving appreciations. 

The framework of TOP is as follows:

  1. Participants are divided into teams of 4-5 members and a coordinator to be indicated by the organizer.
  2. Each team will have to work on an online project, which will be evaluated by two other teams.

Step 1 (Project Type): Each team MUST choose a topic from the list of topics in the FDP. The type of a project could be (a) Literature search (LS), i.e., study about an aspect; (b) Algorithm development (AD), where the team analyses, say, a robot kinematics using RoboAnalyzer or Matlab/Octave/Freemat/Scilab or write an algorithm using any programming language; or (c) Design/synthesis (DS) in which the team proposes a new type of system/device for performing a certain task, say, a mobile robot for Covid-19 isolation wards.

Step 2 (Regular Meetings): It is expected that over the period of the programme the team members MUST spend about 30 mins or longer together at regular interval (say, every day) online/phone to decide what they would do or discuss their progress.

Step 3 (Presentation): Upload their presentations in not more than 6 slides (.pdf file) by a set deadline. 

Step 4 (Peer Review): Review of the presentations is done (online) by the next two teams. 

Benefits to the Participants

  1. Each participant will get to know at least four colleagues from other colleges/states.
  2. Practice how to work together and make presentations in a team.
  3. Above interaction may lead to future collaboration in terms of visiting each other’s institute, help each other in procuring equipment/creating syllabus, write joint paper, guide students jointly, etc. 
  4. Active participation with the lectures. Better understanding, etc.
  5. Comparing one’s abilities (to build confidence or to know more hard work is required) within the team.
  6. Peer learning from the evaluation of other teams’ work.

Benefits to the Organizers/Sponsors/Country

  1. Improvement of the professional attitude of the participants towards their teaching/learning abilities by actively engaging themselves in the process, instead of just listening to the lectures and appearing some tests (which may be appeared with/without preparation!).

  2. Preparing faculty participants to assimilate knowledge to come up with something, which they can replicate with their students also to reduce the un-employability of the country which is very high

Feedback from the Participants

Q. What are the learnings of this Team-based Online Project (TOP) activity? 

  • Share the ideas from different streams and one more thing got chance to interact with new people. Thanks to NIT Jamshedpur
  • Collaborative Learning... stronger the group better the result
  • team work- learning from each other experiences that we can use for the rest
  • working with different peoples give opportunities to know my stength and weakness regarding the project implementation.  Also, i got 2 researchers contact and we planned for publication of our project work in future. Thank you for the opportunities.
  • learning outcome of the team work is shared our experiences and skill in research which has been helpful in future research. Thank you for conducting such a team based project activity
  • communicate openly and effectively
  • learn from peers, different perspectives, Benchmarking
  • team work to innovate something new for betterment for mankind and to bring into light new ideas.
  • Thank you sir, this is one of a unique kind of FDP. It is a great opportunity in reskilling ourselves.
  • We have been working this entire week with unknown participants. Good experience. We shall also adopt the same when we organize such a course at our Institute. Thank you sir.