FDP:Next-Gen Educators AI and Data-Driven Teaching Strategies

 Faculty Development Program Report - June 6, 2024 Day 1

The Faculty Development Program, held on 6/5/2024, brought together distinguished resource persons in data science and artificial intelligence for a comprehensive and insightful first day from 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM. The event commenced with introductions of two notable professionals: Mr. Bastin Robin and Mr. Saranyan Sankrith. Mr. Bastin Robin, currently the Director of Data at ELSA Corp, excels in developing scalable data infrastructure and driving data driven decision-making. He also serves as a Gartner Peer Ambassador and a visiting professor at IIM Nagpur, contributing his expertise to both industry and academia. His career includes significant roles at CleverInsight and Logezy Limited, earning him recognition as one of India's 20 Most Influential Conversational AI Leaders. Mr. Saranyan Sankrith, a seasoned System Architect with extensive experience in backend development, microservices, and database architecture, currently serves as a Data Engineer at ELSA Corp and a System Architect at CleverInsight. He has played a pivotal role in developing Waddle, a revolutionary time series database, and has a strong background in multiple programming languages, including GoLang and NodeJS, as well as both SQL and NoSQL databases. His career includes significant contributions at Tata Consultancy Services, where he streamlined data pipelines and built custom solutions. The introductory session concluded with a speech by academic coordinator Fr. Justin P. Varghese. The first major session, led by Mr. Bastin Robin, focused on NextGen Generative AI. He discussed student expectations, the rapid evolution of AI technology, the importance of verbal communication skills, and the potential problems and cons associated with AI. He explained generative AI using a simple regression model as an example and delved into topics such as AI-generated content, ethics, and bias. Mr. Bastin also provided an overview of ELSA Corp, highlighting their patented technology funded by Google, which improves English language proficiency using a custom LLM. He discussed how generative AI can be effectively used in teaching, and covered various aspects of natural language processing (NLP), including tokenization, stemming, lemmatization, POS tagging, entity recognition, chunking, and word embeddings. He emphasized the importance of mathematics in AI and provided insights into neural networks, gradient descent, and the generation of images and text. Interactive Q&A sessions addressed questions on the validation of information by ChatGPT, ethical issues, and the use of ChatGPT in the healthcare industry. Discussions also touched on the challenges of black box models and the concept of Retrieval Augmented Generation (RAG). The second session featured a talk by Mr. Saranyan Sankrith, who discussed effective teaching strategies, the importance of active interaction with students using modern tools, and adapting to students' methods to make the classroom more engaging. This was followed by another talk by Mr. Bastin Robin, who covered advanced topics such as forward and backward propagation in neural networks, understanding and measuring bias, and creating storylines. He provided a hands-on session with OLLAMA, explaining the installation and use of pre-trained models, creating custom LLMs, and content generation using Docker. The afternoon session focused on structuring courses using OLLAMA, an introduction to PredictEasy, and using ChatGPT efficiently for course planning. The discussion included the use of Google Sheets, the difference between output and outcome, and the application of AI in creating PowerPoint presentations. New AI tools like GravityWrite and Google’s version of ChatGPT, Gemini, were also introduced. The program emphasized the importance of data science subjects, including data structures, statistics, and mathematics. It highlighted the need for the ability to implement basic algorithms, understand data distribution, and choose the right programming languages. The event concluded with each faculty member sharing their key takeaways, summarized by Ms. Anubin. The first day of the Faculty Development Program provided valuable insights into leveraging generative AI in educational and professional settings, emphasizing continuous adaptation to new tools and technologies.

Faculty Development Program Report - June 7, 2024 Day 2

On June 7, 2024, the second day of the Faculty Development Program (FDP) at the Department of Data Science, Christ University, Pune, Lavasa, featured expert talks by Mr. Bastin Robin and Mr. Saranyan Sankrith, who continued from their insightful sessions on June 6. The focus of the day's program was on data-driven storytelling and its utility in enhancing lecture delivery. The sessions began at 8:45 am and continued until 12:00 pm, providing the participating faculty members with a comprehensive understanding of how to integrate data narratives into their teaching methods. Mr. Robin and Mr. Saranyan initiated the morning session by elucidating the principles of data-driven storytelling. They highlighted the importance of narrative in making data comprehensible and engaging for students. Through various examples and case studies, they demonstrated how data can be transformed into compelling stories that not only convey information effectively but also resonate with the audience on an emotional level. The experts stressed that good storytelling involves clear context, logical structure, and relatable insights derived from data. During the session, Mr. Robin and Mr. Saranyan showcased several practical techniques for crafting data-driven stories. They explained the steps of selecting relevant data, analyzing it to uncover meaningful patterns, and weaving these insights into a coherent and impactful narrative. The use of visual aids such as charts, graphs, and infographics was emphasized as a means to enhance understanding and retention. Before the lunch break, the faculty members were divided into three teams for a hands-on assignment. Each team was provided with a dataset on COVID-19 statistics from various countries. The assignment required them to create a data-driven story based on this data, applying the concepts and techniques discussed during the morning session. This exercise aimed to give participants practical experience in data storytelling, encouraging them to think creatively and analytically. After the lunch break, the teams reconvened at 2:00 pm to present their data-driven stories. Each team showcased their narrative, highlighting different aspects of the COVID-19 data. The presentations reflected the faculty members' diverse perspectives and innovative approaches to data interpretation. Mr. Robin and Mr. Saranyan provided detailed feedback on each presentation, offering constructive criticism and suggestions for improvement. They commended the teams on their efforts and creativity, pointing out areas where the data stories were particularly effective and where they could be further enhanced.

The day concluded with a formal vote of thanks delivered by Prof. Bijesh, who expressed gratitude to Mr. Bastin Robin and Mr. Saranyan Sankrith for their valuable contributions to the FDP. The Head of the Department, Dr. Lija Jacob, presented both experts with mementos as a token of appreciation for their efforts and dedication. Dr. Jacob also thanked them for sharing their expertise and inspiring the faculty members to adopt innovative teaching methodologies. Overall, the second day of the FDP was highly productive and enriching. The sessions by Mr. Robin and Mr. Saranyan expanded the participants' understanding of data-driven storytelling and provided them with practical tools to apply these techniques in their lectures. This experience is expected to significantly enhance the teaching practices within the department, fostering a more engaging and effective learning environment for students.

Faculty Development Program Report - June 8, 2024 Day 3

Dr. Jibrael Jos delivered an insightful lecture on leveraging Excel for data analytics, with a specific focus on using pivot tables to analyze customer churn data. Excel remains a foundational tool in data analysis due to its versatility and ease of use. Pivot tables, a powerful feature in Excel, allow users to summarize, analyze, explore, and present large sets of data efficiently. Dr. Jos illustrated the practical application of pivot tables by guiding us through a customer churn dataset. He demonstrated how to create pivot tables to quickly identify trends and patterns in the data, such as determining which customer segments have the highest churn rates and what factors might be contributing to this churn. By transforming raw data into meaningful insights, pivot tables in Excel empower businesses to make data-driven decisions, optimize customer retention strategies, and improve overall business performance. 

AI Tools for Education: 

Prof. Balagangadhar Reddy and Prof. Alwin Joseph presented a comprehensive overview of various AI tools available in the market, specifically tailored for academic content preparation. Their fdp emphasized the transformative potential of AI in education, enhancing both teaching and learning experiences. Among the tools discussed were: 

Intelligent Tutoring Systems (ITS): 

These AI-driven systems provide personalized instruction and feedback to students, adapting to individual learning paces and styles. 

Automated Content Creation Tools: Tools like natural language processing (NLP) applications can generate quizzes, summaries, and educational content, saving educators significant time.

Grading and Assessment Tools: AI can automate the grading process for multiple-choice and even some types of written assignments, ensuring consistent and unbiased evaluation. 

Learning Management Systems (LMS): Enhanced with AI, LMS platforms can track student progress, predict performance outcomes, and recommend personalized learning paths.

Prof. Reddy and Prof. Joseph highlighted the importance of integrating these AI tools into educational frameworks to foster a more interactive, efficient, and personalized learning environment. The adoption of AI tools in education signifies a shift towards more innovative and adaptive teaching methodologies, preparing educators and students for the future.

Faculty Development Program Report - June 10, 2024 Day 4

A delegation of 19 faculty members from CHRIST University Lavasa's Department of Data Science embarked on an informative visit to Vigyan Ashram in Pabal, a well-known hub for rural technology entrepreneurship. Upon arrival, the group was divided into two teams, each led by experienced Research Fellows, to explore the array of innovative projects thriving within the Ashram's premises.During the visit, the faculty members were exposed to an impressive variety of technological wonders, including an creative auto cooling machine designed specifically for sugarcane juice preservation, efficient domestic composters, advanced water purity detectors, specialized bacterial cultivation units, and cutting-edge 3D printing technology.Following a satisfying lunch, the faculty members had the privilege of engaging in a session facilitated by the director of Vigyan Ashram Dr. Yogesh Kulkarni. This session provided invaluable insights into the comprehensive project management practices employed by the institution. The director elaborated on various aspects, including the meticulous training provided to students, the diverse avenues for securing funding, and the pivotal role of mentorship in nurturing and guiding aspiring innovators.The visit served as a source of profound inspiration, igniting a collective sense of purpose among the faculty members.

Faculty Development Program Report - June 11, 2024 Day 5

On June 11, 2024, the Faculty Development Program (FDP) at the Department of Data Science, Christ University, Pune, Lavasa, concluded with a series of insightful sessions aimed at enhancing teaching methodologies and fostering an enriched learning environment. The day began with the first session from 9:00 am to 10:30 am, led by Dr. Libin Chako Samuel and Prof. Naived George Eapen. They focused on the university's strategic shift from traditional pedagogy to andragogy, emphasizing a learner-centered approach. This transition aims to cater to adult learners' needs by making the learning process more relevant and engaging, thus promoting greater autonomy and self-direction among students. Dr. Samuel and Prof. Eapen highlighted various strategies to implement andragogy effectively, underscoring its benefits in fostering critical thinking and practical application of knowledge. The second session, held from 11:00 am to 11:45 am, featured Dr. Vandana Bhagat and Dr. Sweety Kadyan, who delivered an engaging talk on problem-based learning (PBL) and research-based learning (RBL). They discussed how PBL encourages students to tackle real-world problems, thereby developing problem-solving skills and enhancing their ability to apply theoretical knowledge practically. Dr. Bhagat and Dr. Kadyan also elaborated on RBL, which integrates research activities into the curriculum, allowing students to engage in inquiry-based learning and develop a deeper understanding of their subjects. They shared successful case studies and best practices to illustrate the impact of these methodologies on student learning outcomes. Following this, the third session from 11:45 am to 12:20 pm was presented by Dr. Gunavathi and Dr. Savithri, who explored the concepts of experience-based learning (EBL) and simulation-based learning (SBL). They explained how EBL allows students to learn through direct experience and reflection, which can lead to more profound and lasting understanding. Dr. Gunavathi and Dr. Savithri emphasized the value of incorporating hands-on activities and real-life experiences into the curriculum to bridge the gap between theory and practice. Additionally, they discussed SBL, which uses simulations to create immersive learning environments where students can practice and hone their skills in a controlled, risk-free setting. This approach is particularly beneficial in fields that require practical, hands-on training, such as healthcare and engineering.

The program concluded with a vote of thanks delivered by Dr. Gunavathi, expressing gratitude to all participants, experts, and organizers for their contributions to the successful event. This was followed by the distribution of certificates to participants, experts, and organizers by the Head of the Department, Dr. Lija Jacob, recognizing their efforts and participation. The FDP officially ended at 1:00 pm, marking the successful completion of a productive and enriching series of sessions that aimed to enhance teaching practices and promote innovative learning strategies within the department. The day's events reflected the department's commitment to continuous improvement and excellence in education, setting a benchmark for future faculty development initiatives.


  1. The program provided exposure to innovative technologies such as OLLAMA for structuring courses, PredictEasy, and AI tools like GravityWrite and Gemini. Faculty members also learned best practices for implementing these technologies in their teaching, thereby staying at the forefront of educational innovation.
  2. Participants were trained in data-driven storytelling and its application in education. The hands-on sessions enabled them to create compelling data narratives, enhancing their ability to communicate complex information effectively and engagingly.
  3. The program introduced various AI tools for education, focusing on teaching, learning, and evaluation. Faculty learned how to leverage AI to enhance instructional methods, improve student engagement, and streamline assessment processes.
  4. Faculty members gained comprehensive insights into AI and data analytics, including the effective use of Excel for data analytics, as presented by Mr. Jibreal. This knowledge equips them to incorporate advanced data analysis techniques into their teaching and research.
  5. Faculty members explored different components of Teaching, Learning, and Evaluation (TLEC), including Experiential Learning, Simulations, Problem-Based Learning, Research-Based Learning, Formative and Summative Assessment, Diagnostic and Peer Assessment. This holistic approach promotes a more engaging and effective learning environment.


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