Open Electives: Choice or Compulsion?
Jan 15, 2018 | Barnali Priyadarshini
With the winter vacations winding up, the NITR populace was spotted gearing up for the Spring semester. Perpetually, there was a huge deal of discussion about the allotment of the Open Elective(OE) courses which are offered outside the student’s area of specialization or courses that the students pursue their interest in the same. But the real dilemma has always circled around whether the majority of students actually got their subject of interest as an OE. To gauge the conception of the student mass, Team Monday Morning conducted a weekly poll on “How happy are you with the allotment of the Open Elective?”, the analysis of which is presented below.
An overwhelming majority of 66% people claimed that “They had received an OE as per their preference”. Generally, as a part of the pre-registration process, the students have to give their choices for the Open Elective course along with the others. They have to arrange the list of choices for the same according to their wish. Students select OEs based on different factors such as the course of study, relaxation in attendance, good grades, a reasonable amount of assignments etc. As cited, the electives from the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences are the most popular among the lot, owing to its ease in getting top grades. And as the trends suggest scholars who have a CGPA of 9-point or above enjoy the advantage of getting an HS course over the rest.
27% of the population went for the second option which said: “I was allotted an OE which was not there among the top five choices of my preference list.” In the Spring semester, a particular OE class takes about 80-100 students, and this issue is mostly cited among the students having an average grade point, that of between a CGPA of 7 and a CGPA of 8. Many a times students send in applications for changing their open elective subject courses due to various reasons like the subject not being related to their branch in any way or lack of interest in the particular subject etc. but their requests are mostly turned down by the administration.
A minimal amount of 7% confused scholars voted for the third option which said: “I don’t remember my preference list and the allotment of OE doesn’t concern me.” The chosen option being self-explanatory shows that the effort from the administration’s side has not yielded the desired result of instilling the individuals to take up a course other than their main branch of study.
In case of Open Electives, what students generally tend to take into account is the marking or grading system of faculty assigned and how advantageous the subject would be in improving their grades. This mindset has to change with the individuals taking more responsibility and informing about the courses they would like to see as Open Electives.