Friday, February 28, 2014

Effective way of discussion.

For quite sometime, during discussion with my students, I used to listen to them. When I am not clear, I used to ask questions about it. I was not comfortable with this method. Usually as the students are not experienced, and sometimes they are working on a problem, which I have not been involved deeply, it was difficult to comprehend what the student wanted to say. This usually will lead to situation, when  the comments and suggestions, new ideas will take more number of discussion meetings on same aspects. During discussions, taking one's own notes - scribblings, which indicates what is discussed, specific question, their relationship with each other, is useful. These notes allows oneself to get a snapshot of the whole discussion. One can de-focus from details and form a bigger picture, ask better questions. One can identify the missing links. Once these are easier to identify, it is simpler to decide on what should be done next. This allows the students to get much better feedback. So, the key is take your own notes and use them for quick recaps at various stages for an effective discussion. One can identify also the undefined stuff, missing links, vague arguments also in this fashion. These inputs once given back to students, can provide better guidance to the students' research.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Can we modify our habits and attitude?

One of the possible techniques of modifying the habits and attitude can be reminding oneself of the correct way of doing something, or not to do something. Every time you deviate from what should be done, you remind yourself of the correct way. This trains oneself and after a time, you tend to do what you were suggesting to your self. Although, it is possible, when you are doing it right, you do not remind yourself of the correct way. One day you may again endup doing it incorrectly. For important things, you can remind yourself everyday. This ensures that you will always do it correctly. For non-important thing, you will achieve a balance where you do it most of the time in right fashion and sometimes incorrectly and then you remind yourself.  For example, when you drive and you realize that you have not fastened the seat belt, you should remind yourself that one should fasten the seat belt before starting to drive. After sometime, you will come into habit of fastening the seat belt.Similary, if you remind yourself everyday, that you should not waste your time, you will end up following it. This reminder comes in category where you should provide suggestion to yourself regularly and not when you find that you are not doing it.

This technique of behavioral modification will not work, if you cannot observe that you are doing something in wrong way. In case, your friends or others tell you what is wrong in your actions, you can listen, decide on whether to take or discard the input, and then suggest yourself.