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Paradigm Shift in Higher Education

The unprecedented situation created by the global pandemic has put the spotlight on the education system. Most of the institutions of learning are moving to online platforms, and the focus has shifted to Digital Technologies in Education. The world is forging a new paradigm for learning.

The Pressure on the Indian Education System: As per AISHE portal of MHRD, in 2019 India had 37.3 million students enrolled in higher education, in 993 universities, and around 42,000 colleges and 10,700 standalone institutes of higher learning. Our current gross enrollment ratio from school to college is only 1:4, and this number for tribal areas is lowest at 1:7.

As per World Bank the world is in a learning crisis due to the poor quality of education. The current education systemin India is also failing to cope with the demands placed on it. 90% of the Indian universities are below par. How can we provide quality education within our limitations?

Tech in Education: Embracing technology to teach is the opportunity and the answer for the way forward. Technology in teaching has greater reach and here to stay. We in India leverage this push provided by technology to address the limitations of the pandemic. A session on zoom has a greater reach than a traditional classroom lecture. Online-classes and recorded courses will build on the current system. This will bring more quality control and outreach.

Online education is a paradigm shift towards blended education. Going forward, use of artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality will bridge the gap of synchronous education environments. EdTech will be data-driven, will use immersion technology, video content and allow for personalization and adaptive learning.

Skills vs Degrees: Degrees are not going to be important. Learning specific disciplines will lose focus. We will see cross-discipline, inter-discipline learning aligned to individual’s focus and needs. There will be close integration between academia and industry. As things change rapidly, every organization will be a learning organization. Corporate India is beginning to feel obsolete – it will need to help the employee to figure what to learn.

Self-Directed, Lifelong Learning:  We are evolving from specific degrees in specific time-frames to lifelong learning. Learning will be in blocks as when the individual requires it. The boundaries between discipline will blend and students will redefine their own purpose-driven program. Our understanding and expectations of what education is, will change accordingly.

People are by nature curious, with a desire to progress. The next generation of students will be self-directed. It will be the responsibility of the learner to be able to define their own path. This will lead to a focus on the accountability and responsibility of the student.

Our job as educators is in inspiring and keeping curiosity alive.

To know about how IILM is incorporating technology for virtual classroom delivery and inclusive education, please visit our website – www.iilm.edu

The Virtual Team Revolution – It’s here to stay!

With the current pandemic situation across the globe, every organization is affected. But has the work stopped? The answer is – No! For the majority of organizations who have successfully established a strong digital culture, it is ‘Business as Usual’. Virtual teams are no more the future. They are here to stay.

Remote Teams – An Old or New Phenomenon?   

A virtual team is one whose members are geographically scattered in different locations communicating and collaborating through technology. Are geographically scattered remote teams a recent concept? If you think it is a new phenomenon, you are right but only partly. While technological advances, the Internet and the global workforce have created better conditions for remote teams in recent times, but they have been around for centuries. All kings and emperors such as Ashoka and Akbar and many others in the western world whose empires spread over large areas managed geographically dispersed remote teams. They created efficient and effective processes for communication and implementation to manage their empires through these remote teams, however, some teams worked efficiently while others struggled.

‘Work From Home’ (WFH) has become a buzz work in recent times. But the fact is that even the concept of working from home is not new. Historically speaking, for most of the trades, work from home was the common way of working. If we look at traditional occupations such as farmers, bakers, tailors, shoemakers, potters, weavers and blacksmiths etc., – they have always worked from homes.

The first Industrial Revolution extricated workers from their homes and pushed them into factories. With the introduction of electricity and public transport systems in the early 20th century, workers were further separated from their home as they began working in offices equipped with telephones, telegraphs, and the typewriter. But this concept soon faced a reverse wave in the 1970s because of the OPEC oil crisis that resulted in very high fuel costs and made commuting exorbitantly expensive.

People began looking for solutions for work to go on without workers having to commute. Jack Nilles, sometimes called “The Father of Teleworking” conducted the first formal tests of telecommuting and it soon saw rapid growth. In the 1980s, J.C. Penney began hiring home-based call center agents with the Clean Air Act leading many large businesses to offer telecommuting. The National Telecommuting Initiative created in 1996 in the US, soon flowed to other parts of the world.

20th century was the era of great technological advances that resulted in increase in telework and virtual teams. Personal Computers, cellular phones, voicemail, and then the internet explosion were factors that paved the way for the virtual workplace as we understand it today. In the year 2020, when organizations are globally affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, working virtually has come to the rescue of many organizations and businesses because they were able to continue their businesses and curtail losses.

The Bright and Dark Sides of Virtual Teams

Several studies have found that virtual collaboration is more difficult than in a collocated environment. The disadvantages include difficulties in communication and coordination, reduced trust, and an increased inability to establish a common ground. Physical teams, on the other hand, have proximity that promotes frequent communication and the development of closer and more positive interpersonal relationships. Regular physical presence of team members helps in strengthening social ties that helps to reduce conflict while the distance in virtual teams decreases closeness and affinity, which can result in increased incidence of conflict. Some other issues of remote teams spread across different geographical locations can be that they have to negotiate multiple time zones that require them to reorganize their workdays to accommodate others’ schedules which may lead to frustration and confusion, especially if coworkers are regularly unavailable for discussion or clarification of task-related issues.

Do Virtual teams have any advantages? Yes, Virtual teams have many advantages too.   Remote teams are attractive for companies looking to hire for roles that are hard to fill. They can use remote working as a perk to attract applications for “location independent” positions. These organizations have the added advantage of being able to hire from a larger, more diverse pool of applicants. Then there is cost effective in terms of salaries as they ca hire people at lower salaries when compensation is not connected to living in a big, expensive city.

Other positives of remote virtual teams are that they are less career restrictive for employers and employees with many companies adopting remote as part of their company culture with a work from home option.

Uberization of Jobs

With the pandemic situation looming large across the world and in India, many organizations are actively adopting the work-from-home (WFH) model, and it can be predicted that many jobs could go the Uber way. Uberization of work means that employees can decide which hours of the day they will log in. This is more applicable for tasks that are homogeneous, like that of call centre employees where technological developments are making it easier to monitor remotely.

In India, Axis Bank had been preparing for a WFH model even before the pandemic struck, which made it possible to keep 700 of its call centre executives active even after the lockdown was announced. SBI chairman Rajnish Kumar said in a recent interview that the bank was planning to move to a Work-From-Anywhere model rather than just work-from-home. In the early weeks of the lockdown, HDFC Bank MD and CEO Aditya Puri had said that the bank was going to shift permanently to a WFH model for a third of its employees.

Tech companies, financial services and many other industries are moving towards virtual teams where they will play a large part in the new normal making it imperative for current and aspiring managers and leaders to equip themselves with a  new skill  –  the skill of Managing Virtual Teams. IILM, in step with the current trend, is offering a specially designed course called ‘Managing Virtual Teams’ for its management students and working executives who would like to upgrade their skill. This course discusses how to manage virtual teams so that they can outperform physical or collocated teams. Learning this skill is not an option but a necessity for managers and business leaders today to keep pace with the current world scenario.

To know more about the innovative and industry benchmarked courses, please write to me at atima.mankotia@iilm.edu.

IILM’s Commitment to Inclusive Education

Dear Students and Parents

Hope you all are keeping safe and exercising the mandated precautions.

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For over 2 decades IILM has focused on education which is Global, Responsible & Inclusive; we are delighted to welcome everyone who applies and gets selected to study the “well-known” & “industry-endorsed” MBA.

We believe that ‘Learning has no Lockdown’ & we are focusing on a ‘growth mindset’. IILM is planning to begin online academic activities and interaction with students from June 15. For our new students, we have planned pre-term and bridge courses that will help students connect with their peers and help them forge friendships. The education will have a strong blended learning direction, with a strong focus on the jobs of the future.

We also observe that students are facing many challenges such as uncertainty about their exams and results, admission processes, entrance exams for institutes of their choice, reopening of campuses and the pandemic is having a significant impact on their education and career, planning.

These are issues everyone is aware of and everyone is discussing in many forums but there is one issue that is not being highlighted enough and that is the impact of the economic downturn due to Covid-19 on the students.

The process of deciding on higher education is an important decision and there is a possibility, financial hardships are prevalent across many families, at IILM we understand these are difficult times, with a lot of uncertainty and disruption in daily lives.

So to enable education for all

  • IILM has decided to reduce the total fee payable for the MBA program for intake 2020
  • For the 1st year, we have waived off the program fee and we will be charging only the tuition fee

Even for the hostels, since the students might not be able to avail the facility immediately, the hostel fee is waived off. Only whenever a student decides to avail the hostel (boarding, lodging facilities) they shall pay only pro-rata (of the annual charges) calculated from the month they avail the facility.

Also for any student who is facing financial hardship and is constrained for the fees, we are evaluating & addressing, all such cases with a proactive solution, where student education is not hampered and remains continuous.

Hopefully, these measures will be helpful to our students and their families.

We are with you, stay safe and healthy.

Decoding Careers in Psychology

This Podcast is for all the people who aspire to be psychologists and want to create a difference in people’s life. Curiosity is an intrinsic part of human nature. Many of you have grown up asking one basic question why? And as adults, we continue to question and ponder at things.

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Psychology and psychologists tend to apply the same universal curiosity to observe and examine the relationship between our environment and our behaviour. This has motivated many people to choose a career in psychology.

Today I will try to decode a few career options rooting out of this vast subject i.e. Psychology. Be it schools, colleges, hospitals or organizations everyone needs a psychologist Today. But before that let’s clear our minds with the role of a psychologist. What do psychologists do? Tomorrow when I am a psychologist what is that I’m supposed to do? Once your vision is clear following the path becomes easy.

As Psychologists we investigate human behaviour, how people think, learn, develop emotionally and socially. Not only this they help people build their confidence and self-esteem. Your job as a practitioner is not only to help people suffering from trauma, mental disorders and substance abuse related problems but also to bring about positive change in the society and environment.

A Psychologist’s role is to connect with people, nurture relationships, and help people build a strong sense of understanding with others and their inner self. Working with individual client’s psychologists can transform lives; understand the root cause of the problem and offer treatment contributing majorly to the well being of our society. This involves the major role and responsibility towards the profession.

You can work in universities and government agencies as well. Depending on your career goals you may opt to move into a speciality area that fires your imagination and promises fulfilling work.

One can begin with a Bachelors degree in Psychology which gives you exposure to various subjects like abnormal psychology, positive psychology; youth gender identity, emotional intelligence, organizational behaviour and many more. Once u develop an interest you can gradually peruse specialization in counselling, clinical, organizational, or child psychology which will open doors in almost every discipline be it hospitals as a therapist or schools as a counsellor or in organizations as a life coach.

The choices are so vast that you can choose to be a military Psychologist consumer, aviation or Forensic Psychologist. The fields are endless. You name a disciple and there is a need for a responsible psychologist everywhere. Rightly said this profession is interesting to pursue but one has to deal with utmost responsibility towards one’s clients.

Internships are an important aspect of a Psychologist’s career building. With continuous internships programs in hospitals and Ngo’s many students have mastered the art of psychotherapy and are practising making a difference in the lives of many people. You could be one. Get introduced to the subject and discover more about the Psychology behind a Beautiful Mind.

CEO — Now Needs to be Disruptive, a Transformer

– to Reengineer by Creative Destruction

In a post COVID world, the CEO has to revisit the past, reengineer the present, crystal gaze into the future and possibly relook at what to keep and what to let go.

As everyone grapples with COVID which will not go away soon, the business model has to be “Unlocked”. The unlocking will take different dimensions, with different sectors, different regions-countries, and opening up in different ways and at a differing pace. The virus resurgence will likely bring about renewed restrictions.

In situations such as the Great Depression in 1920, the World War II, the Financial Crisis of the 90’s a CEO had to be adept at the P&L, productivity metrics & number crunching, spending time to decide on launches and reenergizing the PLC.

However today these factors are hygiene and the need is the ability to have an extremely high EQ and a personality to integrate with the teams as they get more result oriented, ready to experiment and more tech-savvy.

Integration is required across teams, which now meet on cloud meetings viz — ZOOM, across time-zones, departments with the absence of geographical boundaries. A CEO and an aspirant needs to be ready to disrupt, be tech savvy and highly EQ enabled to manage the emotional upheaval people will go through as everything around them changes — have the intellect to identify trends, be courageous to plan on what to keep and what to let go and be able to handle diversity of thought.

Mckinsey in its article, The Toughest Leadership Test avers “The pressures can seem daunting. Coping with the sudden shutdown of the global economy was hard enough; figuring out how to restart in such an uncertain environment is, if anything, even harder, many told us. CEOs are expected to show “deliberate calm” and “bounded optimism.” Everyone wants them to demonstrate empathy — and, at the same time, be highly engaged and fact based in their actions. They are expected to make a positive difference in people’s lives with their leadership and wield both telescope and microscope adroitly”

It is said that a crisis brings about the best & the worst in people and separates the men from the boys.

The moment of truth for the CEO is to- Reimagine the Business, to Reengineer and maybe destroy the “old way of working” and adapt to the NOW, and also manage the family at home and keep smiling.

As a CEO are you ready?

Simulation Games Enhance Learning Outcomes

The biggest challenge of our education system is to leverage the learning of concepts and theories with the use of modern technology to create engaging, relevant, and personalized learning experiences for all students that represent the reality of their future.

Most B-schools and universities follow a teaching style that is a blend of theory and practical. The traditional methods of teaching within the four walls of the classroom that include lectures and textbooks do set the basic foundation for a student. However, to attain the skills, which will be required at the workplace, these concepts have to be applied. The application of the learning will ensure that the student has been able to improve their critical thinking skills. The two years of PGDM should comprise of this blend of theory and practice giving the student a comprehensive curriculum.

Subjects like Entrepreneurship give the students ample opportunities to collaborate and work with peers. For subjects like this, the implementation of simulation is the best solution as it deals with the real-life application of the knowledge gained in the classroom.

What are the benefits of Simulation?

Simulations are games that follow a system or a phenomenon. The players are expected to achieve certain pre-specified goals and the environment of the simulation is pre-defined through algorithms and programming. The biggest benefit of simulations is that students get involved in playing the simulation and they consider it as a game or a competition in the real sense. In the process of playing the simulation, the students start applying the concepts that they have learnt in the classes. This provides them with an opportunity to find out how the concept actually works.

It is also the best way to implement Action Learning, i.e., learning by doing. These days, simulations are available online so they can be accessed from anywhere. Students can form teams and access the simulation from any part of the world. It also encourages more interactions among the students that set the platform for learning from each other. They can also afford to do mistakes and learn from it as the stakes are low and they have nothing to lose in terms of money or any other resource.

How to include Simulation in learning pedagogy?

Since simulations are beneficial for management students, it is imperative that it is included in the learning pedagogy. IILM has been implementing simulations in its UG as well as PG courses. Some of the key aspects that need to be considered for including Simulation in the learning pedagogy are:

  • Decide the learning objectives of the subject and check the relation between the concepts taught and the simulation game. There should be a perfect match between the learning objectives of the course and the skills that the simulation tests in the student.
  • The simulation game should be in a sequence. The sequence should move in terms of complexity. For example, a simulation may be played over 4 quarters and the decisions that the players have to take in the initial quarters should be simpler than the ones that they have to take in the later stages.
  • The class has to be guided by a coach who will channel the thoughts and ideas of the students. There has to be a little bit of hand holding in the initial stages of the simulation so that the students understand the process.
  • The coach can first give a brief synopsis of the situation in which this simulation is being conducted. If required, the initial stages can be demonstrated by the coach so that the students can follow his or her footsteps.
  • As the students play the simulation, the coach should encourage the students to think about their decisions and predict the consequences of their decisions. The coach will then have to connect this analysis with the learning objectives of the course.
  • The teams should be able to present their decisions and if required prepare a brief report of the simulation. The coach can then give their feedback so that the concepts become clear to the students.

In the present dynamic environment, the main focus of higher educational institutions is to enable student-centred teaching. This will be possible only when learning happens in an active and collaborative environment. The inclusion of Simulations in the teaching and learning of management concepts will not only make the students better learners but will also prepare them to face the challenges of the corporate world.

To know about other Management teaching best practices like case based learning, mentoring have a look at the following:

Business Case Studies – An Effective Teaching Tool

https://blog.iilm.edu/case-based-teaching-learning-management/

The Many Avatars of a Teacher – A Facilitator in Learning

What is the Mantra for right mentoring?

 

 

 

 

Storytelling Communication Matters

Hi, I’m Prof. Pamposh Gulati and I teach Journalism, Media, and Communication at IILM University.

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Do you know? The stories we tell create the world we live in.

To be able to communicate effectively is perhaps the most important of all life skills because it facilitates passing information to others and helps us understand what is said to us. The ability to communicate information precisely, lucidly and as intended, is a fundamental life skill and something that should not be ignored.

Storytelling is a two-way interaction, between someone telling a story and one or more listeners. It is a well-known and powerful means of communicating messages and engaging audiences. For eras, storytelling to communicate has been used very effectively. From the original cavemen to our ancestors and now to businesses and marketers, storytelling is a valued tool. It is an art form with a purpose to educate, stimulate and communicate thoughts, expressions and ideas. Storytelling typically follows a structure that defines the cause-and-effect relationships between events that take place over a particular period and that impact a range of individuals.

Storytelling is likely to generate a shared understanding among people about a situation, a topic or a problem. The more a story is engaging, the more it has the potential to attract and sustain the interest of the audience perpetuating meaningful connections. One thing is clear that people connect with a story, and a story takes people on a journey. Whether it’s a journey to your childhood home or a journey to a life-changing truth, it’s a story that will eventually take you there.”

Human beings are wired for stories. With the evolvement of technology and communication, its become imperative to communicate succinctly through all channels. However, this isn’t always so easy. Although one might think that with so much new technology, communication has become easier, but actually, all it’s done is to reinforce the need to perfect the classic communication methods. One being, storytelling. Engaging communication through storytelling has several perks. But why you should use it? To express your vision.

Storytelling techniques are common for individuals, groups, companies, and large organisations. Let’s discuss briefly some important techniques:

  1. Make your stories friendly: Friendly stories are great as they get the listeners into a state of mind, which is full of positivity and hope; leaving a great impact on their minds.
  2. Emotional: A story that garners strong emotion is one that will last the longest in the minds of the listeners.
  3. Bring your characters to life: Characters are the heart of any story. Their affluence and hardships are what makes people want to laugh, cry or rejoice. To do this, you must provide enough detail to bring the character to life in the minds of your audience.
  4. Inclusive: A story which allows the listener to feel as though they’re in the story themselves is the kind of story which is the most effective. Imagining ourselves as the protagonist always feels good na..
  5. Relevant: Relevancy is key when communicating with your audience. A witty story can make people feel good, however, it may not relate to the central message you want to convey. This is why when you use storytelling to communicate, the message has to bring into line with the story, dovetail, or at least circle back.

At IILM University, storytelling is an integral subject of journalism, media and communication. Digital storytelling is different from traditional print journalism. As mobile and i-pads become the default device and visuals overtake text, journalism has definitely come of age. Navigation is based on tap and swipe, video commands attention, graphics and quotes communicate better than a copy. Storytelling is both an art and a science. Some pieces are inherently in you — copywriting and creativity — that can be fostered and sharpened. The undergraduate course in Journalism, Media, and Communication at IILM University is the preferred destination for students looking to immerse themselves in this dynamic and exciting industry. We understand that the performative and very practical nature of journalism suggests that journalism skills development is most effective when approached through a learning-centred approach to curriculum. Therefore, our pedagogy is all about experiential learning. Our curriculum is based on the concept of “Doing it for Real”; therefore, we teach in a designing experiential journalism and media curriculum that prepare students for the new and uncertain world.

If you like what you’ve heard on this podcast, I invite you to leave us a comment or review. 

Role of AI in Financial Services

The emergence of automation has shifted the nature of jobs across sectors. So does the financial services. Financial services are also not immune to this development and are impacted by automation and artificial intelligence. Today, financial services are not limited to brick and mortar structure only. Traditionally, financial services used to be the job of a geeky person with a calculator. The financial industry used to be a paper-intensive industry.

But now, things have changed and the nature of the job has changed from bookkeeping to critical financial analysis. Even the Banking sector is technology-driven and gone the digital way. How one usually thinks about jobs in the financial services domain has already changed or in the process. Do you aspire to join financial services in the near future? What are the future job profiles for you? To answer these questions, one needs to understand how the increasing role of Artificial Intelligence will affect the future of financial services and how you can strive to stay relevant.

Impact of AI on jobs

Artificial intelligence AI will be the cause of great disruption for stable career choices of the financial services sector. According to one estimate, across the globe, about 1.3 million bank workers will lose their jobs. Traditional banking jobs like cashier, clerk, etc. are likely to be reduced by automation. All routine jobs are likely to go away with the increased interference of artificial intelligence/automation.

Artificial intelligence with a combination of Big Data is now even affecting jobs involving critical analysis. The combination of Big Data and AI enables us to make decision-based on humongous data and predict the future. This will thus affect the job of a financial planner, tax personnel, and others. One needs to consider this automation as a wakeup call and as an indication of the need to continuously enhance our skills to remain relevant in this fast-evolving dynamic world.

Emerging Profiles in the Financial Services Domain

On one hand, AI will cut routine repetitive jobs; and on the other hand, it will also create several jobs. It is estimated that in India, more than 50 lakh new jobs in the financial services sector will be created in the next ten years. Fintech is the new buzz word today. It is a combination of Finance with Technology. This Fintech sector will provide new job opportunities to aspirants in the future. ‘Finance Engineer’ and ‘Sustainable Wealth Manager’ are some job titles in the future.

Roles for personalized financial guidance will emerge in the future. Financial advisors who have analytical skills and the ability to translate data into relevant and meaningful stories will be in demand. Jobs in the field of blockchain, mobile wallet, and Robo advisors will flourish. Blockchain and apps developers, financial analysts, product managers, compliance experts, cybersecurity analysts, quantitative analysts, business development managers, and data specialists are few profiles that will be in demand.

Skills for Future Financial Services

The need for highly skilled and tech-savvy financial professionals is rising. In-depth and holistic financial knowledge will be the key to career success in this sector. Data analytics and sustainability are other important skills to sustain and thrive in the future market. ‘Superforecasting’ is an ability that is imperative in the domain of ‘Cryptocurrency’. Superforecasting means objective analysis of all present and past events and breaking down complex problems to smaller pieces.  Key requisite skills are business planning, data analytics, along with knowledge of C#, Java language, Murex language, Python, and other programming languages.

Contribution of IILM in your journey

The teaching pedagogy at IILM fosters a learning environment to enhance creativity, originality, critical thinking, and leadership skills in students. It also inculcates and equips students with future scoped skills.  The focus is two-pronged – traditional teaching to develop basics along with new-age electives like Fintech, Data Analytics, Python, R, etc. to give a perfect blend of modern and futuristic courses. IILM thus provides a complete package to students and makes them ready for financial sector jobs and thrive for career success.

Personality Traits in Mahabharata and the Ocean Model

Introduction:

While going about our usual day we interact with people, judge their personality as to how they are different from us and at times compromise  with the changing facets of their personalities without even thinking. We unknowingly almost like an automatic response form opinion about people depending on their overt behavioural responses.

Why we do this? Because we humans are wired for curiosity to know more about our environment aWhy we do this? Because we humans are wired for curiosity to know more about our environment and the people we live with. Like when we notice someone at a party surrounded by a large group of people, obviously the centre of attention, chatting and laughing; we may conclude that person is an extrovert.

So, how do we understand personality?

While studying personality we assume that personality characteristics are relatively stable over time and that traits show stability across situations. For example, someone who is described as an extrovert may be very outgoing and chatty at a party but less so in a conference. In both situations, they are likely to be more sociable than an introvert person. We also assume that personality traits influence behaviour. The person is outgoing and chatty because they are an extrovert.

At IILM, we offer courses in personality to undergraduate courses to help them discover themselves as well as understand our basic individual differences.

Personality and its spectrum

Cattell (1965) defined personality as being the characteristics of the individual that allows prediction of how they will behave in a given situation. Psychologists increasingly agree that five super traits may adequately describe the structure of personality.

Costa and McCrae (1992), who measured personality with their OCEAN model represents a continuum along which individuals can be explained in terms of their traits.  For a better understanding of these traits, the following is my explanation of how characters and their personalities were depicted from Mahabharat.

Characters from Mahabharat to explain OCEAN Model:

At IILM the curriculum is an interesting blend of science and mythology. I will explain how we teach traits to our Psychology students with the help of characters from Mahabharat.

OPENNESS – This factor refers to the individual having an openness to new experiences and an active imagination.

Karna was seen to be high on this scale as throughout the epic he justified his never-say-die attitude and courageously confronted all the odds of his destiny. His character in Mahabharata has everlasting fame because he teaches how can one present himself better than the destiny and accomplish everything with shatterproof determination. Bhima was seen low on this scale as he was conventionally oriented towards a particular goal that is of being the mightiest warrior.

CONSCIENTIOUSNESS– This factor describes our degree of self-discipline and control. Yudhishthira was high on this scale; was hard-working, organized, goal-driven whereas Shakuni was seen to be low on this scale as he is the person who poisoned the mind of his explosive nephew Duryodhana and fuelled-up the destructive war of Mahabharata, thus becoming the cause of the destruction of the Kauravas.

EXTRAVERSION – This factor is a measure of the individual’s sociability, energetic, optimistic, friendly and assertive.

Krishna was high on this scale as he attempted to navigate negotiations between the Pandavas and Kurus before the Kurukshetra war even happened. He convinced Balarama to not partake in the war itself. He even tried to get Karna to fight for the Pandavas as well. Sahadeva was shown to be low on extroversion, even though as the wisest of all the Pandava brothers he mostly kept to himself reading Vedas, spoke less and followed mostly what his elder brothers decided upon him.

AGREEABLENESS – This factor relates to the characteristics of social interaction. Individuals with high scores are trusting, helpful, soft-hearted and sympathetic.

Bhishma was high on this scale as his peerless statesmanship to be the mediator between the Kauravas and Pandavas and other impeccable characteristics still inspire his ardent followers across the world. Dronacharya was low on this scale as he discriminated against Karna and Eklavya on the basis of their caste. He did not voice out any objection in the court during Draupadi’s assault.

NEUROTICISM – This factor measures an individual’s emotional stability and personal adjustment. Duryodhana is seen to be high on this scale as he is motivated by greed, jealously, and a desire for retribution. Yudhishthira was low on this scale as he is calm, even-tempered, secure and happy.

Is there a situational difference when we portray our personality?

Psychologists explain this by segregating personality into a private and public persona. Private being the ‘real’ inner person, while public is the way that the individual presents themselves to the outside world. We may be confident and outgoing in some situations and less sure of ourselves and more retiring in other situations. A case where a shy reserved person joins an organisation but eventually becomes an arrogant and stubborn boss. This fits the explanation of how our personalities differ situationally.

Conclusion:

As much as individuals behave differently in different situations, our behavioural reactions can be clubbed into traits as similar reactions across age and cultures. To conclude, we can say that each one us is uniquely different yet distinctively similar as well.

 

“Personality is a mask we believe in”

Dr White

 

How to Make your Virtual Teaching Interesting for Learners

Change always creates anxiety and when this change is rapid then it creates panic too. Recent changes in an environment completely upset the traditional classroom teaching-learning process. It left no other choice but to move on a new platform for learning that is virtual classrooms.  This transition from traditional face to face teaching to virtual teaching was highly unexpected and too quick to absorb hence given a very strong blow on the teaching-learning process. Moreover, neither the teachers nor the students were trained for such a virtual environment. When I thought about learning through virtual teaching, I encounter two questions. Does any scientific method exist to enrich the learning process? Can learner also enhance their learning?

On the lines ‘the show must go on’, one needs to adapt to the virtual teaching-learning model and should make this interesting for learners. Learners are sitting at the comfort of their homes with too many distractions all around. Learning will only happen when they find interest in lectures and feel engaged.

To increase the productivity of the class teachers might consider the following tricks:

Lay down fundamental rules

At the beginning of the class, the teacher should inform the students about few basic etiquettes to be followed in class. Ask the students to mute their microphones to avoid any disturbance. Students will unmute themselves only if they have any questions to ask or if they are asked to do so. If possible, ask the students to switch on their camera which will increase the engagement.

Engage students

On online platform, students have a shorter time span for concentration. By asking questions to random students in every 5-6 minutes will keep them engaged and hence increase the productivity of the class. At every 5-6 minutes keep asking simple questions and for answers ask students to type in the chatbox. Answers could be just ‘yes/no’ type.

Give control to the students

Generally, in classes teachers speak a lot, and students felt left out and learning stops. It is better to give control to students at times and ask them to interact in the form of discussing with each other in class.

Share content in advance

Possibly, share the content to be discussed in class with all the students in advance so that they are prepared well in advance.

Use easily available, copyright-free online resources

Share content with the students which are copyright free and easily available. Although, too many contents are available freely for all but do not expect that students will search on their own. It is better to mention the URL for the resource material as click and use the material for them.

Avoid information overload

Plan your sessions well in advance such that students will not be overloaded and they have time to practice problems on the topic discussed.

Make use of Multimedia

To avoid boredom in the classroom, use multimedia tools to make the classroom interesting enough so that students’ engagement increases and so productivity.

Record live sessions and share

Don’t forget to record your sessions for the benefit of those students who live in the area with bandwidth issues and not able to attend live sessions. Share these videos with all the students so all can revisit in case of doubts.

There are certain basic rules for students also to make learning effective and efficient. First and foremost, students need to have a reliable and stable internet connection to attend the classes in virtual mode. They must find a quiet corner at their respective places to avoid any disturbance during sessions. If possible, they can use headphones instead of earphones to reduce the noise level. Prepare for your class well in advance. Go through with all the resources shared by teachers. Be interactive during sessions but do not disturb the flow of the class. Either raise a hand or use a chat box in case of any query.

The productivity of the teaching-learning process in the management program will surely be enhanced if both the stakeholders follow the aforementioned tricks. Faculty and students of IILM will surely make teaching-learning much more interesting and productive on a virtual platform.