Academic Projects : What, Where & How to do your Academic Projects?

.

Hi all,

.

It is “Academic Project” season in most of the Indian colleges and also a thoughtful time for the students. The scenario is clear to most of the students as they know they have to complete the project at any COST. Academic projects these days are more or less about getting things done as soon as possible and with the least effort involved.  TF looks into the facts and significance of the academic projects.

.

Academic Projects

Academic project is a matter of concern and a cause of worry for most of students and that could be the reason why students tend to choose the most common and undisputedly the easiest of the projects. What they fail to understand is that the academic projects are to enable them to understand the know-how about the real world. These projects should be considered as one of the major areas of students.  This academic project should also demonstrate the application of skills, knowledge of the discipline to solving a problem representative of the type to be encountered at the professional level and above all the enthusiasm to get things done positively and innovatively.

.

The Scenario Today

Starting from September till March, is usually the project time for all BTech, MCA, BCA, MSC and CS students. And everybody is busy with either completing their project for their academic purpose or just completing their final semester hurdle. Most of the students are not aware about the importance, advantages and the requirements of the academic projects as it is considered to be a hurdle and not a learning experience. The sadder picture is the fact that most of the students tend to submit project that isn’t their effort instead someone else’s project, about which he or she would have a basic idea about, as part of their academic project. This is indeed an easy job done but this would surely backfire once you know the importance of the academic project in one’s career.

.

“My academic project was based on DOT Net and fortunately I took my projects seriously and I learnt a lot during the course of my project. During the early days of my job that helped me a lot because I knew what it was all about” said Ashish Mahajan. There are projects available for lump sum money but what you fail to get is the experience and the knowledge that will help you grow throughout your career.

.

Being Thoughtful

Many national and international universities promote and sponsor worthy projects. These projects develop into different kinds of functional commercial products, potential applications or both. The developments of such projects are possible through a holistic approach. Most students start thinking about their project only during the year they need to submit the project. Quality projects are built through long term planning and preparations. Each year of study should have an impact in the way one thinks therefore plans for the project.

.

According to Clarence A K, Head of the Innovations Lab “Select a relevant topic, make sure that you are using the latest technology, industry tools and always be innovative”.

.

So it is not just important to be thoughtful but at the same time it is important that the projects are chosen efficiently. According Biju Jacob, Director- Logic Software Solutions “Every student must take care while selecting the project. He or she should decide which career track they would opt for and accordingly choose the topic. Always ensure that your academic project is career oriented. Also know the technologies and select the one which is relevant”

.

Process and Documentation

Most of the students are not aware about the importance of proper documentation and process.  In the case of industry projects they are giving equal importance to the documentation and process. The process involves following proper project management strategies.  For e.g.  Before the project starts you should have to prepare a Requirement Analysis Document, and then based on that a Software Requirement Specification (SRS) should be created, if any change is required. have to apply proper change management methods. The coding part should have proper coding standards and comments etc.

.

“ln the case of our projects, we are utilizing more than 30% of our billable hours for process and documentation” Says Aarathi Gopal of Cognizant Technology Solutions. Be ensures that your projects follows proper process and documentation.

.

Change is Needed

There is a tendency among students to grab a subject and work on it without thinking about what, when and how they are going to pursue it. A change has to be brought in, in terms of understanding the project and also about how you are going to pursue it. A clear understanding about the project would be a great help in completing it within the time frame and with a possible greater success rate. Most of the students are facing difficulties in identifying a good idea. In the current scenario, it is advisable to look for a project which has more commercial value with it. Understand the business/functional scenarios with different industry; find out a good requirement for those scenarios. Once the requirement is mapped brain storm your idea with the experts. Once you have identified a good idea, do proper financial analysis before finalizing the idea. You can approach any company or institution for their guidance on your proposed projects.

.

The colleges should also care to take this initiative to make the students understand the importance of choosing a better project and at the same time guide them through the project completion. Kenny Jacob, former CTO of the much acclaimed student startup Torque talks about the kind of care an educational institution should take in order to produce good academic projects. “A drastic change is needed in the existing scenario. Students must be provided with reasonable time, proper technical expertise and support, otherwise the students may go for paid projects that are readily available in the market. lf the students seek the help of any institutions; don’t compromise in the quality of projects. Make sure it is of high quality from the synopsis and other specifications”.

.

The Right Step Ahead

There are a few things that you might need through the course of time. A right advisor, a team and above all a right plan. Also you may either select a company or institution for the project development. Discuss with them about the projects to be developed, analyze whether they are capable for the project you want to take up. An industry related projects and exposure will help you to add more value to your profile. Even though, many multi national companies are not encouraging live projects in their premises, you can easily find an opportunity in a small or medium size company.

.

Always ensure the following things while doing a project.

  • Examine your project options carefully and completely
  • Choose your project partners with care. Be confident that your team will share the work proportionately and they share the same level of enthusiasm for the project as you do.
  • Choose your advisor with the same care. this relation should be comfortable right from the start.
  • As a first step, with input from your advisor, develop a scope statement, action plan, and budget. this may be in the form of a project proposal.
  • Discuss the expectations of your advisor as to the expected end result of the project. Discuss such matters as frequency of meetings and progress reports. Set up a schedule.

The Evaluation

In the project evaluation process, many factors will be evaluated, those can be your involvement in the project, proper documentations, process followed, utilization of subject, out put, deadlines followed, presentation skills, knowledge about the subject and project management and structuring.

.

According to Prof. Jyothi John, Principal, College of Engineering, Adoor “We generally evaluate the amount of involvement a particular student has in the particular project. The selection of the topic and its relevance to the discipline and the utilization of the theory that the student has learnt in the class. The originality of the selected topic or the idea also plays a major part in impressing the reviewer.

.

Many students are not aware about the advantages and the requirement of the academic projects and fail to understand the seriousness of the projects. This leads to misuse of the older projects. This is not a good tendency because it affects their career indirectly yet severely. One should understand that the academic project is not just a hurdle to get across and complete your graduation, rather it is a tool to understand the industry requirement and polishing your skills which further will help you with your dream career.

..

.

Source courtesy: TechnoFIRST Online

.

.

Regards,

.

Arunanand T A,

CEc 2010 CS.

.

  • Reading this reminds me of my old room mate. That guy was one of the smartest men I know, but he was a little too original for my tastes though. Anyways I liked reading this, thanks. Will give me something to go into when I see him.