BEING AN EXCEPTIONAL TEACHER
Careers 360|September 2020
Most engineering programmes hope to achieve what Jayashri Ravishankar does. Ravishankar, who teaches at Australia’s University of New South Wales, has found a way to keep a very large and diverse student body engaged by developing “research-led and professionally relevant” strategies that have now been adopted elsewhere. An electrical engineer with a special interest in renewable energy and micro-grids, Ravishankar earlier taught at Anna University, Tamil Nadu for a decade. In 2019, she received a citation from the Australian Awards for University Teaching for ‘Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning’. It acknowledges her as one of “Australia’s most exceptional university teachers”. She spoke to Careers360 about how engineering must be taught so that students are engaged and come out job-ready.
Pritha Roy Choudhury

Q. You completed your graduate, postgraduate and doctoral studies from India. But you also went for another postgraduate programme at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. How did that happen?

A. I migrated to Australia with my husband in 1992, after completing my postgraduate degree at College of Engineering Guindy, Anna University. I received a scholarship from Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, or RMIT University, and commenced my work in renewable energy integration. Although RMIT insisted that I complete my Ph.D. studies there, I chose master’s by research as I had a growing family with two kids of whom one was a newborn. In 1998 we returned to India and I continued working here till 2009. During this period, I was sponsored to undertake a part-time Ph.D. at Anna University. I completed my Ph.D. there in 2008.

Q. One of the comments in the citation describes you as a “tireless innovator”. What did you do differently?

A. When I joined UNSW in 2010, I faced different challenges compared to those in India. I was now teaching large advanced courses with a diverse mix of 150-250 local and international students. Delivering abstract engineering concepts through traditional face-to-face lectures in large theatres while also trying to cater to the diversity of students with a mix of cultural backgrounds and assumed knowledge meant students quickly became disengaged and had little interaction with their peers. This, I believe, prevented them from undertaking deeper learning, which in turn affected their employability.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM CAREERS 360View All

THE COST OF CLOSING DOWN

Shutting engineering colleges has cost cash-strapped state universities large chunks of revenue.

4 mins read
Careers 360
September 2020

NEW IDEAS, OLD PROBLEMS

What happened to the projects that won prizes in the Smart India Hackathon?

5 mins read
Careers 360
September 2020

TOWARDS A BIO-DEGRADABLE PLASTIC

A team of three students at NIT Raipur created a material out of starches that could potentially be a substitute for plastic.

4 mins read
Careers 360
September 2020

STAYING RELEVANT BY UPSKILLING ONLINE

Why upskilling is not a matter of choice anymore but of survival.

4 mins read
Careers 360
September 2020

HOW THEY SHOT UP

Despite initial struggle, the eight second-generation IITs set up in 2008 have matured in under a decade. Careers360 looks at how they did it.

7 mins read
Careers 360
September 2020

BEING AN EXCEPTIONAL TEACHER

Most engineering programmes hope to achieve what Jayashri Ravishankar does. Ravishankar, who teaches at Australia’s University of New South Wales, has found a way to keep a very large and diverse student body engaged by developing “research-led and professionally relevant” strategies that have now been adopted elsewhere. An electrical engineer with a special interest in renewable energy and micro-grids, Ravishankar earlier taught at Anna University, Tamil Nadu for a decade. In 2019, she received a citation from the Australian Awards for University Teaching for ‘Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning’. It acknowledges her as one of “Australia’s most exceptional university teachers”. She spoke to Careers360 about how engineering must be taught so that students are engaged and come out job-ready.

4 mins read
Careers 360
September 2020

EXPLAINER: THE FIGHT OVER OBC RESERVATION

A court battle is on over OBC reservation in the AIQ seats in state medical colleges. What is the controversy about?

5 mins read
Careers 360
September 2020

BACK INTO THE FOLD

How a government programme is helping women in science and tech who have faced a career break get back on track.

4 mins read
Careers 360
September 2020

AIR, WATER, SOIL: ENGINEERING COLLEGES AND THE ENVIRONMENT

State engineering colleges are working to address environmental challenges in their backyards.

5 mins read
Careers 360
September 2020

Tech Rescue For Engineering Courses In Covid-19

Public engineering colleges, including the IITs, had to organise fundraisers, use online labs and reorganise teaching to hold a semester online due to COVID-19.

5 mins read
Careers 360
September 2020
RELATED STORIES

YOGA & PEACE

DEEPAK CHOPRA speaks with DAAJI about the role Yoga has to play in bringing about world peace. This is an excerpt from their conversation broadcast on International Day of Peace, September 21, 2020. That documentary is available at https://heartfulness.org/en/international-day-of-peace/.

6 mins read
Heartfulness eMagazine
January 2021

Create the habit of meditation

CHIRAG KULKARNI, Co-Founder and CMO of Medly Pharmacies in the USA, speaks with RISHIKA SHARMA about creating a regular meditation practice, so as to make it a habit. He also shares how meditation has benefited both his personal and professional life.

7 mins read
Heartfulness eMagazine
January 2021

SHIA'S PRIVATE TEMPLE OF DOOM!

Indiana Jones gig derailed by abuse scandal

2 mins read
Globe
January 11, 2021

Let's Dish

"Food Raconteur” Ashok Nageshwaran wants to tell you a story.

2 mins read
DesignSTL
January/February 2021

THE MAKING OF A MODEL MINORITY

Indian Americans rarely stop to ask why our entrance into American society has been so rapid—or to consider what we have in common with other nonwhite Americans.

10+ mins read
The Atlantic
January - February 2021

MELISSA BUGS OUT OVER TOXIC INSECT BITE!

FUNNYLADY Melissa McCarthy was knocking on heaven’s door after a bug bite triggered a terrifying allergic reaction that left her lip “four times” its usual size and forced her to seek emergency medical care!

1 min read
National Enquirer
December 21, 2020

Interconnectedness

In 2017, DR. VANDANA SHIVA spoke with KIM HUGHES about the sacredness of the Earth, the work she has been doing to bring awareness and change in the field of sustainable agriculture, and the importance of understanding our interconnectedness with Nature, and how we can change the way we eat.

8 mins read
Heartfulness eMagazine
December 2020

DIAMONDS - A Luxury Gem Steeped in Fact & Fable

The diamond is one fabled gemstone! For example, google “Hope Diamond” to see all the legends associated with just this one stone said to bring misfortune to its owners.

2 mins read
Rock&Gem Magazine
January 2021

Women's World

Brown Sugaa and Medusa

2 mins read
Born To Ride Southeast Magazine
December 2020

SERGIO OLIVA JR.: 2021 WILL BE MY YEAR

This son of three-time Mr. Olympia Sergio Oliva never holds back. Best of all, he can dish it out and take it too, which is why many other pros avoid engaging with him at all. Sergio only competed once in 2020 with a resonating fifth place at his first Arnold Classic, the first time we’d seen him on stage since the 2018 Mr. Olympia. I hadn’t spoken with him since shortly after the Arnold, the weekend when the COVID-19 pandemic began turning our world upside down. Since that feels like 20 years ago, it was high time to catch up with this genuine, passionate, and often hilarious bodybuilding star.

10+ mins read
Muscular Development
January 2021